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4.7 out of 5 stars34
4.7 out of 5 stars
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John Bowlby is the father of attachment theory, and is most famous for his observational work with children in care during WWII. 'A Secure Base' is a great place to begin if you are interested in his work, as it is concise and a much shorter read than his 'Attachment Theory' in three volumes.
This book appeals for a change in attitude and understanding of basic human need for affection and rejects the unsolicited use of neglect - once disguised as an acceptable way of parenting. It calls into question the theories of 'controlled crying' and other punitive methods, which, to this day are still commonly practised throughout the western world. Through Bowlby's observations, we can begin to join the dots and build a picture of why today's news headlines portray such a bleak outlook on our future. The introduction to this book is so simply put but conveys an important message; parenthood has all but lost its value in the developed world and yet it is the most important and demanding job for the survival of our society. This book should be read by children at school as well as their parents, politicians and CEOs alike.
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on 6 June 2008
I am studying for my diploma in psychodynamic counselling and have found this book refreshingly easy to read. Its content is useful both in terms of theoretical essay writing and in adding to understanding of clinical practice. It is a collection of talks that Bowlby gave and as such does not detail Bowlby's attachment thoery, but makes reference to it.
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he source of all health comes from the first relationships, but fear not even if these are not the best they can be other inputs can create a sense of self worth, esteem and psychological bouyancy.

Bowlby was formerly the target for the feminist phase 1 liberators to pour their scorn over his observations the basis of emotional growth was the mother child dyad. These were the times when emotions were obliterated from the social sciences and economics, the pound in the pocket provided a sense of self worth. Perhaps men taking a more active role in looking after kids and finding them a role, apart from wage slave may have assisted a greater cause.

There was a great deal of autistic economics in the first wave of feminism mirroring the mainstream male world, those who were dispossessed simply wanted a chunk of whatever you were having. This era has now been grassed over, as the great mistake. With women's liberation came child subjugation, as children were perceived as appendages, lifestyle choices, totems of success.

Bowbly highlighted in easy digestible chunks, unlike a great deal of academic posturing that love was the key to all forms of succss; physical, psychological and indicates life span and achievement. Lack of love is a deficit that needs to be made up for, somehow, through a desire for economic success. His arguments initially appear simple but when you appear into the ramifications into his matrix they become far more complex.

The language however becomes concise and clear. Having a secure base, the notion of being at one time valdiated, allows the person to journey into the world instead of being engulfed by it. This book drawing from one component of Adler is absolutely crucial to all disciplines whether criminology, sociology, psychology, psychotherapy and the other "sciences."

Without it then humans are reduced to mechanics who know the semitones and quavers of the lifesong but fail to hear the melody.
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on 13 January 2014
Fantastic insight into how children and mothers relate to each other, and the importance of the mother-child bond. A very interesting read
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on 17 May 2009
A collection of lectures/essays which describes Bowlby's classic work in attachment theory. Most importantly provision of a 'secure base' for children so that they can go explore away and further from it and not be afraid of abandonment. If such a base is not provided, later life may become a struggle to find such a base with the fear of abandonment in the back of the mind. Weakening all initiative and preventing trust.
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on 11 September 2014
A really good summing up and run through of the development of theory around attachment. If you are planning to work with harmed kids or adopt/ foster, I'd most certainly read this first. Makes great sense unlike some famous psychoanalysts I could mention.
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on 14 October 2011
Very clear and readable. As a counsellor attachment theory has had a great impact on the way I work with clients and I found this book really made it accessible for me.
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on 5 April 2009
Bowlby is "the man" when it comes to attachment theory. He is an easy read, talks sense and brings the idea of attachment theory alive. Whether you are a professional or just interested, give it a go
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on 5 December 2012
I wanted to learn more about behaviour patterns in children and how attachment to their parents influences these patterns. This book delivers that in a very clear and accessible way. Would highly recommend it to parents who like to think about child behaviour.
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on 11 June 2016
Very person-centred which was a surprise to me. I have now ordered the previous book for more background reading. Informative reading and has assisted me in understanding some of my clients' parenting issues.
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