John Bowlby and Attachment Theory: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

John Bowlby and Attachment Theory

2nd Edition

By Jeremy Holmes, Jeremy Holmes


248 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-01-09
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Second edition, completely revised and updated

John Bowlby is one of the outstanding psychological theorists of the twentieth century. This new edition of John Bowlby and Attachment Theory is both a biographical account of Bowlby and his ideas and an up-to-date introduction to contemporary attachment theory and research, now a dominant force in psychology, counselling, psychotherapy and child development.

Jeremy Holmes traces the evolution of Bowlby’s work from a focus on delinquency, material deprivation and his dissatisfaction with psychoanalysis's imperviousness to empirical science to the emergence of attachment theory as a psychological model in its own right. This new edition traces the explosion of interest, research and new theories generated by Bowlby’s followers, including Mary Main’s discovery of Disorganised Attachment and development of the Adult Attachment Interview, Mikulincer and Shaver’s explorations of attachment in adults and the key contributions of Fonagy, Bateman and Target. The book also examines advances in the biology and neuroscience of attachment.

Thoroughly accessible yet academically rigorous, and written by a leading figure in the field, John Bowlby and Attachment Theory is still the perfect introduction to attachment for students of psychology, psychiatry, counselling, social work and nursing.


Praise for the first edition:

'This is a book to treasure: thought-provoking, stimulating and illustrative of how John Bowlby's ideas are 'alive' today and I would recommend this book to any counsellor/therapist interested in attachment theory: it is packed with information, articulately presented, and generally jargon free.' - Counselling

'An excellent overview of Bowlby's view of the interactive nature of development and how an understanding of this can be applied to the attachment processes of relationships such as psychotherapy.' - The Lancet

Table of Contents

Part 1: Origins. Part 2: Attachment Theory. Part 3: Implications.

About the Authors

Jeremy Holmes worked for 35 years as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist in the National Health Service. He is currently visiting professor at the University of Exeter, UK, where he set up a Doctoral programme in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In 2009, he received the prestigious Bowlby-Ainsworth Award for his contributions to the field of attachment.

About the Series

Makers of Modern Psychotherapy

This series of introductory, critical texts looks at the work and thought of key contributors to the development of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Each book includes examples of how the theories examined affect clinical practice, biographical material and a complete bibliography of the contributor's work.

The field of psychodynamic psychotherapy is today more fertile but also more diverse than ever before. Competing schools have been set up, rival theories and clinical ideas circulate. These different and sometimes competing strains are held together by a canon of fundamental concepts, guiding assumptions and principles of practice.

This canon has a history, and the way we now understand and use the ideas that frame our thinking and practice is palpably marked by how they came down to us, by the temperament and experiences of their authors, the particular puzzles they wanted to solve and the contexts in which they worked. These are the makers of modern psychotherapy. Yet despite their influence, the work and life some of these eminent figures is not well known. Others are more familiar, but their particular contribution is open to reassessment.

In studying these figures and their work, this series will articulate those ideas and ways of thinking that practitioners and thinkers within the psychodynamic tradition continue to find persuasive.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health