Becoming Attached: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Becoming Attached containing key details about the book.

What is Becoming Attached About?

"Becoming Attached" is a book by Robert Karen that discusses the role of early attachment in human development and how it affects our relationships and emotional well-being throughout life.

In Becoming Attached, the author offers fresh insight into some of the most fundamental and fascinating questions of emotional life. He begins by tracing the history of attachment theory through the controversial work of John Bowlby, a British psychoanalyst, and Mary Ainsworth, an American developmental psychologist, who together launched a revolution in child psychology. He also tells about their personal and professional struggles, their groundbreaking discoveries, and the recent flowering of attachment theory research in universities all over the world, making it one of the century's most enduring ideas in developmental psychology.

Who is the author of Becoming Attached?

Robert Karen is a clinical psychologist in private practice and an award-winning author. In addition to two previous books, he has written articles for The Atlantic, New York magazine, Mirabella, The Nation, and The Yale Review. He is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Derner Institute of Advance Psychological Studies, Adelphi University.

What are some key summary points from Becoming Attached?

Here are some key points and takeaways from the book:

  • Our early experiences of attachment with caregivers have a profound impact on our emotional development and shape the way we relate to others throughout our lives.
  • Secure attachment is characterized by a sense of emotional availability and responsiveness from caregivers, and is associated with better social and emotional outcomes in children.
  • Insecure attachment, on the other hand, is characterized by a lack of emotional availability or inconsistency from caregivers, and is associated with a range of negative outcomes including difficulty forming close relationships and emotional regulation problems.
  • The quality of attachment in early life can be influenced by a range of factors including genetics, parenting style, and environmental stressors.
  • Attachment patterns can change and evolve over the course of a lifetime, and it is possible to work towards more secure and fulfilling relationships even if one has experienced insecure attachment in the past.

Book details

  • Print length: 512 pages
  • Genre: Psychology, Parenting, Nonfiction

What are the chapters in Becoming Attached?

Chapter 1: What Do Children Need?
Chapter 2: Worst Case Scenarios
Chapter 3: The Search for a Theory of Relatedness
Chapter 4: Fantasy vs Reality
Chapter 5: Forty-four Juvenile Thieves
Chapter 6: The World Health Report
Chapter 7: A Two-Year Old Goes to Hospital
Chapter 8: The Birth of Attachment Theory
Chapter 9: What's the Use to Psychoanalyze a Goose?
Chapter 10: Warm Secure Continuous
Chapter 11: The Assessment of Parenting Style
Chapter 12: The Strange Situation
Chapter 13: Ainsworths American Revolution
Chapter 14: Ugly Needs Ugly
Chapter 15: Born That Way? Stella Chess and the Difficult Child
Chapter 16: The Infant Day Care Wars
Chapter 17: The Secure Base vs The Desperate Child Within
Chapter 18: Bowlby and Ainsworth
Chapter 19: Typical Patterns of Secure

What is a good quote from the book?

Top Quote: “Many people hold onto a grudge because it offers the illusion of power and a perverse feeling of security. But in fact, we are held hostage by our anger. It is never too late to forgive. But you can forgive too soon. I am especially wary of what I call "saintly forgiveness." Premature forgiveness is common among people who avoid conflict. They're afraid of their own anger and the anger of others. But their forgiveness is false. Their anger goes underground. I define forgiving as letting someone back into your heart."

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "Robert Karen has a rare capacity for presenting complex psychological ideas in language that is accessible to nonspecialists....Karen's book makes fascinating reading and constitutes a considerable achievement." — Contemporary Psychology

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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