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Becoming Attached: First Relationships [Paperback]

Robert Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 1998
With keen insights, compelling arguments, and challenging theories, psychotherapist Robert Karen presents an eye-opening, lively treatment of the mystery of how personalities are formed and what children need in order to thrive emotionally.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc; Reprint edition (1 Mar 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195115015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195115017
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In 1937 New York psychoanalyst David Levy reported the case of an eight-year-old girl I'll refer to as Anna whom he'd observed at the Institute for Child Guidance in New York City. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Karen's book provides a detailed insight both into the development of John Bowlby's influential ideas about attachment, and into the pervasiveness of the Freudian concepts which were his starting point.Human service professionals and individuals with an interest in relationships will find this book worthwhile.
Karen locates Bowlby and colleagues such as James Robertson and Mary Ainsworth in their historical context, and provides a fascinating account of the development of ideas which are now often taken for granted. He also identifies contrary voices, such as Stella Chess, who pioneered research into children's temperament.
The major weakness of Karen's book is that inspite of his meticulous description of the development of attachment theory, he is unable to take an observer's stance in the later chapters of the book, and often appears to give Freudian theoretical constructs the status of fact. (eg oedipal desires). The later chapters lack the incisiveness and direction of the beginning half of the book. He also seems reluctant to look at research outside an attachment framework which could expand aspects of his argument, such as the body of research on resilience.
In spite of these shortcomings, this is a enthralling volume which provided me with valuable insights into the origin of concepts which have become part of my 'practice furniture'.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a pleasure to read. It covers a lot of academic material but is never heavy or hard to follow. I loved the writing style and feel I have a good insight into the subject following reading.
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1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book to help with a college assignment. While it would be a nice introduction for someone not in psychology to get an understanding of the basic elements of attachment theory, I found it unhelpful as an acedimic book. The chapters are big with no sub-hedings to break up the text. It is also narated like a novel, not the normal tome in an academic book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 12 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not a difficult book to read, which is a bonus when reading a book recommended on a course. Still reading but it's well written so no hardship.
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