Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Family & Relationships Child Development

Connecting with Kids Through Stories

Using Narratives to Facilitate Attachment in Adopted Children

by (author) Joanne C. May, Denise B. Lacher, Todd Nichols & Melissa Nichols

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Initial publish date
Dec 2011
Child Development
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2011
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Adopted children whose early development has been altered by abuse or neglect may form negative beliefs about themselves and parents, and may resist connecting with others. This book outlines how therapeutic stories can help children to heal and develop healthy attachments.With a thorough theoretical grounding, the book demonstrates how to create therapeutic stories that improve relationships, heal past trauma, and change problem behaviour. The story of a fictional family that develops its own narratives to help their adopted child heal illustrates the techniques. This second edition includes updated research on attachment, trauma and the developmental process; a new chapter on parental attunement and regulation; and a new chapter with full length samples of a variety of narrative types.The gentle and non-intrusive techniques in this book will be highly beneficial for children with attachment difficulties. This guide will be an invaluable resource for parents of adopted children and the professionals working with them.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

The authors are all based at the Family Attachment and Counseling Center, Minnesota, USA. Denise B. Lacher is a psychologist who specializes in treating children who have experienced maltreatment in early life. Todd Nichols is Executive Director. He is co-recipient of the 2008 Pro Humanitate Award issued by the Center for Child Welfare Policy and sole recipient of the 2007 New Horizons Award issued by the Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. Melissa Nichols is a marriage and family therapist who specializes in treating children who have experienced abandonment, neglect, and abuse early in life. Joanne C. May is a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist and founder of the Family Attachment and Counseling Center. She has over 50 years' experience working with families, children and adolescents.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the First Edition:"...written simply and coherently. ...provides an excellent guide for showing parents how to create stories that enable the child to discover new meanings: those associated with success, not failure, hope, not hopelessness."- Daniel A. Hughes, Clinical Psychologist, So. China, ME"...offers parents a supportive tool for entering their child's life in a subtle though direct manner. Parents should find that this book is one answer to their on-going question of 'What can we do?'"- Gregory C. Keck, Founder and Director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, Cleveland, OHPraise for the second edition:'This is a clear, practical, relevant and optimistic book that gives adoptive parents a deeper insight into the lives of their children, and an effective intervention made all the more attractive because it is based on the universally familiar and compelling business of telling stories about lifes most significant emotional experiences.'-- David Howe, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work and Psychology, University of East Anglia, UK