Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice by David Howe

By David Howe

The standard of early social relationships has a deep pertaining to our mental and social improvement; adversity in youth may end up in grownup relationships that could be tricky and distressing. This e-book addresses the wishes of social staff in realizing and assessing the character and origins of such disturbed social relationships. Taking a complete and wide-ranging examine the theories rising in and round attachment concept, it offers a cosmopolitan yet available base from which social staff could make delicate exams and improve humane practices.

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Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice

The standard of early social relationships has a deep pertaining to our mental and social improvement; adversity in early life may end up in grownup relationships that could be tricky and distressing. This booklet addresses the wishes of social employees in knowing and assessing the character and origins of such disturbed social relationships.

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The little boy is only 28 months old but he is vigorously concerned and interested in his mother's feelings. She is telling the observer about how she had been frightened by discovering a dead mouse behind a chair. The boy interrupts: C: M: C: M: C: What's that frighten you, Mum? Nothing. What's that frighten you? Nothing. What is it? What's that down there, Mummy? That frighten you. 34 Attachment Theory M: Nothing! C: That not frighten you? M: No. Didn't frighten me. The boy really wants to know what his mother is feeling and how this might relate to her behaviour.

Our cultural environment might 40 Attachment Theory encourage us to put a brave face on things when we suffer a disappointment. We might feel pleasure at the downfall of a pompous man, but we know it would be socially impolite to smile. The more accurately we understand others, the more socially able we become. The ease with which emotions are shared, discussed and communicated within family life; the opportunities for co-operation, sharing and pretend play; and the frequency of reciprocal, sensitive social interaction all help the child become a socially adept and effective individual (Harris 1994: 14).

They have not been helped to make sense of what is happening to them emotionally. They learn to cope by either avoiding situations and people that provoke strong feelings, or developing strategies which allow them to divert attention and interest away from their own feelings. Of particular interest in this connection is Sroufe's (1989a: 89) report which shows that compared to securely attached children, the play of those with avoidant relationship histories (children who have experienced unresponsive, rejecting or indifferent parenting) lacks complexity, elaboration and any element of fantasy play concerning people.

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