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Reactive Attachment Disorder: Resources: Books for Parents & Professionals



The Whole Parent: How to Become a Terrific Parent Even If You Didn't Have One, by Debra Wesselmann
An important look at how parents can break free from their past unhealthy parent-child relationships and provide a healthy psychological foundation for their children. 368 pages.



Child Maltreatment : Theory and Research on the Causes and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect, by Dante Cicchetti (Editor), Vicki K. Carlson (Editor).
Such definitional issues as what constitutes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and how these conceptualizations have changed over the years, are addressed. Specific chapters examine the effect of maltreatment on cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development in children. Special attention is directed to the psychology of abusive parents. 816 pages.



Attachment and Family Systems : Conceptual,Empirical and Therapeutic Relatedness, by Phyllis Erdman (Editor), Tom Caffery (Editor).
Attachment and Family Systems attempts to conceptually link attachment theory and family systems. The authors of the chapters have written extensively in the fields of family therapy and attachment theory. In their previous writings they have presented both conceptually and empirically based research to support the complementary nature of these two theories. This book combines the clinical and conceptual work of these authors into a single volume. The authors apply attachment theory within a systemic framework to a variety of life cycle transistional tasks and clinical issues, including: the assessment of family functioning and family emotional support, measures of affective expression, the manifestation of attachment organization in love and work relationships and systemic approaches to attachment-related trauma. The authors also deal with issues of family violence and differentiation struggles in adolescence. 273 pages.



Children in a Violent Society (Paperback), by Joy D. Osofsky (Editor).
Children are bombarded with images of violence through television, movies and games. Growing numbers of them are also confronted with real-life violence in their own homes and communities as witnesses and victims. Children In A Violent Society surveys the issues of inner-city violence and proposals to help at-risk children, the increase in firearm use and the need for better gun-protection laws, the negative influences of the media, exposure to violence in infancy, neurodevelopmental effects of children's exposure to violence, and the early parent-child attachment relationship and its impact on future violent behaviors. Children In A Violent Society also examines exemplary prevention and intervention programs currently in place in major cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Recognizing the complexity of violence prevention, each the complexity of violence prevention, each takes a systems approach, providing services for children and families as well as involving police, schools, courts, community centers, and health care settings. A final chapter proposes policy changes to educate the public and develop better efforts to protect young people nationwide. Children In A Violent Society is "must" reading for anyone with an interest in, or responsibility for, children vulnerable to the violence that permeates our contemporary American culture. 338 pages.



Parenting with Stories: Creating a Foundation of Attachment for Parenting Your Child, by Melissa Nichols, Denise Lacher, and Joanne May.
This book presents a gentle, nurturing technique based on narrative therapy to help encourage a secure parent-child attachment relationship. Presented in a step by step workbook format, parents and professionals will find this technique easy to learn and helpful for healing trauma, building character, helping self esteem, relieving anxiety, and a variety of other problems. Based on Family Attachment Narrative Therapy, which was developed to work with children traumatized prior to age 2, Parenting with Stories is a valuable book for all parents and professionals. 40 pages.



LifeBooks : Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, by Beth O'Malley.
A book in which to assemble a collection of words, photos, graphics, artwork, and memorabilia that creates a life record for the adopted child. It promotes a positive self-identity, and makes it easier for the adopted child to talk about adoption. Promotes attachment. 96 pages.



Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love, by Robert Karen Ph.D.
The struggle to understand the infant-parent bond ranks as one of the great quests of modern psychology, one that touches us deeply because it holds so many clues to how we become who we are. How are our personalities formed? How do our early struggles with our parents reappear in the way we relate to others as adults? Why do we repeat with our own children--seemingly against our will--the very behaviors we most disliked about our parents? In Becoming Attached, psychologist and noted journalist Robert Karen offers fresh insight into some of the most fundamental and fascinating questions of emotional life. Karen begins by tracing the history of attachment theory through the controversial work of John Bowlby, a British psychoanalyst, and Mary Ainsworth, an American developmental psychologist, who together launched a revolution in child psychology. Karen tells about their personal and professional struggles, their groundbreaking discoveries, and the recent flowering of attachment theory research in universities all over the world, making it one of the century's most enduring ideas in developmental psychology. In a world of working parents and makeshift day care, the need to assess the impact of parenting styles and the bond between child and caregiver is more urgent than ever. Karen addresses such issues as: What do children need to feel that the world is a positive place and that they have value? Is day care harmful for children under one year? What experiences in infancy will enable a person to develop healthy relationships as an adult?, and he demonstrates how different approaches to mothering are associated with specific infant behaviors, such as clinginess, avoidance, or secure exploration. He shows how these patterns become ingrained and how they reveal themselves at age two, in the preschool years, in middle childhood, and in adulthood. And, with thought-provoking insights, he gives us a new understanding of how negative patterns and insecure attachment can be changed and resolved throughout a person's life. The infant is in many ways a great mystery to us. Every one of us has been one; many of us have lived with or raised them. Becoming Attached is not just a voyage of discovery in child emotional development and its pertinence to adult life but a voyage of personal discovery as well, for it is impossible to read this book without reflecting on one's own life as a child, a parent, and an intimate partner in love or marriage. 498 pages.



The Forgiving Self : The Road from Resentment to Connection, by Robert Karen Ph.D.
This latest book by psychologist Karen (Becoming Attached) demonstrates just how well a Western psychoanalytic approach can illuminate the true complexity of an act and attitude that traditionally gets pitched into bins marked "spiritual" or "moral"--beyond the realm of the personality. "Forgiveness is an aspect of the workings of love," Karen writes. "It can be a bridge back from hatred and alienation as well as a liberation from two kinds of hell: bitterness and victimhood on one side; guilt, shame, and self-recrimination on the other." Using details from his clinical practice and popular culture, Karen depicts how this liberating reconnection with others and with the world can occur only as we learn to reconnect with ourselves. But the price of this reconnection, he advises, is the willingness to mourn. Mourning the losses and disappointments of childhood--and voluntarily losing all the unconscious beliefs we came up with to make sense of our pain--is the price we must pay to fully connect with ourselves. True forgiveness, Karen drums home, can only be the result of serious inner work: "The forgiving self is in possession of itself." Karen's notion of our possible liberation and happiness is modest compared to many of the spiritual guides to life hitting bestseller lists, for he never ventures beyond the gratification that can be won as we gradually expand our "zone of connection." Yet this book would make a salutary companion to those more sweeping, seemingly more profound books, showing readers the real effort required for this apparently simple act, revealing anew how far and deep that effort can take us. (Jan. 16)Forecast: As nearly everyone suffers from resentment, this book could reach many readers. However, it won't appeal to those looking for instant solutions, nor to those seeking a larger spiritual or ethical context for forgiveness, and it likely won't enjoy extraordinary sales in a market that leans heavily toward spiritually fortified psychotherapy. 304 pages.



Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft, by Mary Hopkins-Best.
When a child is adopted as a toddler, his needs and those of his adoptive family are different from the needs seen in infant or school-age adoptions. Yet few resources are available to deal with these special issues. In this work, Hopkins-Best, a child development expert and mother of a child adopted as a toddler, provides a guidebook for those considering toddler adoption or those already struggling with its special challenges. She discusses at length strategies for dealing with issues such as a grieving toddler or attachment disorder. She also explains normal toddler development and possible variances in the adopted toddler. The appendix provides a wonderful list of resources. Perhaps most valuable are the anecdotes of both successes and failures from other toddler adoptive families. An important addition to all adoption collections. 272 pages.

Note: When available, and when money is an object, please consider purchasing a used book rather than a new one. While I don't earn nearly as much of a commission on the sale of used books, the difference in cost to you is worth considering. With the money you've saved, go out and buy yourself something. -- ken


Last Modified on: Saturday, August 08, 2009



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