Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children 3rd Edition


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A highly accessible resource for students and professionals as well as parents, Building the Bonds of Attachment presents a composite case study of one child’s developmental course following years of abuse and neglect. Weaving theory and research into a powerful narrative, Hughes offers effective methods for facilitating attachment in children who have experienced serious trauma. The text emphasizes both the specialized psychotherapy and parenting strategies often necessary in facilitating a child’s psychological development and attachment security. Hughes steps through an integrated intervention model that blends attachment and trauma theories with the most current research as well as general principles of both parenting and child and family therapy. Thoughtful and practical, the third edition provides an invaluable guide for therapists and social workers, students in training, and parents.

Updates to the Third Edition include:

  • *Coverage of the greater preparation given to both the therapist and parent before the onset of the treatment and placement based on our understanding of how the attachment histories of both the parents and therapists impact their engagement with the child
  • *Introduction of the concept of blocked care to better understand the challenges of raising a traumatized child with attachment difficulties
  • *Introduction of the classification of developmental trauma that is now commonly used to describe the challenges faced by children such as Katie
  • *Expanded coverage of intersubjectivity with demonstrations throughout the book as to its impact on the development of the child
  • *Stronger development of the therapeutic and parenting stance of PACE (playful, accepting, curious, empathic) since this has become a strong organizing principle for training both therapists and parents using the dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) model
  • *Updated examples of the components of DDP (affective-reflective dialogue, follow-lead-follow, interactive repair, deepening the narrative) and a discussion of the ties between DDP and new research in interpersonal neurobiology


  • 1. General Principles of Parenting and Therapy
  • 2. The Abuse and Neglect of Katie
  • 3. Ruth Daley, Foster Home #1
  • 4. Karen Miller, Foster Home #2
  • 5. Susan Cummings, Foster Home #3
  • 6. What Can Be Done?
  • 7. Choosing a New Approach
  • 8. Jackie Keller, Foster Home #4
  • 9. Life with Jackie
  • 10. The Quilt
  • 11. Saying No to Jackie
  • 12. Thanksgiving Dinner
  • 13. Jackie and Her Mother, Ruth
  • 14. Winter in Maine
  • 15. Maine District Court
  • 16. The Coming of Spring
  • 17. A New Summer
  • 18. Fear and Joy

Author Bio:

Daniel A. Hughes, PhD, is a prominent attachment specialist and private practitioner. President of the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute, he consults and gives trainings in the U.S. and abroad on issues of attachment and family therapy. He is the author of numerous titles.