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The Makings of a Secure Child with Serena Messina

Dr. Serena Messina joins me to discuss the importance of secure attachment for children. It is a cornerstone of relationships and emotional wellbeing.

As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Serena has conducted extensive research and practical work on attachment theory. She shares how its focus developed  through many  studies. For her, attachment theory highlights  the risk factors for the emotional development of children.

She talks about  the importance of relationships and emotional regulation in child development, leading to secure attachment.  Responsive and sensitive parents pave the way for their children to have more self-esteem and better friendships in middle school.

She gives ways to assess attachment based on a parent or a caregiver’s interaction with children. Furthermore, she talks about how it manifests in different age groups. She delves into other forms of attachment and their differences from secure attachment.

Furthermore, she discusses how psychologists measure attachment in different age groups and help people with insecure attachment through therapy. She points  out that therapy is also an emotional experience and that people can overcome their attachment problems through proper support and guidance.

She then gives her insights on how the state of our society affects how parents and caregivers securely attach to children. Here, she stresses the importance of quality care, whoever it is caring for them.

In conclusion, she gives tips on how parents or caregivers can practice self-care to improve their relationships with their children.

What You’ll Learn About The Makings of a Secure Child:

  • How Dr. Serena studies attachment theory and how she got into it
  • The evolution of attachment theory over time and its impact
  • Why attachment theory is helpful in a child’s development
  • How to measure and assess attachment in different age groups
  • What children need to have a secure attachment
  • Why there is a need for attachment from cradle to grave
  • The different categories of attachment
  • How childhood attachment is linked to self-esteem development
  • The effect of changes in today’s society in a child’s attachment
  • How to value interaction, connection, and quality care as a parent or a caregiver

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  • Dr. Serena Messina: Website
  • Resources about Attachment Theory
    • “The Strange Situation” by B. Saltman (2020), Ballantine Books: New York
    • “Attached” by A. Levine and R.S. Heller (2010), Penguin Random House: New York
    • Podcast: Therapist Uncensored (multiple episode on the different attachment models and how they affect individuals’ emotional development as well as interaction with others)
    • “The Making and Breaking of Affective Bonds” by J. Bowlby (1989), Routledge
  • Examples of parenting books based on Attachment Theory
    • “The Emotional Life of the Toddler” by A.F. Lieberman (1993, 2018), Simon & Schuster, New York
    • “The Power of Showing up” by D. Siegel and T.P. Bryson (2020), Ballantine Books, New York
    • Example of parenting intervention based on attachment theory: “The Circle of Security”
  • Example of academic works for audience interested in the research
    • “Attachment and Loss” by J. Bowlby (1969, 1982), Basic Books, New York
    • “The Handbook of Attachment”, 3rd edition by J. Cassidy and P. R. Shaver (2016), The Guilford Press, New York
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience with Dr. Kelly Fradin
  • Brain Development in Early Childhood with Dr. Bob Murray
  • Child Temperament and Eating with Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

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The Makings of a Secure Child

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