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Holding Time Paperback – October 15, 1989

3.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671688782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671688783
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This method, when used appropriately, may be useful for some children who do not have "severe" attachment issues. Children with secure attachments who have normal "acting out" behaviors will probably not be adversely effected by forced holds, and may show some signs of benefits (though I question whether those same benefits would not be achieved by minimized physical contact while coaching a child in expressing their emotions through words). I strongly advocate against this method for children with anxious or avoidant attachment patterns--as do most other therapuetic professionals I work with (I, personally, am not a professional--but an adult who has worked through the challenges of anxious/avoidant attachment styles).

From my experiences and the numerous reports of others in similar circumstances, I have come to believe that forced holdings may appear to have short term benefits. After all, children with insecure attachment patterns are primed for survival, and if you must submit to forced holdings in order to survive you will quickly learn to do so. However, in the long run, forced holding has adverse effects on attachment and responsiveness to physical contact. Personally, after entering therapy of my own accord in college it took two years before I was able to willingly allow someone to hug me (though I still would submit to hugs in situations where it was "culturally appropriate"). Forced holding did nothing for my attachment patterns--though initially there may have been a decrease in negative externalized behaviors (followed by an increase in internalized behaviors such as self-injury and suicidal ideation).
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Format: Paperback
Occasionally I have heard or read comments about Holding Time that include false information, and would like to correct some of them and encourage everyone to read the book. It was *not* designed for autistic adults. I know this, because my family has worked with Dr. Welch in her offices in New York City and she told us how it developed, as she also does in the book itself. Holding Time was developed by Dr. Welch for autistic children, and has since been shown to be remarkably successful in helping all children, including those described as "normal". I believe anyone who finds Holding Time to be abusive either has not read the book, or is simply not applying the technique correctly. In this case, they should contact a therapist who is specially trained in attachment issues. Having worked with Dr. Welch and seen the truly remarkable results she's brought about with our two girls, I find myself telling all my friends about the technique and encouraging them to try it with their own children. So many of the problems associated with child rearing can be eliminated with Holding Time. Whereas "Time Out's" teach children that their emotions are not acceptable and that they must get out of the parent's sight, Holding teaches that *no* emotions, including anger, are unacceptable and that anger does not negate love. Through Holding, you can experience a degree of joy and love you would not have thought possible. I honestly believe that many of the problem kids in our society who are now problem adults would not be committing crimes or hurting anyone if they had been "held" as children.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
If you have ever considered using Holding Time, I recommend you read this book first. When our social worker suggested we use the technique with our daughter, I didn't understand how holding her while she tried to hurt me and get away from me would work. I thought, "How is making her even more mad going to help things get better?" As counterintuitive as it sounds, it worked and is working beautifully for us. It is helping our daughter securely attach with us and become a more relaxed and content toddler. Reading the entire book and understanding Welch's theory helped me be more confident about the technique and, in turn, use it more effectively. Be sure and read the Q & A section at the end of the book - it counters many myths and misperceptions about Holding Time.

There are a few reasons I give it four stars instead of five. Firstly, I disagree with Welch's model of gender roles and think that she puts undue burden on the mother to foster and maintain attachment. Secondly, the book lacks citations that would be helpful for parents wanting to read further and dig a little deeper. Welch mentions numerous studies, but nowhere does she give references for them. Thirdly, at times she portrays Holding Time as a "silver bullet" that will solve any parenting challenge you face. Holding Time is a powerful and effective technique, but it must be used with other mindful parenting skills that foster open communication and acceptance.

After reading this book, the Holding Time technique makes so much sense, and now that I've seen the positive results with my own daughter, I'm a believer.
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