An attachment specialist and a clinical psychologist with neurobiology expertise team up to explore the brain science behind parenting.
Parenting is a brain thing. Books and resources abound that teach us how to be more patient, compassionate, and effective caregivers, but at the heart of it, parenting is a state of mind. In order to better understand the parent-child rapport and strengthen the bonds of attachment with our kids, we must understand what's going on inside our brains.
In this groundbreaking book, renowned attachment specialist Daniel Hughes and clinical psychologist Jonathan Baylin team up to examine parenting dynamics as never before. By exploring the inner-workings of the parental brain, they reveal what happens neurochemically when caregiving skills are strong-leading to healthy attachment-and when they're impaired, or "blocked," potentially leading to a host of behavioral and emotional problems in kids. In doing so, they provide parents-and the family therapists and clinicians who may work with them-a roadmap for a more in-depth, meaningful, and stronger parent-child connection.
Even the most caring parents can sometimes lose their cool or succumb to caregiver fatigue. What does this mean in brain terms? As Hughes and Baylin show, it means we "go limbic," or react from the deep emotional core of our brains, while our normally robust self-regulating capacities are briefly out of commission. When parents get stuck in these defensive states, nurturing and timely repair of misattunement with their children suffer.
Walking readers through the core brain systems involved in caregiving and the various types of blocked care that can occur (chronic, acute, child-specific, and age-specific), readers learn how to harness their brain chemistry to master emotional regulation, strengthen reflective capacities, expand attunement, and remain mindful. A truly one-of-a-kind look at how, by drawing on an understanding of intersubjectivity, somatic processing, and the mind-body connection, we can achieve a closer, more attuned connection with our children.
--- from the publisher
1. Parenting is a Brain Thing
2. Five Brain Systems Involved in Caregiving
3. Impaired Caregiving: Blocked Care
4. Providing Treatment for the Parent Experiencing Blocked Care: Beginning with PACE
5. Mastering Emotional Regulation
6. Making Sense and Reflective Functioning
7. Integrated Caregiving: Comfort and Joy
About the Authors:
Daniel A. Hughes, PhD, is a noted practitioner, consultant, and educator of attachment-focused family therapy, and founder of the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute. He lives in Annville, Pennsylvania.
Johnathan Baylin, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware.