100 books like Attachment

By Ross A. Thompson (editor), Jeffry A. Simpson (editor), Lisa J. Berlin (editor)

Here are 100 books that Attachment fans have personally recommended if you like Attachment. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous

Jay Belsky Author Of The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life

From my list on development from childhood to middle age.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was almost by accident that I became who I turned out to be as a professional, a developmental scientist interested in how early-life experiences shape who we become. Had someone asked me when I graduated from high school what were the chances of me becoming a scientist and teacher, I would have answered “zero, zero”! During my now 40+ year academic career I've come to appreciate how complex the many forces are that shape who we become. There's no nature without nurture and no nurture without nature. This emergent realization led me to learn about and study many aspects of developmental experience, like parenting and peer relations, and the role of genetics and evolution.

Jay's book list on development from childhood to middle age

Jay Belsky Why did Jay love this book?

This one does not follow children from childhood to adulthood, but rather reveals how 100s of years ago events occurred that radically changed who people interacted with, married and spent their lives relating to.

It is a bold, strikingly original, and epic account of how the co-evolution of psychology and culture created the peculiar Western mind that profoundly shaped the modern world. While Nature matters, what this volume made clear to me is how “big Nurture”, meaning cultural practices, have changed over the past 1,000 years and the dramatic implications of such change for the world we live in today.

By Joseph Henrich,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The WEIRDest People in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A landmark in social thought. Henrich may go down as the most influential social scientist of the first half of the twenty-first century' MATTHEW SYED

Do you identify yourself by your profession or achievements, rather than your family network? Do you cultivate your unique attributes and goals? If so, perhaps you are WEIRD: raised in a society that is Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic.

Unlike most who have ever lived, WEIRD people are highly individualistic, nonconformist, analytical and control-oriented. How did WEIRD populations become so psychologically peculiar? What part did these differences play in our history, and what do…


Book cover of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection

Jay Belsky Author Of The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life

From my list on development from childhood to middle age.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was almost by accident that I became who I turned out to be as a professional, a developmental scientist interested in how early-life experiences shape who we become. Had someone asked me when I graduated from high school what were the chances of me becoming a scientist and teacher, I would have answered “zero, zero”! During my now 40+ year academic career I've come to appreciate how complex the many forces are that shape who we become. There's no nature without nurture and no nurture without nature. This emergent realization led me to learn about and study many aspects of developmental experience, like parenting and peer relations, and the role of genetics and evolution.

Jay's book list on development from childhood to middle age

Jay Belsky Why did Jay love this book?

Given my interests in nature and nurture, what I find especially fascinating is “the nature of nurture”. By this I mean how Darwinian natural selection has shaped the way our species rears its children and the effects such care has on them.

This book by a world-famous anthropologist beautifully, informative, and insightfully reveals how evolution has made us who we are as parents, people capable of unconditional love but by no means always dispensing it, sometimes the exact opposite—and why that is the case.

By Sarah Blaffer Hrdy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mother Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A History of Mothers, Infants and Natural Selection


Book cover of The Development of the Person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood

Jay Belsky Author Of The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life

From my list on development from childhood to middle age.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was almost by accident that I became who I turned out to be as a professional, a developmental scientist interested in how early-life experiences shape who we become. Had someone asked me when I graduated from high school what were the chances of me becoming a scientist and teacher, I would have answered “zero, zero”! During my now 40+ year academic career I've come to appreciate how complex the many forces are that shape who we become. There's no nature without nurture and no nurture without nature. This emergent realization led me to learn about and study many aspects of developmental experience, like parenting and peer relations, and the role of genetics and evolution.

Jay's book list on development from childhood to middle age

Jay Belsky Why did Jay love this book?

This book tells the story of the ground-breaking Minnesota Longitudinal Study, the first to document developmental effects of infant-mother attachment security/insecurity and so much more, a contribution to understanding that greatly shaped my own career.

The book shares discoveries which emerged in following more than 200 children growing up under high-risk conditions from birth to adulthood. In so doing it illuminates whether, how, and why early-life experiences foster problematic development or resilience in the face of adversity.

By L. Alan Sroufe, Byron Egeland, Elizabeth A. Carlson , W. Andrew Collins

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Development of the Person as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive work on a groundbreaking study, this essential volume provides a coherent picture of the complexity of development from birth to adulthood. Explicated are both the methodology of the Minnesota study and its far-reaching contributions to understanding how we become who we are. The book marshals a vast body of data on the ways in which individuals' strengths and vulnerabilities are shaped by myriad influences, including early experiences, family and peer relationships throughout childhood and adolescence, variations in child characteristics and abilities, and socioeconomic conditions. Implications for clinical intervention and prevention are also addressed. Rigorously documented and clearly presented,…


Book cover of Children of the Great Depression: Social Change in Life Experience

Jay Belsky Author Of The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life

From my list on development from childhood to middle age.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was almost by accident that I became who I turned out to be as a professional, a developmental scientist interested in how early-life experiences shape who we become. Had someone asked me when I graduated from high school what were the chances of me becoming a scientist and teacher, I would have answered “zero, zero”! During my now 40+ year academic career I've come to appreciate how complex the many forces are that shape who we become. There's no nature without nurture and no nurture without nature. This emergent realization led me to learn about and study many aspects of developmental experience, like parenting and peer relations, and the role of genetics and evolution.

Jay's book list on development from childhood to middle age

Jay Belsky Why did Jay love this book?

Whether and how childhood adversity shapes human development is a question that has long intrigued scientists and citizens.

This book tells the story of a great sociologist mining archival data about children who grew up during economically troubled times in America in order to underscore how the past is—and is notprologue. Perhaps its greatest contribution is in illuminating the environmental conditions and life experiences that determined whether children eventually thrived or failed. In so doing, this work shaped the field of developmental studies, including my own work, for decades to come.

By Glen H. Elder, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Children of the Great Depression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores the familial and intergenerational implications and consequences of drastic socio-economic change, as experienced by Oakland, California residents born in 1920-21


Book cover of Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

Stephanie Dueger Author Of Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

From my list on to feel more prepared for parenthood.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a trained therapist, educator, and coach for expectant and new parents, I understand on a deep level the importance of creating a strong foundation in building a family. I also was personally humbled at how difficult the transition to parenthood was for me and the challenges it presented in my relationship with my husband. While we’ve grown exponentially, I wanted to make it a little easier for other expectant parents to avoid some of the pitfalls that aren’t spoken about as much in becoming parents. I also wanted to help the new little beings arriving in the world to have more resourced, present parents. It’s a win-win.

Stephanie's book list on to feel more prepared for parenthood

Stephanie Dueger Why did Stephanie love this book?

Siegel is a child psychiatrist who deeply understands the importance of attachment theory and neurobiology. This book, written with child development specialist and parent educator Hartzell, invites parents to deeply examine their own childhood experiences and how they have shaped us. It provides clear exercises for making sense of our past in an effort to provide the best, emotionally, for our children. As a therapist, I believe there is no greater gift to ourselves and our children than working towards our own healing, which helps prevent the transmission of “generational trauma” to our children. This book also focuses on the importance of “repair” after there have been ruptures in the relationship with our children. This in itself is invaluable.

By Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Parenting from the Inside Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain"

In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and…


Book cover of The Transforming Power of Affect: A Model for Accelerated Change

Hilary Jacobs Hendel Author Of It's Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self

From my list on emotional health and wellbeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a psychoanalyst, AEDP psychotherapist, emotions educator, author, speaker, and blogger. My passion is sharing what I learned in my psychotherapy training with people interested in improving their emotional health. I became increasingly outraged that everyone did not have access to this crucial information on emotions so I started writing and teaching. After almost 20 years of teaching and using the Change Triangle, I have found it to be the most practical tool to increase emotional health and to reduce and heal anxiety and depression at its roots for lasting change. It is a true game-changer for well-being.

Hilary's book list on emotional health and wellbeing

Hilary Jacobs Hendel Why did Hilary love this book?

Before I learned about emotions, I believed my anxiety and depression had to be managed but could not be healed at the root. Learning that emotions were not under conscious control and that they were physical experiences that had purpose and meaning changed the way I understood myself for the better. It changed my mental health permanently and in the best ways. It gave me permission to be more authentic. I felt less ashamed of my feelings and more confident that I could help myself and be better in relationships.

By Diana Fosha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Transforming Power of Affect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first model of accelerated psychodynamic therapy to make the theoretical why as important as the formula for how, Fosha's original technique for catalyzing change mandates explicit empathy and radical engagement by the therapist to elicit and harness the patient's own healing affects. Its wide-open window on contemporary relational and attachment theory ushers in a safe, emotionally intense, experience-based pathway for processing previously unbearable feelings. This is a rich fusion of intellectual rigor, clinical passion, and practical moment-by-moment interventions.


Book cover of Diary of a Baby: What Your Child Sees, Feels, and Experiences

Erica Komisar Author Of Chicken Little the Sky Isn't Falling: Raising Resilient Adolescents in the New Age of Anxiety

From my list on raising an emotionally resilient child.

Why am I passionate about this?

Erica Komisar is a licensed clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities and The New York Freudian Society, Ms. Komisar is a psychological consultant bringing parenting and work/life workshops to clinics, schools, corporations, and childcare settings. She is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Daily News. She is a Contributing Editor to The Institute For Family Studies and appears regularly on Fox and Friends and Fox 5 News

Erica's book list on raising an emotionally resilient child

Erica Komisar Why did Erica love this book?

I love this book because it takes the observations and research of Daniel Stern’s The Interpersonal World of the Infant and puts it into readable and understandable language. This book helps parents to empathize with their young children, to understand how they are feeling and what they are thinking and to make attachment theory more real.

By Daniel N. Stern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diary of a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every new parent desperately wants to know what goes on in the mind of a baby. Now a noted authority on infant development and psychiatry brings us closer than ever before to penetrating a your child's consciousness. In alternating sections of evocative prose, representing the baby's own voice, and explanatory text, Daniel Stern draws on the latest research findings to recreate the baby's world."


Book cover of Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair

Deirdre Fay Author Of Becoming Safely Embodied: A Guide to Organize Your Mind, Body and Heart to Feel Secure in the World

From my list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am someone whose trauma history came out of the blue…while living in a yoga ashram, meditating, and training for triathlons. After almost seven years of ashram life I left, went to graduate school, and explored trauma, attachment, and wisdom traditions in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, my private practice, and beyond.  I amassed skills sets in trauma treatment (as a supervisor under the guidance of Bessel van der Kolk and Janina Fisher), attachment theory (with Daniel Brown, PhD), compassion (Compassion Focused Therapy & Mindful Self-Compassion), body therapy (as a trainer for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, practitioner in LifeForce Yoga and Self-Awakening Yoga), and Internal Family Systems.

Deirdre's book list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation

Deirdre Fay Why did Deirdre love this book?

I was incredibly lucky to spend almost thirteen years learning attachment theory with Dan Brown in a small group setting, meeting with clinicians I highly respected. Dan’s incredible capacity to integrate the theory and literature of developmental psychology, attachment theory, and the wisdom traditions made it clear that the reason trauma doesn’t heal is because of the underlying attachment issues. David Elliott headed the team of co-authors which I am honored to be part of, making the book immensely readable. In 2018 it won the prestigious International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) Pierre Janet Writing Award.

By Daniel P. Brown, David S. Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Attachment Disturbances in Adults as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Attachment Disturbances in Adults offers an innovative therapeutic model and set of methods for treating adult patients with dismissing, anxious-preoccupied or disorganised attachment. With rich detail, it integrates historical and leading-edge attachment research into practical, effective treatment protocols for each type of insecure attachment. Case transcripts and many sample therapist phrasings illustrate how to apply the methods in practise.


Book cover of Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love

Koa Lou Whittingham Author Of Becoming Mum

From my list on for new and expectant mothers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a clinical and developmental psychologist, a parenting researcher at the University of Queensland, and a mother. My research is focused on applying and commitment therapy (ACT) to parenting including the parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. I wrote Becoming Mum while becoming a mother for the first time. In fact, much of the book was written while I cuddled my new baby, my laptop propped up on my knees so I could write! I am also the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician’s Guide to Supporting Parents. It is the first clinical manual on using ACT with parents.

Koa's book list on for new and expectant mothers

Koa Lou Whittingham Why did Koa love this book?

Becoming Attached chronicles the conception and rise of one of the most important psychological theories: attachment theory. In doing so, it also tells the story of the mother-child bond and how our earliest relationships shape who we are and how we love. This book will delight and fascinate you. It will also leave you with clear, evidence-based knowledge of how to build and maintain a strong and loving relationship with your baby.

By Robert Karen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Attached as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The struggle to understand the infant-parent bond ranks as one of the great quests of modern psychology, one that touches us deeply because it holds so many clues to how we become who we are. How are our personalities formed? How do our early struggles with our parents reappear in the way we relate to others as adults? Why do we repeat with our own children--seemingly against our will--the very behaviors we most disliked about our parents? In Becoming Attached, psychologist and noted journalist Robert Karen offers fresh insight into some of the most fundamental and fascinating questions of emotional…


Book cover of Animal Husbandry

Mary Carlomagno Author Of Best Friend for Hire

From my list on girl power books that leaped from page to screen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a publishing executive turned self-help expert who frequents national morning shows to talk about clutter. Full disclosure, I'm a recovering shopaholic with an obsessive need to tidy up people’s homes and offices. My philosophy is simple, I bring order to everything I do, because life shouldn’t be a mess. I've written non-fiction books based on my organizing expertise that has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and NPR. I learned that it's never really about the stuff but the journey of self-discovery, a journey that is made easier with a best friend at your side. This journey of the flawed and strong heroine in my latest book, a novel called Best Friend for Hire.

Mary's book list on girl power books that leaped from page to screen

Mary Carlomagno Why did Mary love this book?

I would argue that this novel set up the formula for fresh funny self-deprecating women characters that become heroines of their own stories. Later made into a movie with Ashley Judd and titled Someone Like You, the heroine compares modern-day dating to the rituals of mating in the animal kingdom to hilarious results.  

By Laura Zigman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animal Husbandry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New cow...

Ray makes the move. Jane feels the rush. Ray says the L-word. Jane breaks her lease. Then suddenly, inexplicably, he dumps her. Just. Like. That.

...old cow.

Now black is the only color in Jane's closet and Kleenex is clinging to her nose. Why did it happen? How could it have happened?

Moo.

Jane is going to get an answer. Not from Ray. Not from her best friends, David and Joan. But from an astounding new discovery of her own: The Old-Cow-New-Cow theory.

Forced to move into the apartment of a womanizing alpha male named Eddie, Jane is…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in attachment theory, nature versus nurture, and parenting?

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