- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (April 23, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195115015
- ISBN-13: 978-0195115017
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.4 x 5.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love Reprint Edition
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From Kirkus Reviews
The complex topic of attachment theory is opened up to parents, as well as other interested adults, by putting issues of child development, usually couched in antiseptic academic parlance, in lay terms. Ranging through historical developments in the field, Karen, formerly a psychotherapist in the pediatric unit of Bellevue Hospital, attempts to demystify ``mother love,'' or the bond babies have with their primary caregiver (Karen is also concerned with what happens to babies when that bond is disrupted). The author introduces and defends the English researcher John Bowlby, whose intuitions in the late 1930's about ``maternal attachment'' would be borne out not by his research but by that of Mary Ainsworth decades later. It may be historians and would-be child psychologists to whom this book matters most, for the delineation of who contributed what to the field, and when, puts both attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory into a context of early speculations, later advances, due championing, and (some) tarnishment. Amid occasionally florid prose, and with a tendency to characterize figures as either brilliant or great, Karen delves into what theorists have believed to be children's earliest feelings of rage and helplessness, love and security. Wittily titled chapters with effective cliffhanger endings will carry readers along on the tide of discovery and naysaying, furious debate, and placid acceptance of what these days is considered universally scandalous treatment of children (from abandonment of orphans to the analysis by her father of Anna Freud). Karen's work makes clear that, regardless of the path of scientific thought, there are newly minted, common-sense reasons for giving offspring all the love and respect we can. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Robert Karen has a rare capacity for presenting complex psychological ideas in language that is accessible to nonspecialists....Karen's book makes fascinating reading and constitutes a considerable achievement."--Contemporary Psychology
"Robert Karen...is one of our smartest and most accessible guides to the arcane world of psychoanalytic theory and research."--Elle
Top customer reviews
Attachment theory addresses child development in terms of whether or not there is a loving attachment to a parental figure. Through following the history of the development of attachment theory the author explains the theory, the evidence supporting it, and the effects upon the individual.
While supportive of attachment theory, Karen is careful to explain the views of its critics, and to show how those criticisms often improved the theory.
I am not a psychologist, but someone with Borderline Personality Disorder trying to make sense of my life in order to improve it. Karen's work helped me enormously. His scientific orientation to provide good theory grounded in reseach and evidence is fused with his warm humanity and concern for individuals and society.
Therefore I recommend the book to professional psychologists, teachers, makers of public policy, and others who deal with children. But also I recommend it highly to those on the quest for self-understanding.
Dr. Karen's book is a goldmine of insight, posing the age-old question ; How do we become who we are? Central to the answer is attachment theory, which, in the words of Dr. Karen, 'encompasses both the quality and strength of the parent-child bond, the ways in which it forms and develops, how it can be damaged and repaired, and the long-term impact of separations, losses, wounds, and deprivations. Beyond that, it is a theory of love and its central place in human life' ...
I feel that I came across this book serendipitously as Dr. Karen's work has further added to my knowledge base, and my understanding by confirming opinions I have developed by watching people interact with children. After reading this book you will find yourself noticing certain behaviors on display that may have previously escaped your gaze. I can't stress how much this book as helped me as a special ed. teacher, parent, and as a counseling practitioner-to-be.
I earnestly hope that I have the opportunity to share these insights with teachers, administrators, parents, and especially children as my career progresses.