The Science and Clinical Practice of Attachment Theory A Guide From Infancy to Adulthoodby Allen, Brian
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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.
Table of Contents
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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