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Understanding Disorganized Attachment: Theory and Practice for Working With Children and Adults Paperback – 15 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub (15 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849050449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849050449
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This accessible and informative book takes an up-to-date approach to the topic of disorganized attachment... The text has an authoritative research base and will be of use to social work and counselling/therapy professionals. -- The Journal of Analytical Psychology Shemmings and Shemmings cut to the crux of the child protection system... If the vision of practice featured in Understanding Disorganized Attachment is realized, social workers will have a research-based framework with which to assess and to assist parents and children most at risk of maltreatment. In turn, this knowledge could help raise social workers' confidence in their abilities, sense of efficacy in interventions and purpose in visits. -- Critical Social Policy When I read a book, I put a sticky note on any page I find interesting and intend to refer to later. In this book of 240 pages, there were 55 stickies. I read it again. It is an easy to read, though academic, book and, in parts, is entertaining. It draws from a list of references and demonstrates not only how our knowledge has developed over the years, but where we might go in the future. The subject matter is crucial to anyone working with, and making decisions on behalf of, children and families... I would recommend this book to any childcare practitioner in health and social care and carers. -- Seen and Heard I was keen to review this book and have not been disappointed. It is a scholarly and practical work containing a wealth of valuable information and theoretically researched suggestions... the book in its entirety is one that should be required reading for training in anything connected with children's welfare, for health and particularly mental health professionals, and for teacher training. -- Counselling Children & Young People This book is written in a clear, accessible style, without over-simplifying some of the very complex ideas. It is scholarly and well-researched. It also provides helpful introductions to attachment theory, metallisation and recent developments in neuroscience. -- Children & Young People Now A well-written book that clearly, and in detail, describes the ethology, assessment, and components of effective treatment of disorganized attachment. The authors explain the main concepts of attachment theory with a remarkable clarity that is refreshing and insightful, drawing on historical and everyday examples to illustrate their points. It is clear, complete, and put into easily understandable terms. The [authors] have written a seminal work on disorganized attachment. -- Dr Arthur Becker-Weidman, Director, The Center for Family Development in Williamsville, New York, USA This is a fabulous book. It provides a clear and coherent account of normal attachment systems in children and their parents, and an equally clear account of how the behaviours of parents affect the security of children's attachment. The authors are experienced real-world practitioners as well as researchers, and it shows. I hope and anticipate that this book will be read by all those working in child protection systems, especially family court judges and those who assess parents accused of maltreatment. -- Dr Gwen Adshead, Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist, Broadmoor Hospital, UK

About the Author

David Shemmings is Professor of Social Work in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent. He undertook his PhD in attachment theory, and has spent most of his working life in the field of child protection. Yvonne Shemmings is a Continuing Professional Development Specialist, and has trained professionals in over 30 child protection organisations. She is a qualified social worker and a senior manager, and her work includes the use of attachment theory in practice. Both David and Yvonne have published widely in the fields of child and adult attachment and child protection.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anthony D. Burton on 15 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Im not going to go on at length about the quality of this book, but it merges attachment theory and mentalisation
in an insightful and thought provoking way. It really is worth every penny - whether you work with children or with adults with borderline personality organisation.
I cannot disagree more with the other review - it really is an excellent read with plenty of practical examples
of disorganised atttachment connected superbly with theory.
You can't go wrong with this one.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By sceptic on 18 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the basis of the description above hoping that it would be helpful to the social workers, teachers and foster carers that I work with. However it is disappointing and frustrating, and I can't recommend it.

Astonishingly it does not define 'Disorganized Attachment', and seems unable to decide whether this is a characteristic of personality organisation, or simply a set of behaviors which can be observed in specific contexts. The authors are critical of the widely accepted formulation of Reactive Attachment Disorder, which they argue has not been subjected to rigorous analysis and research, (unlike Disorganised Attachment, they say) and yet they refer constantly to the three organised Attachment styles (Secure/Ambivalent/Avoidant)that RAD differentiates. They state that Disorganised Attachment is not an Attachment style, and can only be observed for short periods before it resolves into one of the organised styles, but then suggest they would expect it to be constant over time, and discuss the characteristics of DA in adolescents, and the implications for adult mental health.

The book lacks a clear narrative, and the tone shifts from detailed descriptions of research methodology to theoretical formulation to folksy anecdotes, descriptions of brain imaging equipment which might have been lifted from a patient's information leaflet, and pompous descriptions of the level of training needed to diagnose attachment styles. In places the grammar and syntax lack precision, rendering paragraphs impossible to decipher, and in places passages are repeated. The authors are experienced and knowledgeable, but the lack of a good editor is woefully evident.
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By Mike on 23 Jan. 2014
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My partner is a social worker, specialising in work with Children and families. She requested this book for Christmas as she had seen the author speak at a conference and was very inspired by him. She reads it fervently and with great relish, though I cannot claim to have read it myself.
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I purchased this book as I am training to be a counsellor and particulary interested in the attachment theory. I have not read the book from cover to cover but once done will give me a better understanding of disorganised attachment and how to use it in practice.
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Excellent text exploring the concept of disorganised attachment, how to observe in toddlers through to teens. Also methods of working with children to reduce the impact of abuse.
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By Akaur on 15 May 2014
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what a great book so well written and able to read and great references to be used it was written with care and compassion well done
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By angie-123 on 20 Jun. 2012
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This is an absolute must for social workers working mwith childre and families. I found it very helpful, even though I have a number of other attachment books including David Howe.. I could not do without it now. Very easy to read and follow.
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