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Question: As a one who read the book, how do you rate this book?

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Author Topic: Brain-Based Parenting - Daniel A. Hughes, Ph.D.  (Read 4806 times)
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« on: January 22, 2013, 10:32:32 PM »

Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment
Author: Daniel A. Hughes, PhD., Jonathan Baylin PhD.
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (April 23, 2012)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0393707288
ISBN-13: 978-0393707281

Book Description
An attachment specialist and a clinical psychologist with neurobiology expertise team up to explore the brain science behind parenting. In this groundbreaking exploration of the brain mechanisms behind healthy caregiving, attachment specialist Daniel A. Hughes and veteran clinical psychologist Jonathan Baylin guide readers through the intricate web of neuronal processes, hormones, and chemicals that drive—and sometimes thwart—our caregiving impulses, uncovering the mysteries of the parental brain.

The biggest challenge to parents, Hughes and Baylin explain, is learning how to regulate emotions that arise—feeling them deeply and honestly while staying grounded and aware enough to preserve the parent–child relationship. Stress, which can lead to “blocked” or dysfunctional care, can impede our brain’s inherent caregiving processes and negatively impact our ability to do this. While the parent–child relationship can generate deep empathy and the intense motivation to care for our children, it can also trigger self-defensive feelings rooted in our early attachment relationships, and give rise to “unparental” impulses.

Learning to be a “good parent” is contingent upon learning how to manage this stress, understand its brain-based cues, and respond in a way that will set the brain back on track. To this end, Hughes and Baylin define five major “systems” of caregiving as they’re linked to the brain, explaining how they operate when parenting is strong and what happens when good parenting is compromised or “blocked.” With this awareness, we learn how to approach kids with renewed playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy, re-regulate our caregiving systems, foster deeper social engagement, and facilitate our children’s development.

Infused with clinical insight, illuminating case examples, and helpful illustrations, Brain-Based Parenting brings the science of caregiving to light for the first time. Far from just managing our children’s behavior, we can develop our “parenting brains,” and with a better understanding of the neurobiological roots of our feelings and our own attachment histories, we can transform a fraught parent-child relationship into an open, regulated, and loving one.

From the  Series: Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology www.pdx.edu/ceed/interpersonal-neurobiology-program-resources

About the Authors
Daniel A. Hughes, PhD. is a clinical psychologist who resides in Lebanon, PA. After receiving his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Ohio University Hughes developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, a psychotherapeutic treatment method for families that have children with symptoms of emotional disorders, including Complex Trauma and disorders of attachment. He is also the author of Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd edition, (2006), and Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011).  He has provided training and consultations to therapists, social workers and parents throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia and provides regular training's at Colby College in Maine, Annville, PA, and London, UK.  He also is a visiting tutor for a graduate program in London.

Jonathan Baylin PhD., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware. With over 30 years of experience Baylin offers workshops for therapists on integrating knowledge about the brain with psychotherapy.

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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 12:48:11 AM »

This book was fascinating to my analytical, scientific way of thinking. I did struggle with the more technical terminology in the beginning chapters. Yet, they gave insight into our instinctive drive to be connected to our children, and our children’s drive to be connected to us. And how this could be interrupted by several different events or circumstances in our lives as parents. The other emphasis that I found enlightening was the intense focus on ‘healing’ the parent, then the parent ‘healing’ the child. There are very concrete principles, explanations, case-studies that led me through this model. Even though there is an undercurrent of attachment theory, and this was the authors’ background experience, it is much broader than that. It is about looking at our connections to our child(ren) and fine-tuning these as parents before we approach the behaviors of the child.

For me this is much like the process I have already under taken:

1. Taking care of my needs so I am not looking to my child’s behavior to do that for me

2. Learning validation skills to focus on my child’s emotions and feelings

3. Discovering my values and creating my values-based boundaries

4. Working out the ‘rules’ to manage the day to day operation of my home.

The ideas in Brain Based Parenting, and the understanding of how my mind, emotions and body are intimately connected has brought together all of this for me. Maybe synergy is the word I am looking for to describe my experience with the principles from this book connecting to what I have been doing that seems to be working in my home.

The authors address how to apply the brain interactions along with the attachment model called PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, empathy). They include guidance for how to use this in family therapy sessions, with the focus on working with the parent directly instead of the child. The therapist teaches the parent who then teaches the child in their daily life together. This could be very helpful in interviewing a potential therapist, or working to improve a current relationship in therapy.

I feel very passionate about the teachings in this book. It brings it all together for me as a parent to my gd7 and in nurturing my relationship with my BPDDD26 who are both a part of dh and my home. We can make this work for the good of all.

The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 09:09:06 AM »

Interesting impact of reading this book. When I go back to refresh myself in other books and articles, I interpret it so differently knowing the neurobiological path that is running parallel to almost everything else I am reading. So it makes sense in my thinking and now I can 'feel' it making sense in my body and heart.  The work still needing done is relaxing enough in all the information to truly integrate it in all these areas. Maybe that is what wisemind is about for me.


The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 06:53:56 AM »

I found this book amazing and important in my recovery.

Myself and my child have both been raised in a fight or flight situation, each having a BPD parent.

I knew the bonding was disrupted but could find no validation for my experience.

this nails it.

now for the healing part.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 02:01:30 PM »

I knew the bonding was disrupted but could find no validation for my experience.

This is a great way to describe the impact of this book on my experience too.


The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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