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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 position of early intimate relationships.

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Extra info for A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development

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Looking after a baby, or a toddler, or an older child for that matter, is not only a skilled job but also a very hard and exacting one. Even for a woman who has had a happy childhood and who is now enjoying the help and support of her husband, and perhaps also of her own mother, and who has not been filled with mistaken advice about the dangers of spoiling her baby, it is a taxing one. That a woman with none of these advantages gets into an emotional hassle is hardly surprising and certainly not an occasion for blame.

If, therefore, psychoanalysis is to become the natural science based on sound biological principles that Freud intended, there are compelling reasons for drastic changes in some at least of its basic assumptions. The framework I am advancing, based on neo-Darwinian principles and current work in developmental psychology and human information processing, is one such attempt. Although psychoanalysis is avowedly a developmental discipline, it is nowhere weaker, I believe, than in its concepts of development.

His first day at school, he said, had been the worst in his life. It had seemed a final rejection by his mother; all day he had felt desperate and had never stopped crying. After that he had gradually come to hide all desires for love and support: he had refused ever to ask for help or to have anything done for him. Now, during therapy, he was frightened he might break down and cry and want to be mothered. This would lead his therapist, he felt sure, to regard him as a nuisance and his behaviour simply as attention-seeking; and, were he to say anything personal to her, he fully expected her to be offended and perhaps lock herself in her room.

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