This book is intended as an inspiration and as an introduction to what Susan Hart has called neuroaffective developmental psychology. As an underlying theme throughout the book, she seeks to emphasize the importance of attachment for the formation of personality in all its diversity. This book presents a merger of systems that are not normally brought together in a structured psychodynamic context. Thus it operates on three levels: a neurobiological level, an intrapsychological level, and an interpersonal level. It is written in a manner that both professional and lay readers will find accessible as well as informative. Psychotherapists, researchers, and interested others will find "Brain, Attachment, Personality" a compelling and worthwhile read.
It also focuses on the brain structures that are essential for the formation of relationships, personality development, and emotions. It attempts to provide an understanding of the way that the uniquely human nervous system develops capacities for empathy, mentalization, and reflection that enable us to address such aspects as: past and present, interpersonal relations, ethics, art, and aesthetics. Susan Hart has endeavoured to make the text meaningful and comprehensible in order to make the topic interesting and inspiring to the reader, and to spark an interest in further studies.
‘In the last few decades the study of the brain and nervous system and its relationship to psychology has accelerated at a furious pace. The amount we have learned in those few years is greater than the sum of what was learned in all of the centuries prior. This exploding body of knowledge has led to a growing library on the relevance of neuroscience to psychological trauma and attachment. Unique among these books is Susan Hart’s "Brain, Attachment, Personality". Hart has brought a fresh and particularly grounded view to the surprisingly young field of attachment and neuroscience, enlightening the reader to the cutting edge and overlaps of both disciplines. At the book’s core, Hart takes on complicated theories and explains them with clarity while exposing varying views of critical controversies.'
- Babette Rothschild, MSW, Author of "The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma
‘This is the best introduction to neuroscience for psychodynamic psychotherapists available today. It is sophisticated, comprehensive, up-to-date and at many points inspirational. It is accessible but never at the expense of oversimplification. It is highly informative, eschews speculation and is unusually clear in highlighting continuing gaps in our knowledge. This is an immensely valuable addition to all our libraries and is an ideal text for psychological therapists wishing to understand more about the revolution of knowledge that has taken place in neuroscience.’
- Professor Peter Fonagy, University College London
Foreword; 1) The dynamic brain in a dynamic environment – An epigenetic understanding; 2). Genetics and embryology – The cradle of personality; 3) The brain – a complex and dynamic structure; 4) Windows of opportunity – The programmable hardwired system; 5) Resonance, synchronicity and mirror neurons – The basic units of brain circuitry and affect attunement; 6) The basic body-sensing and affect-regulating brain – Brain stem and cerebellum; 7) The brain of motor systems and emotions – The diencephalon and the limbic system; 8) The brain of complex feelings, mentalization, abstraction, and reason – The parietal lobes and the prefrontal cortex; 9) Neurotransmitters, peptides, and hormones – The messengers of the brain; 10) The affect-regulating system of the brain; 11) Girls, boys, men and women – The impact of sex hormones and environment on differences between the sexes; 12) The lateralized brain – Right and left hemisphere; 13) Memory and its impact on the formation of personality and mentalization; 14) The foundation of personality – Self and consciousness.