An expert clinician brings attachment theory into the realm of parenting skills. Attachment security and affect regulation have long been buzzwords in therapy circles, but many of these ideas—so integral to successful therapeutic work with kids and adolescents— have yet to be effectively translated to parenting practice itself. Moreover, as neuroscience reveals how the human brain is designed to work in good relationships, and how such relationships are central to healthy human development, the practical implications for the parent-child attachment relationship become even more apparent. Here, a leading attachment specialist with over 30 years of clinical experience brings the rich and comprehensive field of attachment theory and research from inside the therapy room to the outside, equipping therapists and caregivers with practical parenting skills and techniques rooted in proven therapeutic principles. A guide for all parents and a resource for all mental health clinicians and parent-educators who are searching for ways to effectively love, discipline, and communicate with children, this book presents the techniques and practices that are fundamental to optimal child development and family functioning—how to set limits, provide guidance, and manage the responsibilities and difficulties of daily life, while at the same time communicating safety, fun, joy, and love. Filled with valuable clinical vignettes and sample dialogues, Hughes shows how attachment-focused research can guide all those who care for children in their efforts to better raise them.
From the founder of DDP, this updated and comprehensive guide is the authoritative text on DDP. DDP is an attachment-focused treatment for children and adolescents who experience abuse and neglect and who are now living in stable foster and adoptive families. Its central interventions are influenced by enhanced knowledge about the structure and functions of the brain, as well as the latest findings regarding developmental trauma and the related attachment problems it brings.
Over fifty years ago, John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth’s research on the developmental psychology of children formed the basic tenets of attachment theory. And for years, following these tenets, the theory’s focus has been on how children develop vis-a-vis the attachments—whether secure or insecure—they form with their caregivers. In the therapy room, this has meant working with individuals one-on-one, with the therapist assuming the role of the attachment figure in order to provide a secure base for treating clients’ problems that arose from troubled interpersonal relationships in childhood. Here, Daniel A. Hughes, an eminent clinician and attachment specialist, is the first to expand this traditional model, applying attachment theory to a family therapy setting. Drawing on more than 20 years of clinical experience, Hughes presents his comprehensive, effective, and accessible treatment model for working with all members of a family—not simply the individual in question—to recognize, resolve, and heal personal and family problems using principles from theories of attachment and intersubjectivity. Beginning with an overview of attachment and intersubjectivity—the twin theories from which he forms his treatment plan—Hughes carefully outlines, chapter by chapter, the core principles and strategies of his family-based approach. He elaborates on the need to develop and maintain PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy)—the central therapeutic stance of attachment-focused family therapy—and supplies tips and sample dialogues for implementing this position. The importance of fostering affective/reflective (a/r) dialogue is covered in detail, as well as helping families to manage shame, understand and embrace the break-and-repair cycle of their interactions, and explore and resolve childhood trauma. Also discussed are the more procedural issues of how to incorporate parents into therapeutic conversations, when and how to question them on their own attachment histories, and how to “be” with children. Grounded in the fundamental principle of parents facilitating the healthy emotional development of their children, Attachment-Focused Family Therapy is the first book of its kind to offer therapists a complete manual for using attachment therapy with families. Extensive case studies, vignettes, and sample dialogues throughout clearly demonstrate how Hughes’s model plays out in the therapy room. By showing therapists how to create a bond of psychological safety and intersubjective discovery with parents and caregivers, Hughes reveals how they, in turn, can bring about similar experiences of safety and discovery for their children.
Children who have experienced trauma, loss or separation early in life need more than just special care and attention; they need to be parented with love and security in a way that allows them to heal and rebuild emotional bonds. This comprehensive book provides parents and carers with crucial advice and guidance on how to strengthen attachment and trust. Based on Dan Hughes' proven 'PACE' model of therapeutic parenting, this book explains how to implement PACE techniques to overcome the challenges faced by children who struggle to connect emotionally. Barriers to stable relationships such as a lack of trust, fear of emotional intimacy, and high levels of shame are all explained. It explores techniques to overcome these barriers by teaching how to support the child's behaviour at the same time as building empathy and trust. The practical parenting guidance offered throughout is essential for carers or parents of troubled children, and will help build safe, secure emotional relationships.
Uniting attachment-focused therapy and neurobiology to help distrustful and traumatized children revive a sense of trust and connection. How can therapists and caregivers help maltreated children recover what they were born with: the potential to experience the safety, comfort, and joy of having trustworthy, loving adults in their lives? This groundbreaking book explores, for the first time, how the attachment-focused family therapy model can respond to this question at a neural level. It is a rich, accessible investigation of the brain science of early childhood and developmental trauma. Each chapter offers clinicians new insights—and powerful new methods—to help neglected and insecurely attached children regain a sense of safety and security with caring adults. Throughout, vibrant clinical vignettes drawn from the authors' own experience illustrate how informed clinical processes can promote positive change. Authors Baylin and Hughes have collaborated for many years on the treatment of maltreated children and their caregivers. Both experienced psychologists, their shared project has bee the development of the science-based model of attachment-focused therapy in this book—a model that links clinical interventions to the crucial underlying processes of trust, mistrust, and trust building—helping children learn to trust caregivers and caregivers to be the "trust builders" these children need. The book begins by explaining the neurobiology of blocked trust, using the latest social neuroscience to show how the child's early development gets channeled into a core strategy of defensive living. Subsequent chapters address, among other valuable subjects, how new research on behavioral epigenetics has shown ways that highly stressful early life experiences affect brain development through patterns of gene expression, adapting the child's brain for mistrust rather than trust, and what it means for treatment approaches. Finally, readers will learn what goes on in the child's brain during attachment-focused therapy, honing in on the dyadic processes of adult-child interaction that seem to embody the core "mechanisms of change": elements of attachment-focused interventions that target the child's defensive brain, calm this system, and reopen the child's potential to learn from new experiences with caring adults, and that it is safe to depend upon them. If trust is to develop and care is to be restored, clinicians need to know what prevents the development of trust in the first place, particularly when a child is living in an environment of good care for a long period of time. What do abuse and neglect do to the development of children's brains that makes it so difficult for them to trust adults who are so different from those who hurt them? This book presents a brain-based understanding that professionals can apply to answering these questions and encouraging the development of healthy trust.
An attachment specialist and a clinical psychologist with neurobiology expertise team up to explore the brain science behind parenting. In this groundbreaking exploration of the brain mechanisms behind healthy caregiving, attachment specialist Daniel A. Hughes and veteran clinical psychologist Jonathan Baylin guide readers through the intricate web of neuronal processes, hormones, and chemicals that drive—and sometimes thwart—our caregiving impulses, uncovering the mysteries of the parental brain. The biggest challenge to parents, Hughes and Baylin explain, is learning how to regulate emotions that arise—feeling them deeply and honestly while staying grounded and aware enough to preserve the parent–child relationship. Stress, which can lead to “blocked” or dysfunctional care, can impede our brain’s inherent caregiving processes and negatively impact our ability to do this. While the parent–child relationship can generate deep empathy and the intense motivation to care for our children, it can also trigger self-defensive feelings rooted in our early attachment relationships, and give rise to “unparental” impulses. Learning to be a “good parent” is contingent upon learning how to manage this stress, understand its brain-based cues, and respond in a way that will set the brain back on track. To this end, Hughes and Baylin define five major “systems” of caregiving as they’re linked to the brain, explaining how they operate when parenting is strong and what happens when good parenting is compromised or “blocked.” With this awareness, we learn how to approach kids with renewed playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy, re-regulate our caregiving systems, foster deeper social engagement, and facilitate our children’s development. Infused with clinical insight, illuminating case examples, and helpful illustrations, Brain-Based Parenting brings the science of caregiving to light for the first time. Far from just managing our children’s behavior, we can develop our “parenting brains,” and with a better understanding of the neurobiological roots of our feelings and our own attachment histories, we can transform a fraught parent-child relationship into an open, regulated, and loving one.
A Tool for Identifying and Supporting Emotional and Social Difficulties
Author: Ann Frost
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
For preschool children with emotional difficulties arising from difficulties in attachment, standard observations used in early years settings are not always helpful in identifying their problems and providing guidance on how they can be helped. Combining an accessible introduction to attachment and child development with a child observation tool for identifying behaviour, and the emotional needs underlying this behaviour, this book enables early years professionals to identify problems and provide appropriate support. 'Case study' boxes help to illustrate typical patterns of attachment, and all aspects of behaviour are covered including play, interaction with peers, neediness, and aggression. A range of handouts and activities is included, and guidance provided on how to work within professional boundaries. Written in clear, concise language, Observing Children with Attachment Difficulties in Preschool aims to equip the reader with the knowledge and skills needed to identify and support children's emotional and social difficulties. Suitable for use with children aged 2 – 5, this guide will be an invaluable resource for early years professionals, as well as for use by clinicians, teachers and learning support staff.
Daniel A. Hughes, a leading practitioner in his field, specializes in an attachment-oriented approach to family therapy. Applying his model to children and families with a range of psychological problems, this book distills just the clinical strategies, offering practitioners a host of practical exercises and interventions on the core skills of his treatment program. An accompanying DVD demonstrates Hughes putting these strategies to work in a therapy session, revealing the undeniable power of attachment-focused family therapy to create a safe psychological space for families to repair attachment breaks and build the foundation for a healthier future.
Integrating Developmental Theory into Clinical Practice
Author: Robbie Adler-Tapia, PhD
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
All too often children are diagnosed and medicated without the consideration that their symptoms may actually be a healthy response to stressful life events. This integrative guide for mental health practitioners who work with children underscores the importance of considering the etiology of a child's symptoms within a developmental framework before making a diagnosis. Providing advanced training and skills for working with children, the book guides the therapist, step-by-step, through assessment, case conceptualization, and treatment with a focus on the tenets of child development and a consideration of the impact of distressing life events. The book first addresses child development and the evolution of child psychotherapy from the perspectives of numerous disciplines, including recent findings in neurodevelopmental trauma and neurobiology. It discusses assessment measures, the impact of divorce and the forensic/legal environment on clinical practice, recommendations for HIPAA compliance, evidence-based best practices for treating children, and the requirements for an integrated treatment approach. Woven throughout are indications for case conceptualization including consideration of a child's complete environment. Key Features: Provides an integrative approach to child psychotherapy from the perspective of healthy development Offers an alternative to the medical model Discusses key theories of child development and psychotherapy Integrates a multimodal approach that considers a child's daily environment Includes a template for organizing and implementing a successful practice Features an instructorís manual and course syllabus
Understanding Attachment and How to Nurture a Closer Relationship with Your Child
Author: Helen Rodwell
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Category: Family & Relationships
Theraplay® is an attachment-focused model of parenting that helps parents to understand and relate to their child. Based on a sequence of play activities that are rooted in neuroscience, Theraplay offers a fun and easy way for parents and children to connect. Theraplay is particularly effective with looked after and adopted children. By providing an overview of Theraplay and the psychological principles that it is based on, parents and carers will gain an understanding of the basic theory of the model along with practical ideas for applying Theraplay to everyday family life. Through everyday case studies and easy language, parents will gain confidence and learn new skills for emotional bonding, empathy, and acceptance in the relationship with their child.