In this psychotherapy bestseller, Dr. Robert T Muller explores how psychotherapists can effectively engage traumatized clients who avoid attachment, closeness, & painful feelings. Voted 2011 Best Written Work on Truama by the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing

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— Jeremy Holmes (M.D., Professor of Psychological Therapies at the University of Exeter in the UK and author of Exploring in Security)

“In this sensitive yet intellectually robust volume Muller shows, in the face of loss and trauma, how self-defeating and health-endangering avoidant strategies can be… A major, highly accessible contribution to the attachment literature and required reading for all mental health clinicians.”

— Clare Pain (M.D., M.Sc., FRCPC, Director of the Psychological Trauma Program at Mount Sinai Hospital)

“I very much enjoyed reading this book, and it is rare to find one so practical, focused, and well-researched. Avoidance is a common and notoriously difficult to treat sequelae of trauma, but taking on the challenge, Muller helps readers recognize and use the therapeutic relationship as the key to reaching these clients effectively. Constructed thoughtfully and insightfully around relevant research, his use of case examples, dialogue of key therapy moments, and point summaries all make it an eminently accessible and practical book.”

— Leslie S. Greenberg (Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor at York University)

“Clinically perceptive, theoretically clear, and research-informed, this book is filled with clinical gems.”

Offering new insights into the dynamic between patient and therapist, Dr Robert T Muller’s second book explores how to navigate the therapeutic relationship with trauma survivors, to help bring recovery and growth. Voted 2019 Best Written Work on Truama by the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery and Growth

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— Kathy Steele (M.N., Past President, International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation)

“Every therapist interested in helping clients with developmental trauma should read this book. A jewel of clinical wisdom, it focuses not only on the content of trauma, but on the relational process of being with highly traumatized clients, and how to understand and work with the many avoidance strategies to dealing with trauma that we encounter in therapy. An approachable, culturally sensitive, and compassionate book, full of clinical vignettes, it illustrates the neglected but essential need to stay with the process: what a client feels when telling the story, how the client experiences telling the story to someone else, what happens in the therapeutic relationship when the client tells the story. A joy to read.”

— James Chu (M.D., Consultant in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School)

“Dr. Robert T. Muller has provided a gem of a book for clinicians working with persons who have experienced psychological trauma. It is beautifully written, drawing on the accumulated wisdom of experts in the trauma field, and richly illustrated with descriptions of his work with clients. Dr. Muller explores the complex relational dynamics of work with traumatized patients and charts a thoughtful course to their treatment. His wisdom clearly comes from deep understanding of how his clients have experienced their lives, and his skill in walking with them through the process of recovery.”

— Leslie S. Greenberg (Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor at York University)

“An incredibly useful book showing you how to understand and manage therapy with relational trauma. Grounded in attachment theory, trauma theory, and psychotherapy research, it demonstrates the importance of repair of relationship difficulties.”

Meet robert

Toronto-Based Trauma Psychotherapist

Clinical Psychologist and Trauma Therapist Dr. Robert T. Muller completed his training at Harvard in 1994, and is a registered psychologist. Toronto-based psychotherapist, and professor of clinical psychology at York University, he teaches trauma therapy and supervises psychotherapists.

He practices individual therapy and couples & family psychology, helping people improve their lives. Dr. Muller offers in-person and online therapy and counselling, for those with trauma histories and other mental health difficulties.

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Explore More Psychotherapy Resources

Psychotherapy Lessons & Seminars

Discussing trauma, therapy, and the challenges of avoidant attachment, Dr Robert T. Muller explores how counselling can bring resilience, and can help work through infidelities, losses, & other painful experiences.



Follow Dr. Robert T. Muller’s latest featured podcasts where he joins other psychotherapy experts and discusses issues of trauma and psychotherapy.



Keep up to date with current trauma and mental health news on Robert T. Muller’s YorkU psychology blog that focuses on issues of trauma and trauma therapy, PTSD treatment and more.


Helping people feel like themselves again

“Dr. Muller is an an expert on the topic of trauma due to his experience as a professor, workshop presenter, researcher, and author. He is also an extremely compassionate and empathetic psychologist. It is clear that he has spent years treating children, teens, and adults making him an amazing clinician who has given me tremendous insight into my challenges and how to resolve them. Dr. Muller has made a significant difference in my life, and I would highly recommend him.”

— S. K.

"Dr. Muller is an excellent psychologist with 30 years of experience. He is compassionate, empathic, and thoughtful when working with clients, colleagues, and students. His insights lead to a better understanding of the self and open the door to change. His expertise in the areas of trauma and attachment was developed through both his clinical work and research initiatives. His knowledge base and clinical skills create the trusting environment needed in therapy."

— j. C.

"Dr. Muller is a competent and empathic clinician. He demonstrates excellent skill and his expertise in trauma therapy is evident in both a treatment and supervision context."

— S. R.

"I strongly recommend Dr. Muller as a trauma therapist and trauma expert! He is an excellent psychologist who is very warm, kind, and genuine. He is incredibly knowledgeable and skilled, with over 30 years of experience providing therapy to those in need and training the next generation of psychologists."

— k. c.

"I've had the pleasure of working with Dr. Muller as a supervisee and he has been an immense support both personally and professionally. His guidance has proven invaluable and I would highly recommend him to any that hope to learn and improve their craft!"

— G. R.

"Dr. Muller is an incredibly compassionate, understanding, and knowledgeable expert on trauma recovery. I often recommend him to many people, because of his expertise on the treatment of trauma disorders. He is an amazing professor, mentor, and advocate for individuals struggling with PTSD."

— Y. L.

"I cannot recommend Dr. Muller strongly enough. If I could I'd give him even more stars! Not only is he an expert as a researcher and teacher, but he is a highly skilled therapist and supervisor who brings warmth, compassion and kindness into the consulting room."

— K. J.

"Robert Muller is a knowlegeable and skilled clinician. He is patient and warm. He can hold your experience whether you are a client or a supervisee, and can help you discover what it means to you."

— L. R.

Your Mental Health Is Important

Use the form at the link below, email, or call to get in touch for an initial consultation. Flexible hours. In-person or online sessions available.