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Purser, G.S. (2015). John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, Second Edition (2014) by Jeremy Holmes, published by Routledge. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 9(2):219-224.

(2015). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 9(2):219-224

Book Reviews

John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, Second Edition (2014) by Jeremy Holmes, published by Routledge

Review by:
Gülcan Sutton Purser

The aim of this book was to honour the founder of attachment theory, John Bowlby, and his immeasurable contribution to our understanding of human relatedness. This was the least I could do to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of John Bowlby's death this year.

Jeremy Holmes, recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth award for his contributions to the attachment field, in this new edition has written both a biography of John Bowlby and an account of his theories updating us on new research and theoretical developments. Holmes' aim in this edition is to include, in particular, important contemporary findings. He writes: “As we shall see, modern genetics, contemporary neuroscience, together with attachment-informed development research, are increasingly converging” (p. xiv).

This book has three parts, the first is biographical, the second is about attachment theory, and third is about its many applications.

Part One: Biographical

The first chapter is divided into three: the first section is about Bowlby's life and career; the second section is a description of Bowlby as a person enriched by contributions from family and friends.

Holmes writes:

What was John Bowlby like? In his work his greatest achievement was his bringing together of psychoanalysis and, via ethology, evolutionary biology. A similar capacity to reconcile divergent elements is to be found in his personality which, although remarkably coherent and consistent, contained many contradictory aspects.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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