The Science and Clinical Practice of Attachment Theory A Guide From Infancy to Adulthood

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2023-01-10
Publisher(s): American Psychological Association
List Price: $63.99

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Bridging the gap between research and practice, this book reviews attachment processes across the lifespan and reviews its applications to infants, children, adolescents, and adults.

Beginning with foundational work by pioneers like John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, it explores the rich and varied history of attachment research. This volume examines how developmental science moved beyond parental influences in early childhood to study the role that other caregivers and attachment figures play across the lifespan, including foster parents, social peers, and romantic partners.
Key concepts such as internal working models and secure vs. insecure attachment behaviors are reviewed in detail, as are important assessment measures like the strange situation procedure and the adult attachment interview.
This foundational knowledge is translated into clinical implications, reviewing empirically based interventions like parent training techniques, attachment-based family therapy, and mentalization-based therapy. These are differentiated from so-called “attachment therapy” techniques that gained popularity despite being harmful and not based in attachment theory.
Special features highlight notable moments and controversies in attachment theory and present case studies that bring the clinical guidelines to life.

Author Biography

Brian Allen, PsyD, is director of Mental Health Services in the Center for the Protection of Children at the Penn State Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. He has authored numerous works on the clinical application of attachment theory, including “A RADical Idea” (2016), the most-read and most-cited article in the journal Evidence-based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Dr. Allen is an associate board member of the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies and a member of other academic societies.

Table of Contents

Introduction to a Lifespan Model of Attachment Theory
Part  I. Attachment Theory Research and Theory: From Past to Present
Chapter 1. The Historical Foundations of Contemporary Attachment Theory
Chapter 2. Attachment During Infancy and Early Childhood: Understanding Attachment Behavior
Chapter 3. Attachment During Childhood: Internal Working Models and Developmental Trajectories
Chapter 4. Attachment During Adolescence: Evolving Caregiver Relationships and the Role of Peers
Chapter 5. Attachment During Adulthood: Being a Parent and a Partner
Part II: Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory: From Infancy to Adulthood
Chapter 6. Clinical Practice With Infants: The Field of Infant Mental Health
Chapter 7: Clinical Practice With Childhood: At the Intersection of Clinical and Developmental Science
Chapter 8: Clinical Practice With Adolescents: Building Autonomy and Connectedness
Chapter 9: Clinical Practice With Adults: Applications to Individual and Couple Therapy
Part III. Questions and Controversies
Chapter 10: “Attachment Disorder,” “Attachment Therapy,” and the Redemption of a Clinical Theory
Chapter 11: Frequently Asked Questions
About the Author

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