Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Reading Journal: Building the Bonds of Attachment

Since learning about Reactive Attachment Disorder, I've been very curious about what sort of treatment/parenting would help a child overcome such a serious emotional deficit.  Because I work at a counseling agency, I've had the opportunity to observe families, teachers, and social workers trying to cope with the behaviors of children who, because of a background of early childhood neglect and/or abuse, haven't developed the capacity to love.   As you might imagine, the inability to form emotional bonds with other people creates extreme behaviors that reflect a complete lack of empathy.  Kids with attachment disorders can be cruel, dishonest, violent, manipulative, and almost impossible to control.  Generally they are only motivated by self-gratification.  They can cause huge disruptions in foster and adoptive homes.

Building the Bonds of Attachment provides an interesting overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of attachment disorders. My favorite thing about the book is that it's written as a story-- the story of a girl named Katie whom the author created as a composite case study--so it's always interesting and engaging.  (I love learning while enjoying myself.  It's like mixing spinach into a smoothie.)    Building the Bonds would function well as a textbook, or a guide for parents, counselors, and social workers.

The book made me think about love and God and parenting and psychology and family and shame and guilt and hope.

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