Read Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love by Robert Karen Online


The struggle to understand the parent-child bond ranks as one of the great quests of modern psychology, one that touches us deeply because it holds so many clues to how we become who we are. How are our personalities formed? How do our early struggles with our parents reappear in the way we relate to others as adults?In Becoming Attached, Robert Karen offers fresh insightThe struggle to understand the parent-child bond ranks as one of the great quests of modern psychology, one that touches us deeply because it holds so many clues to how we become who we are. How are our personalities formed? How do our early struggles with our parents reappear in the way we relate to others as adults?In Becoming Attached, Robert Karen offers fresh insight into some of the most fundamental issues of emotional life. He explores such questions as: * What do children need to feel that the world is a positive place and that they have value? * What are the risks of day care for children under one year of age, and what can parents do to manage those risks? * What experiences in infancy will enable a person to develop healthy relationships as an adult?Becoming Attached is not just a voyage of discovery in child emotional development and its pertinence to adult life but a voyage of personal discovery as well, for it is impossible to read this book without reflecting on one's own life as a child, a parent, and an intimate partner in love or marriage....

Title : Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780195115017
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love Reviews

  • Georgeanna
    2019-03-05 17:07

    Still the best book on attachment theory for the lay reader, in my opinion. This should be required reading in every intro psych course, for all policy makers, family law attorneys and judges, and for anyone contemplating parenthood. The book is, suprisingly, not dated, given it is more than 12 years old and given the pace of recent new knowledge in brain science. In fact, developments in neuroscience since this book came out have continued, for the most part, to substantiate Bowlby and Ainsworth's initial basic insights. See, for example, Louis Cozolina's The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain (2006). Also, if you are interested in a more detailed and scientific (and more recent) rendering of the work of Alan Sroufe (whose ongoing research features prominently in the latter half of this book) see The Development of the Person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood. That book, however, is NOT for the lay reader.Only one caveat, which I think is not severe enough to warrant removing a star: Karen is trained in classical psychoanalysis, and he can't resist what I can only describe as an occasional Freudian/Kleinian fugue, which seems utterly out of place here. My advice is to just power through those bits, or skip them entirely.

  • Maria
    2019-03-23 19:45

    I really enjoyed this book and read it with fervour of a good novel. Taking us from the dark days when babies were thought to be mere blobs who had no thoughts or feelings. Psychology was purely behaviourist, a baby crying was considered a random act that if responded to would re-enforce the behaviour, resulting in a spoiled cry baby. These pernicious parenting ideas still exist today and they could not be further from the truth.My heart wrenched with the stories of traumatised children who were separated from their mothers because of long stays in hospitals where parents were not allowed to visit regularly if at all. Orphanages where children's only human contact was having nappies changed and being fed with a bottle. Hygiene and nutrition were seen as the most important factors. The children's health would rapidly decline and they would fall into a deep depression, stop eating and in some cases die. It was as if those who took care of the children stop listening to their human instincts because the truth is too terrible to face.Karen covers the main movers and shakers in attachment theory and research, Bowlby and Anisworth, both of whom caused enormous controversy with their ideas and research. Theories which now inform parenting advise and child social policy. Its hard to believe that it was such a shocking idea to think that a human child needs to form a close and loving relationship with one consistent care giver if they are to develop a solid internal working model of what a loving relationship is.He constantly relates the early experiences children have with their Mothers to what makes us who we are what we need to form healthy relationships in our adult lives. The childcare debate is also covered which is as controversial, is it damaging? What age should a child be put in too childcare? What age is too young?His style of writing is jargon free and accessible without dumbing down, I felt I remembered a lot more of the facts because of this. We find out more than just theory but what type of person was Bowlby and Ainsworth, what kind of childhood experiences did they have. Professional allegiances and rivalries are explored, all of which adds to the fascinating exploration.I shall be reading more of his work.

  • Amanda
    2019-02-28 18:48

    I was pleasantly surprised at how readable Karen's writing style is. The book is essentially a slow walk through the history of attachment history, from the beginnings of the field through the early 90s. I appreciated Karen's care in pointing out the potentially racist, classist, and sexist pitfalls in the work and either acknowledges them or explains the intent.After finishing the book, many of the specific studies and details are blurred but the key points are easy to articulate:*Babies need loving care in order to form secure attachments*These secure attachments provide a "home base" from which to safely explore their worldPerhaps the most disquieting concept for me was the push for children to stay at home with a parent at least until their first birthday. In a country where 3 months of unpaid maternity leave is considered generous, my heart breaks for all the parents and children who get stuck between the harsh realities of the world and what the experts think is best for babies. Karen is sympathetic to this plight but there are no easy answers.I would love to see another book covering what has happened in the field in the last 20 years to see what new insights have been gained.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2019-03-20 22:49

    Only problem is he gets too Freudian and I'm sorry but Bowlby and Piaget just knew more about child development than Freud did. I just don't buy penis envy or the Oedipus complex. If he spent less time on such nonsense we would KNOW that trauma can affect how a child develops for life ages ago!

  • Paul
    2019-03-18 21:57

    In this wonderfully written account of the growth and development of attachment theory in psychology, Robert Karen patiently outlines the main figures and the competing schools of thought that went into the still-growing field explaining how children attain their sense of selves and their psychological development. In other hands, I could definitely see the long account of academic debates becoming tedious, but Karen guides the reader through the morass with a sure hand, drawing connections between figures like John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, and Alan Sroufe, and clearly detailing their research and theories. It's about a lot more than monkeys and their wire mothers--although that's touched upon as well--and it's all covered in meticulous, well-researched, but never overwhelming, detail.Through this account, you get a multifaceted view of the way that early environments shape, and even distort, one's psyche. Throughout this sensitive book, one can't help but reflect on one's own past with a new perspective.Thoroughly engaging on more than one level.

  • Ryan Young
    2019-03-10 18:50

    interesting, unproven, too much focus on freudian analytics. i think we've arrived at a fairly good nature/nurture balance since this book was written in the early 90s. i also feel comforted that any parental hiccups during the first 18 months are not necessarily sentencing a child to misery.the 3 categories (secure, avoidant, ambivalent) are too broad. also, in every example i can think of, to include myself, characteristics of all three have been in evidence over the course of a lifetime. i'm not sold, this is not how personality develops.

  • Tania
    2019-02-26 18:49

    This book is absolutely fabulous. Everyone should read it before having children. Even if you have children, read it. It will break your heart, but it will enlighten you. Children are the most special of all beings and are to be treasured. Our relationships with them are so delicate, yet the strongest one may ever have. Seal the bond and create a strong attachment from the very beginning. It directly affects all future relationships.

  • Aurore Henze
    2019-03-18 23:48

    Another book I "had" to read for my orgonomy class- but so glad I did. Karen does an excellent job with presenting clinical information, biographical information and intimate case studies. Very compelling and a mammoth presentation on attachment. It was a bit overwhelming at times and perhaps it is more intended for clinical audiences, but it was still very moving and brought many different thoughts to me about my own practice and my own motherhood. This book inspired me to write my own books on attachment and relationships such as "Til Love Do Us Part: Overcoming Emotional Blocks to Finding Love and Keeping It." An intense and thought provoking read and essential for those working in the field of natural health, emotions and psychology.

  • Tyra
    2019-03-04 23:02

    Becoming Attached by Robert Karen, Ph.D, was enjoyable. Like many reviewers before me, I found the writing easy to read/conversational. I don't seek out books like this, but the title, and later the text, drew me in because of my own struggles with attachment.The first 50 pages or so read much like a biography of the psychoanalyst and founder of attachment theory, John Bowlby. Karen seemed to be making a case either for or against this pioneer. I was nearing the end of my patience, when the writing became interesting. The analysis of the rhesus monkey in relation to a mother object was particularly fascinating. I wouldn't call Becoming Attached life-changing, but it helped to clarify some foggy memories of my own childhood...memories where words and actions by my parents didn't always coincide. The classification of a mother's parenting style was helpful.Karen's conclusion was also enlightening: "Modern society...has taken us from...a life centered on the pleasures and pains of being connected to others. Our focus is often on other things...but the need for proximity, for felt security, for love; these basic themes of attachment are to some degree built into us biologically." Karen's book, through the writings and research of many behaviorists and psychoanalysts, helps to unlock and clarify this basic biology in us all. A biology that can go terribly wrong, in some cases. Through the works of Bowlby and others, however, there is more hope now than ever.

  • Sue
    2019-03-06 19:07

    I would rate this as essential reading for those who raise children or have anything to do with social policy involving children and the improvement of society's understanding, and treatment, of them. Which of course means how we actually run our societies generally, because children become adults, don't they?

  • GM
    2019-02-20 17:38

    I really appreciated how this book captured the history of the emergence of attachment theory. At this point, the book was written many years ago, and is in need of an update. But, the early chapters are helpful in placing major attachment research studies in context to the times that they took place. This was a valuable read in that respect.

  • LuAnn
    2019-02-21 18:06

    I really want to say something that inspires everyone that reads this review go out and buy the book. Particularly parents. But since it is a little academic so if I write a rave review then you might see me as kind of dull and boring. However, I have read a slew of parenting books and this book may have had the most impact on how I parent...more specifically how I understand myself as a parent and caregiver and thus modifying how I parent. Like I said, it does lean a bit on the academic side of therapeutic if you like page turners then you may want to read this in piece meal amongst your thrillers.The book gives a comprehensive history on the research of attachment. All that Eriksonian stuff you learned in Psych 101 in detail. Fascinating really. The latter chapters in the book adapt attachment research to how we relate to others (children, spouses, lovers) as adults including chapters entitled The Residue of Our Parents, Attachment in Adulthood and Repetition and Change: Working Through Insecure Attachment. The content has impacted the lens through which I implement discipline and connection with my children and spouse. It has also put me at ease with the ambivalent and anxious feelings I experience as a parent. I wish I had read this book before my children were born, but it is never too late. The information is pertinent to anyone who is a parent, a child or who has any meaningful relationships...guess that includes anyone human. Dr. Karen put some fine diligent research into this book!

  • Bob
    2019-03-02 21:07

    217 – disoriented babies have mothers who suffered early losses247 – parents cannot tolerate seeing their unmet needs expressed by their children; if a mother was ashamed of being needy as a child, she cannot allow her child to be needy317 – Messiness may grow out of an uncontrolled emotionality. In such a person, every feeling may run to excess in the way it is expressed, and yet little is felt profoundly and even less is understood.325 – It’s very difficult to get people to look after other people’s children. Looking after your own children is hard work, but you get some rewards….339 – Arietta Slade’s quote about consequences of working mothers putting their babies in day care and controversy surrounding that research: “But it’s better to say it’s hard and struggle with it than to say, Well, it feels hard, but it’s really simple and I’ll just do what I need to do.”344 – balance between unconditional love and exposure to outside world353 – Mothers who intrude on the baby because they are more attuned to their own needs than his cause him to be more attuned to her needs, too, and thus more inclined to develop a false, compliant self.372 – good description of psychoanalytic assumptions 377 – If a mother unconsciously wishes to keep a baby addicted to her, there is no better strategy than being inconsistently available404 – 3 key variables for break cycle of emotional damage406 – securely attached still have problems407 – adult attachment summarized

  • George
    2019-02-23 21:01

    Introduction and first chapter really grab you. I expect this to be a fascinating book!I finally finished this incredible book filled with penetrating analysis of the early relationships that a child develops with his/her mother (father) and how those relationships (even in the first 10 days of life) influence ones psychological health in future years – in fact throughout ones entire life. Attachments are classified as either Secure or Anxious, with the latter having two subcategories: Avoidently-Anxious and Ambivalently-Anxious. The table on pages 444 and 445 gives a great summary of the research and most of the book’s core material. In addition to the history and development of attachment theory, I found particularly interesting the four chapters in Part IV, especially the discussion about Day-Care and the chapter on Astonishing Attunements. The middle chapters were a bit dry and, as a result, I lost some of my motivation to finish the book, but my persistence was rewarded when it picked up dramatically in the last 150 pages. This book should be mandatory reading for all prospective parents. There are one or two real gems of wisdom in almost every chapter.

  • Saehee Park
    2019-02-25 20:02

    I've been introduced to various theories while studying child development throughout my college years and during my last semester, I decided to study deeper into Attachment theory. I found this theory to be the most relate-able to my own personal life style and my professor told me about this book I just fell in love with the book and more so with the Attachment Theory. The book helped me answer many questions regarding my own personal relationships with my parents and past relationships. This book isn't like other theory books, focusing heavily on research/case studies, instead it tells stories and allows readers to think about their own personalities and relationships. It's one of those books that you want to read when you are in your 20's, 30's and so on...and more often in between.

  • Robyn
    2019-02-21 19:50

    "Attachment" has become a tremendously polarizing word in lay parenting. It's associated with extremes and celebrities and magazine covers with women nursing their five year olds. It's an all or nothing Dr Sears empire of philosophy. Only what no one tells lay parents by and large is that before it became commercialized (and even after) real attachment is none of those things. This book is the book I wanted. It was the readable scientific accounting of attachment theory, not attachment parenting. It takes the reader through the history of the theory's development and studies and the discussions that I believe are crucial to understand for a new parent muddling through parenthood and all of the conflicting viewpoints on which advice is based.

  • Jill
    2019-03-12 16:52

    Only about half way through this one. Though it isn't exactly a fast read, I'm finding it well worth it. I wish I'd read it when my first child was born. I'm reading it now with the context of my ten years' worth of parenting two kids as well as my own childhood. I enjoy learning about the research and the politics behind developmental child psychology -- it gives a much deeper look that the average parenting book off the shelf. While the author's style is not super dynamic, it is interesting and I appreciate his making a "school" subject into pleasant narrative. It brings what could be a dry subject to life.I'll have to update this when I finish the book!

  • Sasha
    2019-03-23 23:04

    This book is an excellent review of the chronology of the development of attachment theory, covering all of the largest contributors. I was fascinated to read about the politics and controversy involved and the various research studies. The book was written over 16 years ago and leaves you wanting to find out what has been discovered in that time. I would think this book is a little too advanced for non-professional mental health readers. It was an enjoyable read and gave me much food for thought for my patients, myself and my role as a mom.

  • Claudia Goodell
    2019-03-17 19:45

    A staple book and topic for anyone interested in human development. I found my passion for the attachment theory while attaining a BS in psychology, and was fortunate to study and work with one of the leaders in this field, Tom Bower, who worked with Bowlby. I still believe healthy attachment is a predictor for success in life, and conversly unhealthy attachments can predict antisocial behavior later in life. I am a proponent of teaching healthy attachment behavior in parenting classes, but earlier if possible.

  • Helen Roll
    2019-03-18 19:52

    Incredibly insightful and engaging. Rather than throwing a whole lot of theory at the reader, Karen is a storyteller from page one. By giving the history of the development of attachment theory, and leaning heavily on the personal narratives of pioneers in the field - most especially Bowlby and Ainsworth - this book is extremely accessible to the lay reader, and builds a strong case for the consideration of attachment factors in a variety of spheres.

  • Anthony Garcia
    2019-02-22 00:43

    This book is excellent. It interweaves the history of the field of attachment research with the observations and published findings of many psychologists.I think it's a worthwhile read for every parent, and if you want to take an honest look at yourself to ask if childhood experiences are still at play in your choices and decisions, this an excellent book to read.I strongly recommend it to anyone with an inquiring mind.

  • Amy
    2019-03-13 20:05

    This book very much opened my eyes to why I'm the way I am. My therapist recommended it to me, and it was very helpful to read about others and what I can do to not let my detachment affect my relationships. It also freaked me out and made me not want to ever have kids because of all the pressures to not have a detached kiddo!

  • Lynne
    2019-03-19 19:55

    A history of Attachment Theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main, et al) from the POV of analytical psychology. Quite good, though a bit long about 3/4 of the way through. If you are neck deep in attachment ideas, this is a source of information on how Bowlby's ideas were first generated, researched, rejected by mainstream analysts, reviled and revered.

  • Greg
    2019-03-04 18:43

    You actually cannot find a bad review of this book on GoodReads. While it may start to drag on a bit for a casual reader, it's only because Karen seems so comprehensive in his review of attachment theory. If you are interested in parenting or the ways child development can affect personality, this is a great place to start.

  • Letha
    2019-02-22 19:48

    I'm about half way through this book and am totally fascinated by all aspects of the experience. Karen is doing a fantastic job of making the densely layered history and varied characters that have contributed to the evolution of attachment theory both assessable and interesting. I am deeply engaged with this book.. Very impressed...high praises.

  • Kit
    2019-03-10 18:54

    Wish there was more on the latest research. Though the explanation for how confusing later studies are is understandable.My conclusion:Quality day care is not harmful: 8% increased risk that child experiences insecure attachment. Bigger attachment issues occurs due to quality of parenting and primary care.

  • Sierra Haw
    2019-02-24 21:03

    This book was essentially a walk-through of attachment theory from The work of John Bowlby to present day. "Becoming Attached" was very detailed and well referenced and I found that made it read more like a research paper than a book. It took me quite awhile to slug through it, but is definitely the best book on attachment theory that I have read.

  • Katie
    2019-02-24 00:06

    Ok, this looks like just another silly psychobabble book, or a self-help book, but it is neither--it's a history of attachment theory, including all the crazy experiments psychologists used to do--fascinating stuff.

  • Jodi Kendall
    2019-03-17 21:46

    This book is thorough (long) and I only read the chapters I was primarily interested in, but they were so good.  The mother-infant bond shapes entire societies. Much to consider here, for parents, parents-to-be, and those dealing with attachment disorders in children. 

  • Kristin B.
    2019-03-22 18:56

    I'm reading this book with my Director and fellow therapists. I think this book offers incredible insight to the development of human beings, how we form attachments in relationships and skills in parenting. I'm about 1/2 way through and have already gained so much insight.