The quality of our connection to others has such a profound impact on
the quality of our lives. That is why I recommend this book so highly.
If you want to understand yourself and other people and flavor of
connections between people, more than you do now, this book will provide
essential knowledge. It's one of the best books I have read in a very,
very long time. Robert Karen, while not saying anything startlingly out
of line with the knowledge I had already gathered and assimilated on the
subject, put it all into a much sharper, clearer focus. I certainly
learned a lot of new things as well. I'd go so far as to say, if you
are only going to read one or two non-fiction books this year, make this
one of them. While not light reading, it's consistently engaging.
As he traces the development of attachment theory (Bowlby, et al.)
Karen tells the story of the psychology wars in the days of Anna Freud
and Melanie Klein. I found this hilarious. When so much of psychology
seems to bark up the wrong tree (trees), John Bowlby makes much good
sense. Let's have demonstrable principles rather than ungrounded
theory! So much of what parents are advised to do is non-optimum.
Bowlby's student, Mary Ainsworth went on to be a pioneer in her own
right in the study of effective parenting. This is fascinating stuff,
where you are a parent yourself, contemplate becoming a parent, or
whether you just had a childhood of your own.
I am a firm believer that the effects of early trauma and neglect can
often be reversed (see Traumatic Incident
Reduction), and that is well worth doing, even if it is the
relatively minor trauma and neglect common in what is accepted as normal
up-bringing. On the other hand, there are cases that are terribly
difficult to reach or to help. Becoming Attached will explain to you
how they got that way. If put to good use, the knowledge in this book
could make an enormous positive difference in the world.
Most Highly Recommended