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Why Can't I Let You Go?

Break Free from Trauma Bonds, End Toxic Relationships, and Develop Healthy Attachments

Kelly Skeen Dr. Michelle Skeen, PsyD



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New Harbinger Publications
02 January 2024
If you experienced physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a child, you may struggle with unhealthy

relationships as an adult. Hurtful attachments with our caregivers in early childhood can lay the foundation for toxic

relationships. Those experiences can even affect the way we handle conflict, our feelings toward sex, and our

expectations of our partners. But this doesn't mean you can't change. This book will help you gain a greater awareness of

the trauma bonds that prevent you from getting the love, safety, and security you desire.

In Why Can't I Let You Go, relationship expert Michelle Skeen will help you identify your attachment style, core beliefs,

and the harmful behaviour patterns that are keeping you stuck in toxic relationships. You'll learn proven-effective skills to

help you interrupt these unhelpful patterns and attachments in new and old relationships. You'll also discover what you

really value in relationships and go on to develop healthy, secure, and lasting love.

Understanding yourself and your deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs is the first step toward liberating yourself

from trauma bonds. Change isn't easy, but in time you'll realize that it's easier and less painful than the heartache and

self-doubt you've been enduring for years. With this compassionate guide, you'll find the support and guidance needed to

create the loving relationships you truly want.
By:   , ,
Imprint:   New Harbinger Publications
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 228mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 14mm
Weight:   240g
ISBN:   9781648481871
ISBN 10:   1648481876
Pages:   176
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Michelle Skeen, PsyD, has a doctorate in clinical psychology. She is the author of Love Me Don't Leave Me: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships and six other books. Her passion is coaching individuals in creating and maintaining healthy relationships by bringing awareness to core beliefs and the related patterns of behaviour, which often work unconsciously to limit connections with others. Michelle believes that an early introduction and education in core values and healthy communication are essential life skills for success. To that end, Michelle and her daughter, Kelly, co-authored Just As You Are and Communication Skills for Teens. Skeen completed her postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. She co-developed an empirically validated protocol for the treatment of interpersonal problems that resulted in two books: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Interpersonal Problems and The Interpersonal Problems Workbook. Michelle's work has appeared in more than thirty publications around the world. To find out more, visit her website at Kelly Skeen is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with a degree in American Studies, Education, and Spanish. She is an art museum professional, developing meaningful, accessible, and relevant gallery experiences for diverse audiences. She is coauthor of Just As You Are and Communication Skills for Teens with her mother, Michelle Skeen. Skeen strives every day for greater self-acceptance and to embrace who she really is! To learn more, visit her website at

Reviews for Why Can't I Let You Go?: Break Free from Trauma Bonds, End Toxic Relationships, and Develop Healthy Attachments

"""Why Can't I Let You Go? is a compassionately crafted, thought-provoking, and transformative self-help book that assists readers in breaking free from their RTB. The authors use an evidence-informed approach to increase self-awareness and promote a deeper understanding of unhealthy relationship patterns. Readers will benefit by exploring the 'why' behind their relationship behaviors. Most importantly, readers will learn the necessary tools to build healthy relationships to empower change and liberate them from their past."" --Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, PhD, clinician, educator, speaker, and author of The Anger Workbook for Teens--Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, PhD ""Why Can't I Let You Go? is a go-to guide for people who want to end their toxic relationships and finally enjoy healthy connections. It provides clear explanations and effective exercises to help readers develop self-awareness related to replaying unhealthy childhood relationships. It also guides readers in developing the self-compassion needed for healing, and teaches them tools for building healthy attachments."" --Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, author of Insecure in Love and Bouncing Back from Rejection--Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD ""Why Can't I Let You Go? is an excellent resource for anyone who wonders why they stay trapped in the same old unsatisfying relationships. Michelle and Kelly Skeen are an outstanding duo."" --Shawn T. Smith, author of The User's Guide to the Human Mind--Shawn T. Smith ""Breaking free from unhealthy relationships can create confusion and fear. Michelle and Kelly, an insightful mother-daughter duo, offer us a master class in how to understand our emotions and develop a deep respect for ourselves. They offer us practical skills to help solve real-world relationship problems. Why Can't I Let You Go? is a compassionate and essential guide for anyone looking for wisdom, encouragement, and support to make powerful life changes."" --Rebecca E. Williams, PhD, psychologist, wellness expert, and author of Simple Ways to Unwind without Alcohol--Rebecca E. Williams, PhD ""In this masterful guide for anyone suffering through destructive relationship patterns, Michelle and Kelly Skeen make the reader feel supported, validated, and not alone. You'll be guided through the process of identifying your attachment style, temperament, and core beliefs--and you'll learn how to distinguish 'intensity' from 'intimacy.' In the end, you'll come away with a better understanding of yourself, the types of partners you're attracted to, and how to change."" --Jonice Webb, PhD, internationally best-selling author of Running on Emptyand Running on Empty No More--Jonice Webb, PhD ""Michelle Skeen and Kelly Skeen have written a much-needed book. Their incorporation of attachment theory and core beliefs into the toxic relationship framework is essential reading."" --Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, PhD, psychotherapist, and author of Gaslighting and Healing from Toxic Relationships--Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, PhD ""The relationship trauma bond (RTB)--formed from traumatic and insecure attachments to childhood caregivers--drives us to seek and cling to romantic partners who treat us the same way; who serially abandon and hurt us, but also make us feel safe because they are familiar and help us reenact the original trauma bond. The trauma bond is a trap, and Why Can't I Let You Go? is the key to escape. This wise and deeply understanding book can liberate you from negative, trauma-based beliefs that make you expect hurt and abandonment, and then attach to the very people whose MO is to hurt, criticize, and reject. Readers will learn how to recognize these people, let go of the addictive and damaging 'chemistry' inherent in the trauma bond, and use the book's powerful, evidence-based tools from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to find true love."" --Matthew McKay, PhD, coauthor of ACT for Interpersonal Problems, Couple Skills, and Self-Esteem--Matthew McKay, PhD ""The Skeens have done a remarkable job of intertwining and integrating the most crucial concepts that affect intimate relationships. By incorporating interesting and deeply human personal stories into the presentation, they create a perfect marriage between theory and implementation. Readers will be able to internalize and personalize interrelationship skills that will ensure more successful relationships in their futures, no matter how they may have failed in the past."" --Randi Gunther, PhD, clinical psychologist in Southern California; author of Relationship Saboteurs and Heroic Love; and author of more than 250 articles on Psychology Today--Randi Gunther, PhD ""This is an important book to figure out core beliefs, attachment style, and why intimacy can be triggering. The authors show readers how to set boundaries and stay true to their own values, giving clear direction and advice for moving forward, freeing themselves from trauma-bonded relationships. Everyone in our society today who has been touched by trauma should read this book."" --Tammy Nelson, PhD, sex and relationship therapist; TEDx speaker; host of the podcast, The Trouble with Sex; and author of six books, including Open Monogamy--Tammy Nelson, PhD ""Toxic relationships can change the trajectory of a person's life. Why Can't I Let You Go? addresses destructive attachments without insulting or labeling the person who makes unworthy choices as 'damaged.' Each chapter gives the reader insight, direction, and support. This is an important book for anyone who dates or lives with manipulative or malevolent partners, or has someone they care about who continually enters toxic relationships."" --Pepper Schwartz, PhD, emeritus professor at the University of Washington, and on-air relationship expert for Married at First Sight --Pepper Schwartz, PhD"

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