Lifelong Implications of Attachment

Author: 
Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté M.D. is a physician and bestselling author on a range of topics, from addiction and attention deficit disorder (ADD) to mind-body wellness, adolescent mental health, and parenting. He focuses on understanding the broader context in which human disease and disorders arise. Gabor’s approach is holistic and kaleidoscopic – linking everything from neurophysiology, immunology, and developmental psychology to economic and social policy – and even touches on the spiritual dimensions of disease and healing.

Attachment, Bonding or Attunment

John Bowlby coined the term ‘attachment’ for a healthy mother-infant-father relationship and was plummeted by his peers for doing so. Marshal Klaus, MD., helped popularized the term ‘bonding’ to describe the precious cascade of discovery-contact-response encounters shared by newborn and mother during their first moments and hours after birth. Bowlby was influenced by infants who had missed or were deprived normal mothering , those in intuitions and orphanages. In these infants something was broken, detached. Klaus observed what may be called attached mother-infant relationships as they discover, make contact and respond in completely new ways, postnatal, coming together, forming new patterns. Each term ‘attachment’ and ‘bonding’ were and are appropriate given the context. Both terms break down and lose some of their meaning however, when applied to the larger, ever-changing reciprocal dynamic we call childhood and parenting. Attunement may be more precise when describing this overarching movement.

Themes: 
parenting
bonding

Lunch With Carly Elizabeth

Carly and I (and of course Z, mother and wife) landed in a hip, crowded and loud bistro in Laguna Beach the day after Christmas along with my brother Mark. The waitress removed one of the chairs and slipped in a wooded highchair. In three days Carly Elizabeth will be five months young. As the early morning sun danced across the hotel sheets Carly was balancing, arms stretched, almost sitting up by herself, but not quite. Even so, the wooden highchair was too low and too far away. I pushed a dish aside and sat Carly on the table with my arm around her.

Themes: 
bonding
parenting

Pages