What is it about childhood experiences that influence the kind of adult we become? For John Bowlby and others who developed Attachment theory, much of the answer lies in the quality of early attachments to our primary caregivers. When those attachments are secure, we can develop a safe sense of self. When insecure, we may go on seeking safety throughout our lives, in inappropriate and painful ways. Attachment, argued Bowlby, is a matter for individual and species survival.Using principles pioneered by Bowlby, this volume explores the importance of attachments to individuals and communities. Drawing on the work of leading figures in the field of Attachment research and clinical practice, this book introduces readers to the basic ideas and applications of Attachment theory. Chapters explore, for example, the role of attachment experience in brain development, the cultural and institutional contexts in which attachment systems operate, the political consequences of personal suffering and the uses of Attachment theory in psychotherapy.