Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children

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Lesson 1: Introduction
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Welcome to Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children.  We're glad you've decided to participate. Before we begin, here are our course objectives:

Course Objectives

1.  Provide an overview of key principles of attachment and bonding critical for healthy development.

2.  Understand how healthy attachment is facilitated and maintained.

3.  Discuss the various ways that neglect and maltreatment influence attachment. Learn to identify behaviors associated with attachment difficulties.

4. Discuss the role of caregivers in helping maltreated children and explore ways to help this at-risk population.



The most important property of humankind is the capacity to form and maintain relationships.  These relationships are absolutely necessary for any of us to survive, learn, work, love, and procreate.  Human relationships take many forms but the most intense, most pleasurable, and most painful are those relationships with family, friends and loved ones.  Within this inner circle of intimate relationships, we are bonded to each other with "emotional glue” --bonded with love.

Each individual's ability to form and maintain relationships using this "emotional glue" is different.  Some people seem "naturally" capable of loving.  They form numerous intimate and caring relationships and, in doing so, get pleasure.  Others are not so lucky.  They feel no "pull" to form intimate relationships, find little pleasure in being with or close to others. They have less emotional glue with family and few, if any, friends.  In extreme cases, an individual may have no intact emotional bond to any other person.  They are self-absorbed, aloof, or may even present with classic neuropsychiatric signs of being schizoid or autistic.


Every adult needs a child to teach, it's the way adults learn.

- Frank A. Clark

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