Kantor focuses on a misunderstood but common condition that brings severe and pervasive anxiety about social contacts and relationships. He offers psychotherapists a specific method for helping avoidants overcome their fear of closeness and commitments, and offers a guide for avoidants themselves to use for developing lasting, intimate, anxiety-free relationships.
Fear of intimacy and commitment keeps avoidants from forming close, meaningful relationships. Types of avoidants can include confirmed bachelors, femme fatales, and people who form what appear to be solid relationships only to tire of them and leave with little warning, often devastating their partners/victims. Kantor takes us through the history of this disorder, and into clinical treatment rooms, to see and hear how avoidants think, feel, and recover. He offers psychotherapists a specific method for helping avoidants overcome their fear of closeness and commitments, and offers a guide for avoidants themselves to use for developing lasting, intimate, anxiety-free relationships.
The avoidance reduction techniques presented in this book recognize that avoidants not only fear criticism and humiliation, but also fear being flooded by their feelings and being depleted if they express them. Acceptance is feared as much as rejection, because avoidants fear compromising their identity and losing personal freedom. Kantor describes the different therapeutic emphasis required for the four types of avoidants, including those who are withdrawn due to shyness and social phobia, such as people who intensely fear public speaking; those who relate easily, widely, and well, but cannot sustain relationships due to fear of closeness; those whose restlessness causes them to leave steady relationships, often without warning; and those who grow dependent onand merge witha single lover or family member and avoid relating to anyone else.
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About the Author
MARTIN KANTOR is a psychiatrist in private practice in Boston and New York City. Dr. Kantor has served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical School and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Kantor has been active with residency training programs at hospitals including Massachusetts General and Beth Israel in New York. He is the author of 11 other books, including Passive Aggression (Praeger, 2002) and Homophobia (Praeger, 1998).
Table of Contents
Why Has Avoidant Personality Disorder Received So Little Attention?
The Mental Status Profile
Types of Avoidants
Comorbid Disorders: Comorbidity with Schizotypal, Schizoid and Affective Disorder
Comorbid Disorders: Comorbidity with "Neurotic" Spectrum Disorders
Comorbid Disorders: Comorbidity with Other Personality Disorders
Cause: An Overview
An Overview of Avoidance Reduction
Psychodynamically Oriented Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Therapeutic Modifications for Treating Avoidants
Treating Depressed Avoidants
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have been an avid fan of the work of Dr. Martin Kantor for quite some time now. This book, Distancing:Avoidant Personality Disorder is one of my favorites of all time, because it not only deals with the obvious factors surrounding the avoidant personality, but it also digs deeper into the more subtle, oft neglected aspects of this malady such as the formation of unstable relationships that are not necessarily due to shyness or fear of social situations, but rather may be simply byproducts of a fear of intimacy and commitment. Dr. Kantor is brilliant in his conversational style . He offers substance for the practicing therapist; help and hope for the patient; and support for the victims of those who suffer from Avoidant Personality Disorder, and who are distressed because they believe they must be doing something wrong. This book should be read by everyone--by those in the mental health profession, by those who suffer from the disorder to varying degrees, and by the rest of us who most likely either know someone, or have had someone in our lives at one time or another who made us miserable by their inability to get close. An indispensable book!