Building the Bonds of Attachment

Awakening Love in Deeply Traumatized Children

By (author) Daniel A. Hughes

Publication date:

16 June 2017

Length of book:

304 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442274129

A highly accessible resource for students and professionals as well as parents, Building the Bonds of Attachment presents a composite case study of one child’s developmental course following years of abuse and neglect. Weaving theory and research into a powerful narrative, Hughes offers effective methods for facilitating attachment in children who have experienced serious trauma. The text emphasizes both the specialized psychotherapy and parenting strategies often necessary in facilitating a child's psychological development and attachment security. Hughes steps through an integrated intervention model that blends attachment and trauma theories with the most current research as well as general principles of both parenting and child and family therapy. Thoughtful and practical, the third edition provides an invaluable guide for therapists and social workers, students in training, and parents.

Updates to the Third Edition include:

  • Coverage of the greater preparation given to both the therapist and parent before the onset of the treatment and placement based on our understanding of how the attachment histories of both the parents and therapists impact their engagement with the child
  • Introduction of the concept of blocked care to better understand the challenges of raising a traumatized child with attachment difficulties
  • Introduction of the classification of developmental trauma that is now commonly used to describe the challenges faced by children such as Katie
  • Expanded coverage of intersubjectivity with demonstrations throughout the book as to its impact on the development of the child
  • Stronger development of the therapeutic and parenting stance of PACE (playful, accepting, curious, empathic) since this has become a strong organizing principle for training both therapists and parents using the dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) model
  • Updated examples of the components of DDP (affective-reflective dialogue, follow-lead-follow, interactive repair, deepening the narrative) and a discussion of the ties between DDP and new research in interpersonal neurobiology
The third edition of Building the Bonds of Attachment should be vital reading for as many parents and parents-to-be as possible, not only for foster and adoptive parents. If far more parents read this book and put its teachings to practice, we would start to have a warmer, kinder world. With often breath-taking beauty, Dan Hughes conveys how connection with reflective, warm, playful, emotionally regulated attachment figures can heal children who’ve been so badly psychologically scarred. It’s a story about a little girl who trusts no one, who only knows relationships as being about power and control. She has developmental trauma disorder and presents with very extreme and challenging behavior. The new edition offers a wealth of the richest PACE examples, from one moving interaction to another until we see this little girl melt, and learn to trust and love for the very first time. Professionals and parents alike cannot fail to learn so much through the book’s powerful narrative about the crucial relational experiences that all children need in order to thrive.