In 1975 when I started seeing children in therapy at the Grand Rapids Child Guidance Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan it seemed like the major problems with children consisted of acute traumas caused by sudden tragedies like house fires, car accidents and abuse issues. Then there were the lesser problems of separation anxieties, night terrors, bed wetting and oppositional defiance. By the time I transitioned from the clinic to Head Start in 1998, most of the problems seemed much more serious. I found children who displayed little to no conscience, kids who could not make friends and many who exhibited violent rage reactions. What happened in less than a quarter century? It became more and more clear to me that parents and children were losing the capacity to attach to each other. I went on my personal campaign (and still am) lecturing about rage and the consequences of a lack of attachment. I approached the attachment problem not from the perspective of who's at fault but what do we do about it! The teachers and parents attending the lectures kept asking me to put what I covered into a book and after many years I finally forced myself to sit long enough to write it.
My goal is that the pages of this book will provide hope and techniques on how to help children attach, feel safe, and ultimately act lovable. The conviction of being lovable is what defuses all the rage and fear.
Mr. Hamberg is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Michigan. He has thirty-six years of experience in the treatment of emotional problems with children and families, specializing in the very young child.