Although clinicians have long held that the emotional problems of adult life stem from childhood, until recently there has been no agreement on which events of childhood are the crucial ones. That situation has changed dramatically. One source of greater understanding is the work of clinicians who have been studying the ill-effects of obviously adverse events such as bereavement or physical and sexual abuse. Another source is the great surge in studies of the socio-emotional development of infants and young children growing up in their families stimulated by John Bowlhy’s seminal work on attachment, separation and loss.
In this collection of lectures Dr Bowlby describes recent findings, and gives an outline of the main features of attachment theory, now widely recognised as a most productive conceptual frame-work within which to organise the evidence. In the final lecture he shows how this knowledge, when applied to analytically oriented psychotherapy, helps both to clarify the aims of therapy and to guide the therapist in his or her own work.
This collection will be welcomed by students as a lucid introduction to the field, by professionals who are still unfamiliar with recent developments, as well as by those eager to extend their existing knowledge.
The late John Bowlby was Child and Family Psychiatrist at The Tavistock Clinic and an internationally renowned writer in the area of child psychiatry.
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