Expanding the Ordinary to Extraordinary: A Review of Eileen Russell’s Book, Restoring Resilience

Transformance Talk based on TransformanceThe AEDP Journal, Volume 6 Issue 1 (published December 2015) by Eileen Russell, PhD

Book Review by Gil Tunnell, PhD

Access to this recording is available for AEDP Institute Members Only.


Listen and watch Eileen Russell and her editor / interviewer Gil Tunnell – both Sr. Faculty at AEDP – plus members of the AEDP community in this Transformance Talk to learn about Ms. Russell’s highly regarded book, Restoring Resilience.

From Tunnel’s review:

Eileen Russell’s new book Restoring ResilienceDiscovering your clients’ capacity for healing (New York: W. W. Norton., 2015) is a major contribution to the psychotherapy literature. It is the best professional book I have read in a long time.

Rich in new, jargon-free theory and filled with clinical vignettes that illustrate working with different forms of resilience … Russell is clear from the start that she is not talking about the everyday, ordinary notion of “resilience,” but rather a multi-faceted concept that manifests itself in different ways at each stage and state of the therapeutic process.

More than demonstrating what resilience looks like in its various facets, Russell describes numerous clinical interventions that can be used to nurture it. In my view, this is why the book is so important: The author goes beyond helping the reader identify resilience in all its forms, but provides explicit clinical interventions appropriate for cultivating each form. For example, in early treatment, she writes that it is insufficient simply for the clinician to note the patient’s resilience privately or even share their thoughts on the patient’s resilience with the patient. Instead, Russell invites therapists to get curious about resilience, become more adept in spotting it, get the patient curious about it, and, together with the patient, mine it and bring it into the light. …

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Meet the Presenter

Eileen M. Russell, PhD

Eileen M. Russell, PhD, has been trained and supervised intensively in AEDP since 1996 by Diana Fosha, PhD and Jenna Osiason, PhD. In addition, Dr. Russell is trained in EMDR and in Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing. Dr. Russell received her doctorate from Fordham University and received her clinical training from New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and New York University Medical/Bellevue Hospital Center. Until 2004, she was senior psychologist at NYU Medical/Bellevue Hospital, where she worked with people dually diagnosed with substance dependence and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Russell is currently a part-time Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center (Read More…)

Gil Tunnell, PhD

Gil Tunnell, PhD, completed a three-year core training in AEDP with Diana Fosha in 2007.  His special interest is applying individual AEDP to couple therapy.  In the late 1980s, he trained in Structural Family Therapy under Salvador Minuchin, M.D., and has written on the differences between Structural Therapy and AEDP (Tunnell, G. (2015). Facilitating transformance for couples: A comparison between Structural Family Therapy and AEDP. Transformance Journal, 6 (1)), and with families (Tunnell, G. (2006), “Postscript 10 years after: ‘The Oedipal Son’ revisited” in S. Minuchin et al, Mastering Family Therapy: Journeys of Growth and Transformation (Wiley).    Dr. Tunnell is co-author with David Greenan of Couple Therapy with Gay Men (Guilford, 2002), and has published widely on working with gay male couples (Tunnell, G. (2012). Gay male couple therapy: An attachment model. (Read More…)