Raising Parents : Attachment, Representation, and Treatment book cover
2nd Edition

Raising Parents
Attachment, Representation, and Treatment

ISBN 9780415508308
Published August 26, 2015 by Routledge
366 Pages

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USD $68.95

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Book Description

Helping troubled parents to raise their children adequately is of crucial importance for parents, their children and society at large. Distressed parents have themselves often been endangered and, as a consequence, sometimes endanger their children either through maltreatment or through the effects of parental psychiatric disorder.

Raising Parents explains how that happens and clusters parents in terms of the psychological processes that result in maladaptive childrearing. The book then delineates DMM Integrative Treatment in terms of assessment, formulation, and treatment. New formulations are offered for problems that have resisted treatment and cases demonstrate how the ideas can be applied in real treatment settings. The book closes with 10 suggestions for improving professionals’ responses to troubled families and endangered children.

This edition of Raising Parents introduces DMM Integrative Treatment and demonstrates how to use it with vulnerable families. DMM Integrative Treatment is an interpersonal process and this book will be essential reading for clinicians from all disciplines, including psychiatry and psychology, social work, nursing and all types of psychotherapy.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Yesterday's Children: Today's Mothers and Fathers  1. Cherishing Parents  2. A Primer of DMM Theory: Twelve Crucial Constructs  Part 2: Growing Up  3. Early Childhood: Learning to be Safe at Home  4. Going to School: Coping with a Complex World  5. Becoming an Adult: Loving and Leaving  Part 3: Information Processing  6. Remembering the Future: The Process of Mental Representation  7. How do Parents Affect Children's Representations?  8. Representation and Child-rearing that Endangers Children  Part 4: Parents' Dispositional Representations  9. Distortions of Normal Child-protective Behaviour: Under-responding to Children  10. Distortions of Normal Child-protective Behaviour: Over-responding to Children  11. Distortions of Perception: Seeing Yourself in Your Child  12. Obscured Perceptions of the Child: The Disappearing Child  13. Distortions that Substitute Erroneous Information for Accurate Information: Misconstruing Children as Being Threatened  14. Distortions that Substitute Deadly Delusional Information for Accurate Information: Misconstruing the Child as the Threat  Part 5: An Integrative Approach to Treatment  15. DMM Integrative Treatment  16. When Things Fall Apart  17. Assessment Relevant to Differential Treatment  18. Functional Formulation and the Plan for Treatment  19. DMM Integrative Treatment: Three Cases  20. Do Unto Parents as You Would Have Them do Unto Their Children

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Patricia McKinsey Crittenden works cross-culturally as a developmental psychopathologist at the Family Relations Institute, Miami, USA. She is founding Chair of the International Association for the Study of Attachment and Adjunct Associate Professor in Dalhousie University's Department of Psychiatry, Canada. She has held university appointments in Finland, Italy, and Australia as well as in the USA. She received a career achievement award for 'Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Child and Family Development' from the European Family Therapy Association in 2004. Dr Crittenden has published widely in the field, with her most recent book being Attachment and Family Therapy and a forthcoming book entitled Loving and Learning: Promoting attachment through baby play.


Crittenden exhorts mental health professionals to look closely and to see themselves as researchers constantly refining and testing hypotheses, rather than to apply oversimplified recipes for treatment or criteria of "success" ... Raising Parents is a solid contribution to the literature on family dynamics, and its usefulness is not limited to understanding populations of neglectful or abusive adults, or the children they hurt

Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, PsyCRITIQUES

The DMM is the most clinically sophisticated model that attachment theory has to offer at the present time. This book is the best introduction to the DMM that there is. It could hardly be anything other than a brilliant crystallisation of the model, given that the author is its originator. Crittenden is one of the great writers on the clinical applications of attachment theory. Almost all clinicians working with children and young people, or with their parents, will benefit from studying this text carefully.

Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL; Chief Executive, Anna Freud Centre.

Patricia Crittenden’s Raising Parents: Attachment, Representation and Treatment- Second Edition is a book with a bold aim. It explains and illustrates applications of a new underpinning theory ( the Dynamic Maturational Model or DMM) that sets out to enhance our understanding of child development , refine our attempts to help parents whose behaviour harms their children, and assist in testing new hypotheses in both child development and treatment.

The author draws on her vast clinical experience to guide the reader through each of these complex topics and offers us genuinely new insights on the way. Her compassion and sheer intellectual curiosity shine through, making this a book not only to enlighten but also to inspire.

Ruth Gardner PhD FRSA is Advisor on Child Neglect at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, ( NSPCC, UK).

The first edition of Raising Parents by Patricia Crittenden has been an essential text in an interdisciplinary graduate course I teach on development and psychopathology. Students relatively unfamiliar with attachment theory as well as those who felt they knew quite a bit were deeply engaged in learning about the Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment and adaptation, discussing the rich case material provided in Raising Parents, and wrestling with the clinical implications and applications of the theory. It is not an exaggeration to say that this book frequently changed how we all thought about, empathized with, and worked with troubled families. These students were hungry for more and I am pleased to say that the 2015 second edition has addressed many of their questions, even while it poses others for all of us to ponder. This is a brilliant piece of work and one that should be studied and debated by all who believe in the enormous utility of attachment theory to improve our understanding of adaptation, suffering, and the healing power of relationships.

Susan J Spieker, PhD, Professor of Family and Nursing, Director of the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development, University of Washington

‘Once we recognize that we (ordinary parents and professionals) aren’t different in kind from parents who harm their children, then wondering why they did what they did can elicit inquiry, not accusation’.

Pat Crittenden in this book offers a richness of ideas to help comprehend the actions of parents who struggle and may inflict harm on their children. This quote above illustrates how her perspective is not only ‘non-blaming but dares to hold a mirror to us all regarding our own actions as parents. All too frequently it is very tempting to adopt a position of ‘them’ and ‘us’ in relation to parents who appear to harm their children. Inviting us into this less than comfortable self – reflection she also shows great compassion and also incisive insight into how parents’ own childhood experiences may intrude into their relationships with their children. To help children she argues we must understand and offer help to their parents. This is not to make excuses on their behalf but to develop a sophisticated understanding of the complex mental processes that shape their feelings, thoughts and actions. The second edition of this book offers new treasures, including expansion of the processes of intervention and in particular the complexities of the ‘therapeutic relationship’. The therapist is described as becoming a ‘transitional attachment’ figure and the subtle processes of how this is achieved are systematically detailed. This is an invaluable contribution to what has repeatedly been found to be the cornerstone of successful intervention in families.

This book is essential reading for all therapists- not just those working with children. It also offers a massive step towards a genuine psychological formulation of a whole range of complex and severe problems in families.

Rudi Dallos, Professor and Research Director, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK. M.SC (Cybernetics), Ph.D. , Dip. Clin. Psychology.

Dr. Crittenden has done it again! With her updated version of the classic "Raising Parents", Dr. Crittenden offers her vast wisdom and powerful clinical experiences to explain the importance and challenges of early experiences to human development. What sets Dr. Crittenden, and her book apart, is her treatment of attachment as intergenerational. Essentially, when we raise children, we raise them to be parents of the next generation. Healthy caring societies ensure that children are raised well, because we all benefit from more healthy adults, raising evermore healthy children. This book should be required reading for anyone who cares about family health and human capital, who cares about how attachment strategies affect mental health and development over generations, and who cares enough to want to help improve the health of children, families and societies.

Nicole Letourneau PhD RN FCAHS, Norlien & Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health, Professor, Faculty of Nursing & Cumming School of Medicine (Pediatrics & Psychiatry), University of Calgary, Canada