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Paperback Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love Book

ISBN: 0195115015

ISBN13: 9780195115017

Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Totally Different Perspective

This review probably won't do this book justice. I'm analytical, Master's Degree in Statistics kind of guy, yea, stoic. Psychology. Yea that stuff is for quacks. In graduate school I worked with enough of them trying to squeeze any interpretation out of their "data". So I have one of those life altering experiences. I go to Iraq as a reservist, spend sixteen months away from my wife and job, come back to a wife that doesn't love me anymore and doesn't know if she can. PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, and Depression all in one. But other than the PTSD symptoms, all of the other things have constantly been in my life working mysteriously in the background. I go to a shrink as my marriage has fallen apart and I have no one to talk to and she brings up Attachment. I have never heard of it, so the scientist in me wants to learn anything and everything before our next meeting. I next day this book and begin reading "my life away" online and in the book. Or more apropriately "reading my life back." I'm fitting into this mold that is everything I don't want to be, but am and jealous of the mold that is everything that I am not, I'm being divorced by a woman that has been hardening my mold for the last 5 years. This book altered my perspective on so many things. I identified with so many others. It gave me a framework and definitions for defense mechanisims like (passive agressiveness and sublimation), a way to look at my childhood, and although the odds are against me being Ambivalently Attached and seeking Secure Attachment, I can now somewhat accurately "self-reflect" on my life experiences. I won't lie, reading the history was kind of drab (I read math books for a living that isn't much more exciting), but I can't say pick up this book and start with chapter 7 or something like that. The history gives you a working perspective, something like "at least that didn't happen to me" but then it starts to come into more practicable situations and you start to piece how you fit into the reading. Taking and owning what is yours and totally psychoanalyzing your friends and in my case the divorcing spouse. The chapter that "WOW"d me the most was Chapter 26 Repetition and Change: Working Through Insecure Attachment. After I was able to piece the picture together of my life and what extent of the symptoms and other things in my life that have related to the entire book thus far. This chapter has given me some hope. Some hope of finding out who I really am and exploring my sloshing bucket of memories for what decisions I have made and what decisions I am making by trying X+Y=Z over and over again instead of tring something like B/Q=A. This review still does not do this book justice, but I'll put it out there, but it is what it is. If you don't believe in psychobabble and are a hard "nut" to crack, read this book! I have looked down at psycholgists most of my life, like they settled on an "Easier" career because they weren't good enoug


This book explained so much! Growing up with foster parents and no consistent parenting has made life confusing. Its been interesting to read that any adult, even the adults with the same parents from birth also have attachment issues. This is the first book I have found that explains how someone's childhood dramatically affects our ability to attach to our own children. Every parent I know wants to give their children their best and this book shows me how anyone understand ALL the sides of attachment disorder. Most of the books I have found have only explained why a child is not able to attach. What a relief to understand the whole subject.

Required reading for anyone who works with children.

The struggle to understand the parent-child bond touches us deeply because we intuitively sense that our first relationships hold many clues to how we've become who we are (Karen, 1994). I chose to do a report on this book because of the keen interest I have in children, their development, well-being and emotional life. 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.

This is the best book about psychology that I have ever read

and I am a psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience. Karen does a remarkable job of integrating research findings with psychoanalytic theory and clinical stories (including some from his life). He also tells some interesting stories about the key figures in the evolution of this field of knowledge. I have recommended this book to my clients and my colleagues. If I were to write a book, this is the one I would like to write.

Excellent history and explanation of attachment theory

Extremely well-written book in that it is easily understood by the lay person, yet gracefully expresses complex ideas and processes, and is such a complete overview of attachment theory as to be of as much use to the professional as the lay person. 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.
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