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Brown, K. (2017). Love in the Age of the Internet: Attachment in the Digital Era (2015) edited by Linda Cundy, published by Karnac. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 11(1):80-81.

(2017). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 11(1):80-81

Love in the Age of the Internet: Attachment in the Digital Era (2015) edited by Linda Cundy, published by Karnac

Review by:
Kate Brown

This is a timely book, well researched, well presented, and very, very readable. It forms part of a growing interest by psychoanalysis in the impact of social networking and internet communication. It earns its place alongside these authors on any well-read psychotherapists bookshelf. This is possibly the first book on this important theme (that I am aware of at least) that is specifically from an attachment perspective, and is as such a forerunner of a growing body of interest and research in the emotional impact of digital communication. It would be very odd if attachment theory had nothing to contribute to this discussion, and Linda Cundy and her colleagues make the contribution in an extremely accessible way. It is a modern classic, which not only should be read by anyone with an interest in mental health—but also those with an interest in digital communication and its impact—either through professional interest, or personal experience, or both. Linda Cundy and her colleagues John Beveridge, Anne Power, Jenny Riddell, Niki Reeves, Tony Hanford, and Lindsay Hamilton deserve congratulations on the creation of this remarkable book.

Brett Kahr in his comments at the back of the book formulates the questions the book attempts to address in the following terms

Does the internet damage our capacity to be intimate, or does it allow us to forge richer and broader attachments? Should therapists encourage the use of the telephone and Skype, or might such technologies destroy our ability to develop rich clinical encounters? Does a clinician ever have the right to Google a patient, or does this represent a contamination of the psychotherapeutic situation? And above all, can love really flourish in the age of the internet, or have our friendships become reduced to quick texts and e-mail exchanges?

It may be useful in the process of reviewing the book to address how Cundy and her colleagues have answered these questions.


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