The 9 Best Books On Attachment Theory That Will Help You Master Your Relationships

Are we pre-programmed to love? 

Or is it something we do out of our free will?

We all share emotional bonds with our parents, partners, relatives, and friends.

And those bonds influence the development of any human child.

The quality of those bonds affects our quality of life.

It determines how happy and content we are.

In short: We are attached to people around us, and it matters.

Attachment theory was given by British Psychologist John Bowlby, who studied the relation between distress and the parent-child bonding.

The idea is that the emotional experiences in the early years of any child impact the psychological development and tend to carry their effect throughout that person’s entire life.

In simple words, the emotional well-being of a person is influenced by his childhood experiences with his parents.

Books on attachment often discuss how the attachment comes to us by birth.

It’s as if we are pre-programmed to care about other people and make emotional connection.

In this article, I’ll share 9 best books that will help you learn more about attachment theory in relationships.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Best Books on Attachment Theory And Styles

Here we go!

The 9 Best Books On Attachment Theo...
The 9 Best Books On Attachment Theory You Must Read To Master Your Relationships | WizBuskOut
1. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love 

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find–and Keep– Love
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Levine, Amir (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 12/30/2010 (Publication Date) – TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

The core idea of this book is that our current attachment style is shaped by our childhood attachment style.

By finding our partner’s attachment style, we can adapt and figure out ways to be in harmony with each other and be happy.

The book divides every individual into 3 types: 

Anxious, Avoidant, and Secure.

Anxious people are concerned about their partners.

Avoidant people prefer independence and see dependency as weakness. Therefore, don’t open up easily to anyone.

Secure people are neutral and embrace intimacy. These are the guys that most people prefer to be around, as they are warm and loving.

The author argues that dependency is not a bad thing as it comes to us by birth, and therefore should be appreciated.

The author believes that dependency on others make us stronger, which is opposite to what a good deal of self-help book say.

Pros

  • The ideas are backed by research.
  • Quizzes are given to determine your and your partner’s attachment style.
  • Written by an author who is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. 

Cons

  • More focused on romantic couple relationships.
  • It doesn’t properly break down the fearful-avoidant attachment style.
  • It’s not a great idea to just specify a person by one of the 3 styles. It’s too much oversimplification of emotional behavior.

Check this book on Amazon

2. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents
  • Gibson, Lindsay C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages – 04/29/2016 (Publication Date) – ReadHowYouWant (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

The sad truth is that: many children are dependent on self-obsessed, immature parents.

They don’t know how to build a healthy emotional connection with their children.

As a result, many children experience emotional disorders.

For example, if a kid didn’t receive strong appreciation during his childhood, he might turn into an adult who seeks approval from the society by competing with his friends.

This book teaches you how to distance yourself and find your true self by rejecting all those bad emotional impressions on your mind.

Someone whose parents didn’t give proper care and attention might find this book very helpful.

Ultimately, we all want to express ourselves. But when we hold old beliefs tightly, they don’t allow us to live with freedom.

You don’t have to deal with your problems on your own. One doesn’t have to feel bad for the immaturity of his parents.

This book is all about gaining your lost self-esteem back by understanding your true-self.

Pros

  • Highly relatable if your parents were selfish and immature in your childhood.
  • Helps you understand your parent’s emotional behaviors.
  • Helps you deal with anxiety and depression.
  • Gives you practical methods to deal with immature people.

Cons

  • Some readers may find the author authoritative and biased.
  • Pushes the idea that if you are feeling depressed due to your parent’s lack of attention, then it’s okay to feel bad. Now, anybody can blame their bad emotional health on their parents.

Check this book on Amazon

3. Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families

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Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families
  • Hardcover Book
  • Johnson, Susan M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 278 Pages – 01/01/2019 (Publication Date) – The Guilford Press (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This book focuses too much on emotion and helps therapists learn more about anxiety and depression.

The idea is that we all are emotional beings. And therefore, most mental issues can be best solved if we uncover the deeper layers of our emotions and try to understand them.

The therapy discussed by the author is mostly used for couples. But anyway, couples are two individuals, right?

So, what applies to couples also applies to individuals and families.

What makes this book different from other self-help books is that it sees everything through the lens of Attachment Theory.

If you are a professional therapist and want to help your clients effectively deal with their anxiety or other mental issues, this book must be on your shelf.

Pros

  • The author is very practical, and the content comes from her experiences dealing with clients and providing therapy.
  • The concepts apply to all couples, individuals, and families.

Cons

  • Some people might face difficulty in comprehension.

-> Check this book on Amazon

4. The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships

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The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships
  • Poole Heller Ph.D., Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 03/12/2019 (Publication Date) – Sounds True (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This book sheds light on the basics of attachment theory that says, “We are created to love and form strong relationships with each other.”

If you are just starting to learn about the Attachment theory and wondering where to start, this book is for you.

It’ll help you clear any hurdles in your relationships and understand your partner.

The author’s language is gentle, calming, and full of compassion unlike other books on this topic.

Tips and exercises are provided in between the chapters to help you find your attachment style and tune yourself to become happier and secure by healing your attachment wounds.

Pros

  • Easy to read and understand.
  • Best for beginners.
  • Written with compassion and optimism.
  • Uses wisdom from spirituality.

Cons

  • Experts looking for advanced concepts might not enjoy the basic theories.
  • Some exercises provided in the book are impractical.
  • Some readers might not like the use of spirituality, as it is often subjective and complicated to understand.

-> Check this book on Amazon

5. Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love

Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
  • Robert Karen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 512 Pages – 04/23/1998 (Publication Date) – Oxford University Press (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Attachment is something we all experience.

A toddler’s relationship with his parents plays an important role in determining attachment styles.

Researchers have studied monkeys and done experiments to figure out how animals behave when they are separated from their parents.

This book focuses more on mother-child attachment, as it is a special connection between any two human beings.

We all are emotionally attached to our mothers as she gives birth to us.

And similar to other books on attachment, this book also discusses attachments like ambivalent attachment, avoidant attachment, and secure attachment.

In short: Parents’ behavior impact the development of their children. 

If you are a parent who wants to fix your negative behaviors so that your children’s growth is in the right direction, give this book a read.

Pros

  • Easy to digest and well-written.
  • Best for those who like to read biographies and stories.

Cons

  • The bad thing about this book is that it’s more about the history of attachment.
  • Contains more stories than concepts about attachment.

-> Check this book on Amazon

6. Trauma and Attachment: Over 150 Attachment-Based Interventions to Heal Trauma

Trauma and Attachment: Over 150 Attachment-Based Interventions to Heal Trauma
  • Reese, Christina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 318 Pages – 04/22/2022 (Publication Date) – PESI Publishing, Inc. (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This book deals with emotional traumas and discusses how they impact our thoughts and behaviors.

The approach is to consider CBT (cognitive behavioral theory) and help therapists solve the problems of their clients.

Don’t expect self-help stuff from this book. You will be disappointed.

The ideal readers for this book are professional therapists who are looking for tools and strategies to help their clients.

In short, you are expected to have some knowledge about “attachment” before you start reading this book.

But some explanation is provided to make the reader’s life easy. So don’t worry about that.

If you are a beginner, you should prefer other books that discuss basic attachment theories in detail.

Remember, this is a workbook. Not a self-help book. Yet, it still provides some great trauma healing tools.

Pros

  • Plenty of worksheets are provided in the book to heal traumatic clients.
  • Practical and easy to use.

Cons

  • The only problem is that if you are a self-help reader, this might not be for you because it’s a worksheet/workbook for professional therapists.

-> Check this book on Amazon

7. Attachment Theory: Understanding the Theory of Relationship Styles to Overcome Your Insecure Attachment and Fear of Abandonment 

Attachment Theory: Understanding the Theory of Relationship Styles to Overcome Your Insecure Attachment and Fear of Abandonment
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McKinsey, Sharon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 130 Pages – 02/04/2021 (Publication Date)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This book not only covers the fundamental theory of attachment, but also helps you understand and heal attachment disorders.

First, it starts explaining the attachment theory in detail: What is it? How does it impact our relationships?

Then it also gives a brief about the criticism about the attachment theory.

The second half of this book is all about understanding adult relationships in the context of attachment theory. And finally, the author discusses the fear of abandonment and obsessive love in adult relationships, which are also disorders.

Pros

  • The book is easy to understand.
  • Focuses more on attachment disorders and healing them.
  • Applicable to all kind of relationships.

Cons

  • Too simplistic.
  • It has grammatical errors and lacks depth.

-> Check this book on Amazon

8. Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

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Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
  • New Harbinger Publications
  • Tatkin PsyD MFT, Stan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages – 01/02/2012 (Publication Date) – New Harbinger Publications (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

It’s common for couples in a long-term relationship to have disagreements.

Initially, any couple is madly in love, but as the relationship gets older, the charm of love wears off. 

This happens with all people who enter relationships.

Fortunately, this can be fixed by understanding our partners.

The book says that there are 3 attachment styles: anchor, island, and wave.

Every attachment style has its pros and cons. No style is perfect.

That’s why it requires empathy to understand our partners.

This book will help you avoid any potential or existing conflicts with your partner by understanding human emotions.

If you are someone looking forward to build long-term successful relationship, you might enjoy reading this.

Pros

  • Suitable for romantic couples who regularly face conflicts in their day-to-day lives.
  • The author is an optimist, and believes that conflicts can resolve by understanding human brain and attachment style, although we see in real world that when two parties aren’t ready to listen, no conclusion is reached.

Cons

  • Not suitable for toxic relationships that aren’t supposed to exist.
  • People who have had it enough with their partner might not enjoy this book.

-> Check this book on Amazon

9. Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love

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Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love
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Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love
  • Hardcover Book
  • Baum, Jessica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 06/14/2022 (Publication Date) – TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

We all have a definition of love that we carry through our entire lives.

These definitions are formed inside our subconscious minds.

The problem happens when the reality doesn’t confirm those beliefs.

Anxiously attached people often have old emotional wounds that usually form at a young age. Those wounds make them feel a sense of fear.

Guess what that fear is?

It’s the fear of abandonment.

Anxiously attached people worry that someday their partner will abandon them, and they’ll be left alone.

This book teaches you how to become more secure in your relationship and understand the meaning of true love.

Pros

  • Links attachment theory to spiritual knowledge.
  • Good examples and case-studies.
  • Helps you understand yourself and improve self-esteem.

Cons

  • Spiritual lessons might be hard to understand for some readers.

-> Check this book on Amazon


FAQs about Attachment Theory

Why do you read on Attachment Theory?

You read attachment theory to understand yourself and your partner better. We all have an attachment style depending on the experiences and relationships we have had in the childhood.

Is attachment theory still valid?

Yes, attachment theory is still valid, as it’s based on the idea that the initial imprints on our subconscious mind effect how we think and act in the adulthood. Without your memories or experiences, you won’t have a personality.

How do you fix attachment issues?

You fix your attachment issues by understanding yours and your partner’s mind.

What is the most common attachment style?

Secure attachment style is the most common style among adults.

Can Attachment Trauma be healed?

Yes, it can be healed, but it depends on the individual and can be complicated.

Which Is The Best Book On Attachment Theory?

Attached: The New Science Of Adult Attachment is the best book if you want to read only one on this topic.


Conclusion

There you have it.

These are some highly recommended books on attachment theory.
By understanding the principles of human nature and emotions, you can understand yourself and your partner better.

I really hope these books would help you build strong relationships and live a good life filled with love and warmth.

If you require any further assistance, or you think I missed any good book on attachment theory, leave a comment below.

Please don’t hesitate to share this article with those who might benefit from it.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through those links and make a purchase, I may earn a little something at no extra cost to you. Please read the disclaimer for more info.

Shami Manohar


The Brain Behind This Website

I'm Shami Manohar, the Founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more. My mission is to educate and empower every individual through proper knowledge that works in real life.

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