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The Circle of Security Intervention: Enhancing Attachment in Early Parent-Child Relationships Hardcover – 6 Dec 2013

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"Brilliant, creative, and transformative are words that don't fully capture the true power of this approach. The authors have woven attachment theory into a research-based, innovative intervention that helps infants and their parents move toward security and a life of resilience and well-being. Soak in the wisdom of these masters and you'll be forever grateful--I certainly am. The book provides an intricate yet practical therapeutic exploration infused with the dedication and insights of its authors."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine; author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

"What a beautiful book! Insightful, compassionate, emotionally moving, crystal clear, eminently useful--this book offers the best combination of excellent science, deep clinical experience, and coherent guidance for therapists that I have ever encountered. A 'must read' for anyone who wishes to understand and promote effective parenting."--Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis

"In this important book, the authors provide a masterful translation of complex concepts into an approach to enhancing attachments that makes intuitive sense and is supported by effectiveness research. The sensitive use of video enables parents to see themselves in a new light and gain awareness of how they enact their own early experiences in raising their children. COS frees the parent to respond to the child's needs for protection and support in ways that build trust and promote self-confidence. The gems of wisdom coupled with practical intervention strategies are a gift for any clinician seeking to enhance parenting and prevent child maltreatment."--Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD, Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health, University of California, San Francisco

"COS is solidly based on attachment theory and research. With a surprising combination of simplicity, clinical relevance, and academic rigor, this book effectively teaches the reader what children need for secure attachment and clarifies what might stand in the way of parents being able to respond to these needs. For clinicians and students alike, the book brings to life what is viewed, both nationally and internationally, as the cutting edge of early parent-child intervention programs."--Jude Cassidy, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park

"In my view, the Circle of Security (COS) is an approach that has changed the game….This intervention translates attachment research more meaningfully and more directly than anything we have seen before."--from the Foreword by Charles H. Zeanah, Jr., MD, Department of Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine

About the Author

Bert Powell, MA, Glen Cooper, MA, and Kent Hoffman, RelD, have devoted their Spokane, Washington, clinical practice of more than 30 years to translating complex clinical insights and developmental research into straightforward and accessible protocols for use with families. During the last two decades they have focused specifically on the creation and dissemination of the Circle of Security (COS), for which each has received the Washington Governor's Award for Innovation in Prevention, among other honors.

Bob Marvin, PhD, served as principal investigator on the original COS study and participated in the development of COS. He is Founder and Director of the Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8827a654) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88399a88) out of 5 stars The Circle of Security Intervention 11 Oct. 2013
By Beth Troutman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must have for anyone interested in the clinical application of attachment theory. For therapists working with parents of young children, the book provides an overview of research on attachment theory and a step-by-step guide to applying this research to work with parents. For therapists working with adults, the overview of attachment theory and discussion of state of mind will provide new ways of conceptualizing their adult clients. As someone who has been trained in the Circle of Security approach and done research on attachment, I was surprised to find the number of additional insights and practical tips I gleaned from the book. Bravo!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88399adc) out of 5 stars Excellent information for anyone who works with or has children! 26 Nov. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love reading this book. All of the ideas behind attachment and relationships seem spot on. I would recommend this book to any parent, or to any caregiver that works with children who have social/emotional problems.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88399db8) out of 5 stars A Masterful Work 11 Nov. 2013
By DD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In order to elucidate the profundity of The Circle of Security Intervention (COSI) by Bert Powell, Glen Cooper, and Kent Hoffman, I would like to paraphrase a quote that Albert Einstein wrote to Niehls Bohr regarding quantum mechanics: The opposite of a simple truth is falsity. The opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth. The reason for employing this hermeneutic in reviewing COSI is because this work's simplicity (a profound truth) is its brilliance (another profound truth). In COSI, Powell et al. make the complexities of care-giver and child attachment highly accessible. Their protocol for helping caregivers to form secure attachment bonds with their children offers a very practical approach grounded in decades of research on attachment theory. COSI represents a proven and effective program that will not doubt empower practitioners working to facilitate secure attachment between care-givers and their children. Moreover, Powell et al. utilize a precision in nomenclature that de-pathologizes insecure attachment in such a way that will provide the aforementioned practitioners with a practical language to aid care-givers in facing and overcoming their own relational dynamics that cause their children to form maladapted relational patterns that will follow them throughout their lives. In this context, COSI is the perfect text for undergraduate and graduate classes that explore attachment theory. Furthermore, social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, and social service agencies would do well to engage this text and search for ways to implement COSI as a part of their best practices.
In light of the above, the golden nugget hidden within this river of wisdom are what Powell et al. refer to as the "core sensitivities." The core sensitivities represent primordial needs for esteem, safety, and autonomy-within-relatedness and relatedness-within-autonomy in relationships to others. Building upon the personality theory of their late mentor, Dr. James F. Masterson, Powell et al. contend that deprivation of any one of these three basic human needs, especially during infancy and early childhood, constitutes the intrapsychic foundations that form a core sensitivity to either needing to garner a supply of esteem from others (Esteem Sensitive), being highly sensitive to relational separation (Separation Sensitive), or vigilantly focused upon to safety in relationships (Safety Sensitive). In so doing, the authors outline a continuum of personality dynamics that correspond to Narcissistic (Esteem Sensitive), Borderline (Separation Sensitive), and Schizoid (Safety Sensitive) Personality Disorders respectively. However, by postulating that these personality dynamics lie on a continuum, they make Masterson's theory much more universal regarding the frailty of the human condition and much more relevant to psychotherapists due to the fact that very few individuals have a full-blown personality disorder. While other psychological theorists have attempted to do so with the Borderline and Narcissistic personality disorders, these author's insight into safety sensitivity based upon the Schizoid Personality Disorder represents a unique insight into the psychological underpinnings that impede healthy relationships in adulthood. Thus, those who embrace this work will not only receive an excellent and practical framework for helping care-givers and their children develop a secure attachment bond, they will also be introduced to a way of understanding maladapted relational procedures of the adults with whom they work.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88399cb0) out of 5 stars Wonderful!! 13 Nov. 2013
By Alyson Gamache - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for anyone working in any capacity with children and their families...and anyone who HAS a child or parents! It has created a pathway of accessibility for those interested in using attachment theory within a clinical setting. It is easy to understand and an incredibly enjoyable read, for not only those of us within the field, but for all of us who have felt the impact of a parent/child relationship.
There are points of the book that brought me to tears in both reflecting on my own experiences within my family, as well as thinking about the families I work with. It's realness hits to the core of relationships; of "being with"; of being human. It's impossible to read this book and feel hopeless (often how a lot of attachment and early childhood research can leave me!). Instead, it instills in you a sense of knowing that "repair" is possible, often times incredibly simple, in the face of inevitable "mismatch". I highly, highly recommend COSI. It's one of the most important books I've read, especially when it comes to child development.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8839a2f8) out of 5 stars The Circle of Security Intervention 10 Nov. 2013
By Janet C Mann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book represents the paradigm shift the world needs. Part I on Attachment in Early Caregiving Relationships should be read by everyone who was ever a parent or a child! It's clear, compassionate, and normalizing description of what we all do and why and what we all need acts as the antidote for the universal mystery and pain of the human condition. In Part II the intervention itself is described. In essence what these authors have done is taken a complicated body of research and distilled it to its most intuitive, user friendly essence. It is brilliant in its simplicity and yet profound, and certain to resonate with clinicians and clients alike. Through the use of an interactional assessment to gage the child's particular attachment strategy and a parent perception assessment interview to uncover the parent's "sensitivity" or state of mind regarding attachment, a treatment plan is developed intended to shift the relational "dance" in at risk dyads by uncovering both the genuine needs underlying children's difficult behavior and the complicating defensive patterns parents adopt to protect themselves from the pain of their own histories.The case examples in Part III bring it all home in powerful, real life examples.
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