Child Psychology

A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human by John Bowlby

By John Bowlby

The world-famous psychiatrist and writer of the vintage works Attachment, Separation, and Loss deals vital directions for baby rearing according to the an important function of early intimate relationships.

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Additional resources for A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development

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Whereas a sensitive mother seems constantly to be 'tuned in' to receive her baby's signals, is likely to interpret them correctly, and to respond to them both promptly and appropriately, an insensitive mother will often not notice her baby's signals, will misinterpret them when she does notice them, and will then respond tardily, inappropriately, or not at all. 5). Differences are statistically significant. Plainly a great deal of further work is necessary before it is possible to draw conclusions with any high degree of confidence.

My guess is that, in so far as any information is given, it would strongly support Winnicott's view that these patients have had disturbed childhoods in which inadequate mothering in one form or another -- and it can take many -bulks large. Since I have made no such survey, I can do no more than illustrate the kind of findings that I would confidently expect. The following details come from case reports published by three analysts each much influenced by Winnicott's views. One report is by Donald Winnicott's widow Clare Winnicott ( 1980).

52The third report, by Elizabeth Lind ( 1973), concerns a young graduate of 23 who, though severely depressed and planning suicide, maintained that his state of mind was less an illness than 'a philosophy of life'. He was the eldest of a large family; and by the time he was 3 two siblings had already been born. His parents, he said, quarrelled both frequently and violently. When the family was young, father had been working long hours away from home training for a profession. Mother was always unpredictable.

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