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Building the Bonds of Attachment


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Table of Contents

1. General Principles of Parenting and Therapy 2. The Abuse and Neglect of Katie 3. Ruth Daley, Foster Home #1 4. Karen Miller, Foster Home #2 5. Susan Cummings, Foster Home #3 6. What Can Be Done? 7. Choosing a New Approach 8. Jackie Keller, Foster Home #4 9. Life with Jackie 10. The Quilt 11. Saying No to Jackie 12. Thanksgiving Dinner 13. Jackie and Her Mother, Ruth 14. Winter in Maine 15. Maine District Court 16. The Coming of Spring 17. A New Summer 18. Fear and Joy

About the Author

Daniel A. Hughes, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in child abuse and neglect, attachment, foster care, and adoption. He actively trains other therapists in the model of treatment known as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, both within the United States and in other countries.


The third edition of Building the Bonds of Attachment should be vital reading for as many parents and parents-to-be as possible, not only for foster and adoptive parents. If far more parents read this book and put its teachings to practice, we would start to have a warmer, kinder world. With often breath-taking beauty, Dan Hughes conveys how connection with reflective, warm, playful, emotionally regulated attachment figures can heal children who've been so badly psychologically scarred. It's a story about a little girl who trusts no one, who only knows relationships as being about power and control. She has developmental trauma disorder and presents with very extreme and challenging behavior. The new edition offers a wealth of the richest PACE examples, from one moving interaction to another until we see this little girl melt, and learn to trust and love for the very first time. Professionals and parents alike cannot fail to learn so much through the book's powerful narrative about the crucial relational experiences that all children need in order to thrive. -- Dr. Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at the Centre for Child Mental Health London
I use this book for a course I teach on Child Treatment in our MSW program. I also recommend the book to all of my master students in their advanced practice course with individuals and groups. One of the tremendous strengths of the book is its underlying ability to help guide the reader through the critical thinking process. What constitutes abuse and neglect? What are the far-reaching consequences of profound emotional and physical neglect? How does one evaluate attachment therapy? Is this working? The use of the storytelling places the critical thinking within a unique context and helps guide developing practitioners to a better understanding of very difficult principles. No matter the expertise of the reader, there is something to learn in this text, which makes the book highly valuable over time. I encourage my students to read the book at different stages of their career to maximize their understanding of attachment and the dyadic developmental psychotherapy. -- Victoria A. Fitton, Michigan State University
Katie's story triggers strong emotions from graduate students. My students cannot wait for the next chapter and often read ahead. -- Mark Beischel, Peru State College
The 'Katie book', as it is fondly called by those who have read it over the years, has captured the hearts of many people. Dan masterfully uses the story of Katie to explain and illustrate the DDP model and how it is applied both in parenting and therapy. Now, in this 3rd edition, Dan has brought the story up-to-date with new thinking and discoveries he has made in the intervening time. The ideas of blocked trust and blocked care are here illustrated in a way which conveys understanding and compassion for the children and parents affected by these difficulties. Many of us, who have known our own 'Katie's' and struggled with the challenges that they present, will draw hope and inspiration from this updated edition of Building the Bonds of Attachment.' -- Kim Golding
Building the Bonds of Attachment is a must-read for foster carers, adopters, social workers, and therapists who seek to understand how early trauma impacts the minds and hearts of children, and how they as care providers can help. Through the story of Katie, Dan Hughes shows us how dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP), his deeply compassionate approach to therapy and therapeutic parenting, can help children learn to trust and to discover connections that heal. This third edition brings the latest learning in neurobiology and integrates this research with DDP and PACE, illustrating how to facilitate safety in relationships and create an environment in which children and young people can begin to feel safe to trust and make use of the help that is on offer to them. -- Deborah Page, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

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