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Bowlby, R. (2017). Growing up with Attachment Theory—A Personal View. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(4):431-439.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(4):431-439

Growing up with Attachment Theory—A Personal View

Richard Bowlby

The following article is written by Sir Richard Bowlby, John Bowlby's son. I had the good fortune of meeting Richard in 2012 when he offered to give a lecture to our psychiatry residents and faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine during one of his visits with his son, Ben, who lives in Indianapolis, IN. While Richard's career was in medical illustration, he has spent much of the past 20 years presenting his father's work on attachment theory. One evening in the fall of 2012, Richard, his wife Xenia, and his son Ben came to our home to give a presentation on attachment theory, followed by a lively discussion with psychiatry residents and faculty. Since that evening, we have developed a friendship with Richard and his wonderful family and many more conversations about attachment have occurred during his visits to Indianapolis. My relationship with Richard influenced my professional work as a psychiatrist and this special issue was in part inspired by my conversations with him. I was touched when he kindly agreed to write the introductory article of this special issue. We are so grateful for this intimate and historical introduction written by Sir Richard Bowlby.

—Joanna Chambers

John Bowlby died 25 years ago in 1990, and I've been asked to reflect on his academic legacy from a personal perspective. I'm not a psychologist or academic—my job was as a medical photographer working in research labs. However there are several particular memories in my life that are linked to key moments in my father's efforts to develop a coherent understanding and explanation of the emotional development of young children that eventually led to attachment theory.

I was born in 1941 during the Second World War, the second of four children. I did not understand what my father's job was, because although he said he was a doctor, he wasn't like any of the proper doctors that I knew. He kept his family life and his work life as a consultant child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst very separate—I think he wanted to shield the four of us from his clinical work with troubled children.

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