Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children: Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice [NOOK Book]


Attachment research has tremendous potential for helping clinicians understand what happens when parent–child bonds are disrupted, and what can be done to help. Yet there remains a large gap between theory and practice in this area. This book reviews what is known about attachment and translates it into practical guidelines for therapeutic work. Leading scientist-practitioners present innovative strategies for assessing and intervening in parent–child relationship problems; helping young children recover from ...

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Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children: Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice

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Attachment research has tremendous potential for helping clinicians understand what happens when parent–child bonds are disrupted, and what can be done to help. Yet there remains a large gap between theory and practice in this area. This book reviews what is known about attachment and translates it into practical guidelines for therapeutic work. Leading scientist-practitioners present innovative strategies for assessing and intervening in parent–child relationship problems; helping young children recover from maltreatment or trauma; and promoting healthy development in adoptive and foster families. Detailed case material in every chapter illustrates the applications of research-based concepts and tools in real-world clinical practice.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book demonstrates how attachment research can be applied in therapeutic work with children, including practical guidelines for both assessment and intervention to assist parent-child disruptions.
Purpose: This book grew out of an annual conference series that began in 1999, sponsored by the Children's Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where leading researchers/clinicians discuss how they took the research concepts and methods they were developing and applied them clinically.
Audience: According to the editors, the audience includes "clinicians working with children and their families who are interested in deepening their understanding of the clinical application of attachment concepts and the added value of an attachment perspective for both assessment and intervention." Graduate students in child psychology/psychiatry/social work would benefit greatly as well.
Features: The book is divided into two parts that cover the clinical use of attachment research assessments and attachment theory and psychotherapy. Part one focuses on assessment tools such as the Working Model of the Child Interview (WMCI), Insightful Assessment, Co-Construction Assessment, and assessment of caregiver commitment. Part two addresses traumatized children, at-risk parents, insecurely attached children, and a disorganized mother. The best feature of the book is the inclusion of many case examples that elucidate the concepts. The authors write well, integrating theory and research with practice.
Assessment: This useful book addresses both assessment and intervention issues, enlightening both the seasoned veteran and the novice therapist. It is easy to read and the poignant case material teaches therapeutic lessons. Readers wishing to see how attachment theory is applied to child therapy will not be disappointed.
Clinical Social Work Journal

"Readers will gain a broad understanding of current research and principles in working with parents and children who demonstrate attachment disturbances....Anyone interested in the field of attachment and clinical work will find this book a useful introduction to the application of attachment theory and research, and its impact on the evolution of clinical practice in this field. In this book, Oppenheim and Goldsmith provide a much-needed contribution to the field of attachment and clinical work through this well-written synthesis of pioneering work by recognized and important authors."--Clinical Social Work Journal
From the Publisher

"This invaluable presentation of cutting-edge clinical applications, seamlessly integrated with the most recent research data, is a remarkable achievement. It is a highly convincing testament to the profound relevance of attachment theory for therapeutic work and prevention."--Peter Fonagy, PhD, Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University College London, UK

"This groundbreaking volume brings the ideal of a scientifically informed dynamic psychotherapy practice a step nearer. Cutting-edge clinician-researchers, backed by a sophisticated array of evidence on the assessment and therapy of children and their parents, show how the universal psychotherapeutic values of mentalization, boundedness, and building on strengths can enhance security and happiness. This moving work is essential reading for child psychotherapists and trainees, and I strongly recommend it for all therapists who are open to the continuing impact of attachment theory on our discipline."--Jeremy Holmes MD, FRCPsych, School of Psychology, University of Exeter, UK

"Attachment Theory in Clinical Work with Children jumps right into the real world of clinical practice. The balance between practice and theory is rarely so well equilibrated. Each chapter reveals clinical reality in a different context, with a different population, and with a fresh theme. This book will be essential reading for therapists from all schools, for students, and for all interested in development."--Daniel N. Stern, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal

"The chapters have an array of well-known and well-established academics and clinicians, among them Oppenheim, Zeanah, Steele, Hodges, Lieberman, and Goldsmith. It is an important book...I recommend this anyone involved in facilitating good enough parenting, working in the field of psychotherapy, with under-5s, or working with foster carers and adopters. This is a useful book provoking much thought, resonating with one's own knowledge and experience and opening up ideas about how theory can be transferred to treatment approaches."--Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal
Journal of Contemporary Social Services

"Focuses on bridging the gap between attachment research and clinical practice. The editors have gathered prominent contributions, original research ideas, and concepts from leading attachment researchers and clinicians."--Journal of Contemporary Social Services

"Oppenheim and Goldsmith offer clinicians who assist children and families a useful lens to inform their work. The chapters contain a solid theoretical basis for the recommended assessment and intervention techniques, as well as rich representative dialogues and masterful conceptualizations using attachment theory."--PsycCRITIQUES
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606237496
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/8/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

David Oppenheim, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel, and Associate Editor of Infant Mental Health Journal. He has been involved in attachment research for more than 20 years, focusing on the importance of secure, emotionally open parent-child relations for children's development and mental health. Dr. Oppenheim has also studied how secure attachments are fostered by parental insightfulness into the child's inner world, and has applied attachment concepts and methods in research on clinical populations. He is actively involved in lecturing and writing on the clinical applications of attachment.
Douglas F. Goldsmith, PhD, is a practicing psychologist and Executive Director of The Children’s Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah, which specializes in the treatment of families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. His work focuses on the assessment and treatment of attachment problems, and he has published several articles regarding the application of attachment theory to clinical practice. Dr. Goldsmith holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Educational Psychology, Psychology, and Psychiatry at the University of Utah.
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Table of Contents

I. Clinical Use of Attachment Research Assessments1. Constructing a Relationship Formulation for Mother and Child: Clinical Application of the Working Model of the Child Interview, Charles H. Zeanah2. Keeping the Inner World of the Child in Mind: Using the Insightfulness Assessment with Mothers in a Therapeutic Preschool, Nina Koren-Karie, David Oppenheim, and Douglas F. Goldsmith3. Intervening with Maltreated Children and Their Adoptive Families: Identifying Attachment-Facilitative Behavior, Miriam Steele, Jill Hodges, Jeanne Kaniuk, Howard Steele, Debra D'Agostino, Inga Blom, Saul Hillman, and Kay Henderson4. The Role of Caregiver Commitment in Foster Care: Insights from the This Is My Baby Interview, Mary Dozier, Damion Grasso, Oliver Lindhiem, and Erin Lewis5. Parental Resolution of the Child's Diagnosis and the Parent–Child Relationship: Insights from the Reaction to Diagnosis Interview, David Oppenheim, Smadar Dolev, Nina Koren-Karie, Efrat Sher-Censor, Nurit Yirmiya, and Shahaf SalomonII. Attachment Theory and Psychotherapy6. Attachment and Trauma: An Integrated Approach to Treating Young Children Exposed to Family Violence, Amy L. Busch and Alicia F. Lieberman7. The Circle of Security Project: A Case Study—"It Hurts to Give That Which You Did Not Receive," Bert Powell, Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, and Robert Marvin8. Challenging Children's Negative Internal Working Models: Utilizing Attachment-Based Treatment Strategies in a Therapeutic Preschool, Douglas F. Goldsmith 9. Disorganized Mother, Disorganized Child: The Mentalization of Affective Dysregulation and Therapeutic Change, Arietta Slade

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