This pioneering work sets forth an important new model for understanding the development of psychopathology. Bridging the gap between psychodynamically and biologically oriented perspectives, noted clinician-researcher Susan J. Bradley synthesizes extensive evidence from studies of attachment, temperament, neurobiology, psychotherapy, stress, and trauma. The book establishes the centrality of emotional arousal--and the failure to regulate this arousal--in the development, recurrence, and maintenance of behavioral disorders, affective spectrum disorders, and the psychoses. Attention is given to the interplay of brain processes, individual differences, and transactional factors (including caregiver behaviors) in the growth of the capacity to manage the experience and expression of affect. Also considered are ways that affect and its regulation are addressed by various models of psychotherapy, and implications for understanding patient resistance to change. The book is unique in demonstrating the significance of a developmental perspective for understanding not only childhood disorders, but adult psychopathology as well. It will be invaluable as a resource for mental health practitioners, students, and researchers, and as a text in graduate-level courses.
"In this profoundly scholarly book, Susan Bradley demonstrates compellingly that most mental disorders can be linked with developmental failures in affect regulation. Her overarching model transcends the prevailing atheoretical system of categorizing mental disorders. It also averts any tendency to focus exclusively on the brain by integrating biological and psychological approaches to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric patients. This is a landmark work. I highly recommend it to psychiatric residents and graduate students in developmental psychology, as well as emotion and attachment researchers seeking ways of integrating their work into the larger field of mental health. The book will also be excellent reading for clinicians interested in how developmental studies of parent-child interactions can inform our understanding of psychopathology." --Graeme J. Taylor, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
"This book makes a significant contribution to the field of psychopathology. In the past two decades, progress in basic neuroscience research has been dramatic. Although the findings have tremendous implications for our conceptualization of the origins of human psychopathology, these have not been fully explored. Bradley has taken up the challenge of integrating contemporary neuroscience with clinical research, and she has formulated a new and persuasive approach to developmental psychopathology. The notion of affect regulation as a critical homeostatic process provides a cohesive framework for explaining the origins and course of human developmental disorders. This book will be of interest to researchers and clinicians in the fields of psychopathology and developmental psychology. Further, because it offers an overview of a variety of developmental disorders, it will be a great addition to advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on psychopathology." --Elaine F. Walker, PhD, Department of Psychology, Emory University
"This book represents a pioneering and seminally important contribution, taking us reassuringly through heretofore murky and uncharted waters. We have here the rare opportunity to read a vital work which is simultaneously creative, provocative, and profound. Bradley convincingly integrates and reconciles neuropsychological, neuroanatomical, neurobehavioral, developmental, psychological, social, and psychiatric perspectives. Her strengths as a thinker, integrator, elucidator, and healer come through vividly in this unique volume." --Saul Levine, MD, Director, Institute of Behavioral Health, Children's Hospital and Health Center; Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; University of California, San Diego
"This book is at the forefront of recent efforts to understand the origins of psychopathology in terms of problems in self-regulation. Bradley integrates a wide array of literatures--from neurobiological studies, to studies of parent-child interaction, to clinical theory--making her case for the centrality of affect regulation in a very rich way. Combining impressive scholarship with clinical acumen, this book will advance our understanding of many different types of psychopathology. An important contribution." --John E. Bates, PhD, Department of Psychology, Indiana University