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Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children: Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice

by David Oppenheim Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Hbk 256 pages
AU$142.00 NZ$146.96
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Attachment research has tremendous potential for helping clinicians understand what happens when parent–child bonds are disrupted, and what can be done to help. Yet there remains a large gap between theory and practice in this area. This book reviews state-of-the-art knowledge on attachment and translates it into practical guidelines for therapeutic work. Leading scientist-practitioners present innovative strategies for assessing and intervening in parent–child relationship problems; helping young children recover from maltreatment or trauma; and promoting healthy development in adoptive and foster families. Detailed case material in every chapter illustrates the applications of research-based concepts and tools in real-world clinical practice.

''The promise of the title is kept, fully and brilliantly. Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children
jumps right into the real world of clinical practice. The balance between practice and theory is rarely so well equilibrated. Each chapter reveals clinical reality in a different context, with a different population, and with a fresh theme. This book will be essential reading for therapists from all schools, for students, and for all interested in development.''—Daniel N. Stern, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

''This invaluable presentation of cutting-edge clinical applications, seamlessly integrated with the most recent research data, is a remarkable achievement. It is a highly convincing testament to the profound relevance of attachment theory for therapeutic work and prevention.''
—Peter Fonagy, PhD, Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University College London, UK

''This groundbreaking volume brings the ideal of a scientifically informed dynamic psychotherapy practice a step nearer. Cutting-edge clinician-researchers, backed by a sophisticated array of evidence on the assessment and therapy of children and their parents, show how the universal psychotherapeutic values of mentalization, boundedness, and building on strengths can enhance security and happiness. This moving work is essential reading for child psychotherapists and trainees, and I strongly recommend it for all therapists who are open to the continuing impact of attachment theory on our discipline.''—Jeremy Holmes MD, FRCPsych, School of Psychology, University of Exeter, UK

I. Clinical Use of Attachment Research Assessments
1. Constructing a Relationship Formulation for Mother and Child: Clinical Application of the Working Model of the Child Interview, Charles H. Zeanah
2. Keeping the Inner World of the Child in Mind: Using the Insightfulness Assessment with Mothers in a Therapeutic Preschool, Nina Koren-Karie, David Oppenheim, and Douglas F. Goldsmith
3. Intervening with Maltreated Children and Their Adoptive Families: Identifying Attachment-Facilitative Behavior, Miriam Steele, Jill Hodges, Jeanne Kaniuk, Howard Steele, Debra D'Agostino, Inga Blom, Saul Hillman, and Kay Henderson
4. The Role of Caregiver Commitment in Foster Care: Insights from the This Is My Baby Interview, Mary Dozier, Damion Grasso, Oliver Lindhiem, and Erin Lewis
5. Parental Resolution of the Child's Diagnosis and the Parent–Child Relationship: Insights from the Reaction to Diagnosis Interview, David Oppenheim, Smadar Dolev, Nina Koren-Karie, Efrat Sher-Censor, Nurit Yirmiya, and Shahaf Salomon
II. Attachment Theory and Psychotherapy
6. Attachment and Trauma: An Integrated Approach to Treating Young Children Exposed to Family Violence, Amy L. Busch and Alicia F. Lieberman
7. The Circle of Security Project: A Case Study—"It Hurts to Give That Which You Did Not Receive," Bert Powell, Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, and Robert Marvin
8. Challenging Children's Negative Internal Working Models: Utilizing Attachment-Based Treatment Strategies in a Therapeutic Preschool, Douglas F. Goldsmith
9. Disorganized Mother, Disorganized Child: The Mentalization of Affective Dysregulation and Therapeutic Change, Arietta Slade

"Oppenheim and Goldsmith offer clinicians who assist children and families a useful lens to inform their work. The chapters contain a solid theoretical basis for the recommended assessment and intervention techniques, as well as rich representative dialogues and masterful conceptualizations using attachment theory."
Edited by David Oppenheim, PhD, Center for the Study of Child Development and Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, Israel; and Douglas F. Goldsmith, PhD, The Children's Center, Salt Lake City, Utah