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Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play


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Table of Contents

Dedication. Introduction. 1. Close Connections: Attaching and Bonding. 2. Put Your Oxygen Mask on First 3. Teaching Children to Calm, Care, and Think: Behavior and Daily Routines. 4. Helping Children with Thinking and Caring. 5. "Carrots and Sticks", Rewards and Limits. 6. Life Stories. 7. Promoting Attachment in Tweens and Teens. Epilogue.

Promotional Information

Simple advice from attachment therapist Deborah Gray to help parents and carers capture the warmth and fun of forming secure, healthy attachments with children

About the Author

Deborah D. Gray is the author of the bestselling book for parents, Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents and an award-winning book for professionals, Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma. Deborah has been described as "attachment guru" by Adoptive Families magazine, and specializes in the attachment, grief, and trauma issues of children in her private practice, Nurturing Attachments, which is based in Kirkland, Washington, USA. Her passion is to help families develop close, satisfying relationships. A clinical social worker, she has worked over 25 years in foster and adopted children's therapies and placement. She has also been a therapeutic foster parent.Deborah is core faculty for the award-winning Post-Graduate Certificate program in Foster and Adoption Therapy at Portland State University. She is main faculty in the ATTACh-recognized Post-Graduate Attachment Therapy Certificate Program through Cascadia Training. She has taught in the Trauma Certificate Program at the University of WA and was the 2008 Henry W. Maier Practitioner in Residence at the School of Social Work at the University of WA. Deborah is a popular presenter due to her practical and positive approaches. She has keynoted conferences ranging from the Joint Council of International Children's Services to Orphan Conferences. She continues to work in a clinical practice with parents and children, who help to teach her new approaches and techniques every day. Visit her website at


Deborah has provided us with a highly practical book aimed at helping parents to parent in a way that promotes attachment security. This book is full of wisdom and clear suggestions for parenting children with a range of insecurities across a range of ages from toddlers to teens. Whilst there are some UK/USA differences, there really is something for everyone here. I especially liked the focus on parents taking care of themselves and the way that all behavioural management suggestions are provided within the context of providing warm, nurturing care that promotes connection, security, and self esteem. When these qualities are central within parenting our children will grow to successful maturity able to fulfil their potential. -- Kim Golding, Clinical Psychologist with Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
A must read for parents! Informative and practical knowledge for parents about two critical aspects of childhood development; emotional intelligence and attachment. -- Dr. Sue Cornbluth, Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
This is a lovely, practical, wise book that parents will find helpful on many levels. The author seamlessly integrates attachment concepts, brain science, and concrete examples of parent-child interactions to provide a well-spring of hands-on guidance for raising resilient, secure, emotionally intelligent kids. I highly recommend it. -- Jonathan Baylin, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Broudy and Associates, Wilmington, Delaware
Attaching Through Love, Hugs, and Play is an invaluable resource for parents wanting to deepen their relationship with their children. For struggling parents, Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play provides an accessible resource for understanding what is driving their children's challenging behaviours. More importantly, in this volume, Deborah Gray provides a practical playbook for bringing joy and laughter into the parenting relationship! -- Dr. Karyn Purvis, Director of the Institute of Child Development, TCU, Fort Worth, Texas
In Attaching Through Love, Hugs, and Play, Deborah Gray focus on parenting skills that develop strong secure attachments needed for children to be willing to turn to a special adult or adults for protection, calming and reassurance of their worth. Gray provides a wealth of concrete examples of how touch, play, language, structure and limit setting can be employed to strengthen the nurturing parent-child connection that is the foundation of pre-social child development. Any parent, foster parent or adoptive parent who is helping an abused or neglected child recover from early trauma and/ or neglect will find a wealth of invaluable practical guidance in Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play. Public child welfare agencies should consider making Deborah's Gray's books widely available to foster parents and adoptive parents who are desperate for guidance in parenting children whose early histories have left a legacy of fear, anger and distrust of caregivers. -- Dee Wilson, Director, Child Welfare Services, Casey Family Programs, Author of the Sounding Board commentaries
This easy-to-read book has much to offer to adopters or step-parents about how to develop attachments... Parents will find many examples of everyday behaviour that they face alongside practical strategies to illustrate how to respond helpfully, especially for children whose early experience include trauma, abuse or loss... As the title suggests, t values sensory approaches to forming emotional connection, using touch and play to help provide nurture and regulate emotional states... Overall this is a very rich and positive book, which presents a well-informed, humane, evidence-based view of parenting strategies that will enhance attachment. it is likely to be valuable resource, especially for parents of children who have had adverse early experiences. -- Alison Paddle, Independent social worker * Seen and Heard *

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