Contemporary attachment theory both enriches our understanding of human development and informs clinical practice. Examining the relational bonds between young children and their caregivers, it traces its origins to several scientific and social fields, most notably psychoanalysis, social work, behaviorism, ethology, evolutionary theory, and biology.
The first portion of this book examines attachment theory and its relationship to other psychodynamic theories of development and then discusses the landmark contributions of John Bowlby, the "father" of modern attachment theory. The section concludes with a detailed summary of research on attachment, highlighting the work of Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, Allan Sroufe, and Peter Fonagy. The second portion focuses on clinical applications with children, adolescents, and adults. Brief vignettes and lengthier case illustrations consider a verity of attachment disorders and treatment approaches, paying special attention to clinical method and technique, process dimensions, and transference and countertransference phenomena. Cases are set in a range of treatment venues, such as college and family counseling service, community mental health centers, and private practice, and involve an ethnoculturally and clinically diverse clientele.