Parents (and expectant parents) all want to do the best for their children. They read up on all the latest parenting theories, find the best nurseries and preschools, figure out which foods will promote healthy growth, and vow to avoid making the same "mistakes" other people make—or that their own parents made.
But it turns out, there's one big mistake many well-meaning parents do make, and that's trying to be perfect.
The truth is, there is nothing new they need to learn, no set of special skills they need to hone. They already have what it takes to be a good parent. "As human beings, we come equipped with positive intentions for our sons and daughters and a hardwired drive to form a close and lasting attachment with them," write Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper, and Bert Powell in their new book, Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore (Guilford Press, February 2017, £10.99). "With the trust that they can count on someone else to help soothe the sting of life's inevitable hardships, they gain the confidence they need to go out and find out who they are—and who they can become—in the big wide world."
Hoffman, Cooper, and Powell—all distinguished psychologists—developed the "Circle of Security" more than 30 years ago. Based on the principles of attachment theory, it is a 20-week group program that teaches parents to stay in touch with what their children need most:
• To feel safe when they are frightened or uncomfortable
• To feel secure enough to explore the world
• To accept and manage his or her emotional experience
The Circle of Security has already helped thousands of families form strong, healthy attachments. Now, in Raising a Secure Child, Hoffman, Cooper, and Powell translate their powerful program into engaging, accessible format for everyday readers. They show parents how to protect and nurture their children, foster their independence and resilience, and encourage them to explore the world--from infancy through young adulthood. In addition, they provide stories that bring the Circle of Security strategies to life, plus practical tools that offer insight into how a parent's own upbringing affects their current parenting style (and what to do about it).
"Research shows that children who have a secure attachment with at least one adult do better in school, have better friendships, enjoy greater physical health, and go on to have more intimate, fulfilling, and enduring relationships throughout life," write Hoffman, Cooper, and Powell. With their empowering guide, these important goals are easily within every parents' reach.
About the Authors:
Kent Hoffman, RelD, has been a psychotherapist since 1972. Certified in psychoanalytic psychotherapy by The Masterson Institute in New York City, he has worked with prison and homeless populations as well as adults seeking psychoanalytic psychotherapy. His primary focus since the 1990s has been working with and designing treatment interventions for street-dependent teens with young children. The underlying theme of his life work can be found in a TEDx talk titled "Infinite Worth."
Glen Cooper, MA, has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals and families in both agency and private practice settings since the 1970s. He has extensive training in family systems, object relations, attachment theory, and infant mental health assessment. Mr. Cooper also works as a treatment foster parent and long-time Head Start consultant.
Bert Powell, MA, began his clinical work as an outpatient family therapist in a community mental health center, where he helped a broad range of families find and use unacknowledged strengths to address their problems. Mr. Powell is certified in psychoanalytic psychotherapy by The Masterson Institute in New York City. He is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Counseling Psychology at Gonzaga University and serves as an International Advisor to the editorial board of the Journal of Attachment and Human Development.
Since 1985, Drs. Hoffman, Cooper, and Powell have shared a clinical practice in Spokane, Washington. Together, they have created and disseminated the Circle of Security, for which each has received the Washington Governor’s Award for Innovation in Child Abuse Prevention and the New York Attachment Consortium's Bowlby–Ainsworth Award, among other honors. They are co-authors of The Circle of Security Intervention (for mental health professionals).
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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