A practical guide to implementing the rich theory of attachment for treating mental health challenges in children.
This book both explains and illustrates how the practice of child mental health professionals can be enhanced, whatever their treatment approach, to encourage engagement, resilience, and development in children with mental health problems. Alongside practical recommendations, Daniel Hughes and Ben Gurney-Smith use dialogue from clinical work to illustrate applications of these principles from Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy as well as other attachment-based practices with parents and children. This “little book” will demystify how attachment theory—one of today’s most in-demand approaches—can actually be brought into clinical work.
Topics include regulating emotional states; repairing ongoing relationships; establishing an attachment-based therapeutic relationship; accepting a child’s inner life; assessing the caregiver’s need for safety, regulation, and reflection; the importance of nonverbal and verbal conversations in facilitating secure attachment; and strengthening the mind of the child.
Filled with powerful clinical vignettes and carefully articulated summaries of the science of parent–child relationships, this gem of a book will be useful for mental health practitioners and caregivers alike. Dan Hughes and Ben Gurney-Smith have created a wonderful compilation to ground the reader in the science and art of attachment that is sure to help the lives of the many children whose adults that care for them have the good sense and opportunity to read this life-affirming guide to love and connection. —Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., New York Times bestselling author, Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence ; and co-author, The Power of Showing Up
Taking us right into the heart of direct work, this book is a masterful exposition of Dan Hughes’s hugely influential DDP model. Hughes is a veritable master in this field, and the text is informative, well-written, and brought alive by moving case examples. Integrating deep clinical experience with attachment theory, neurobiology, and intersubjectively infused developmental psychology, this book is a must-read for professionals working with children from complex backgrounds, and indeed, anyone interested in this area.—Graham Music, PhD, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic London, author of Nurturing Natures, The Good Life , and Nurturing Children
It was a treat to read The Little Book of Attachment by Daniel Hughes and Ben Gurney-Smith! A truly systemic and relational approach, this book describes how therapists can create safety, understand and get to know their clients, and create an environment of collaboration in which parents and children can co-regulate and synchronize their experiences with positive outcomes. Lovely, grounded, useful book! —Eliana Gil, PhD, RPT-S, Senior Clinical and Research Consultant at Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, VA