Separation, the second volume of Attachment and Loss, continues John Bowlby's influential work on the importance of the parental relationship to mental health.
Here he considers separation and the anxiety that accompanies it: the fear of imminent or anticipated separation, the fear induced by parental threats of separation, and the inversion of the parent-child relationship.
Dr Bowlby re-examines the situations that cause us to feel fear and compares them with evidence from animals. He concludes that fear is initially aroused by certain elemental situations - sudden movement, darkness or separation - which, although intrinsically harmless, are indicative of an increased risk of danger.
Attachment and Loss is a deeply important series of works that continue to influence the landscape of psychoanalysis and psychology, and its second volume, Separation, provides a unique exploration of anxiety in the parent-child relationship.
John Bowlby (1907 - 1990) was educated at the University of Cambridge and University College Hospital, London. After qualifying in medicine, he specialised in child psychiatry and psychoanalysis. In 1946 he joined the staff of the Tavistock Clinic where his research and influential publications contributed to far-reaching changes in the ways children are treated and to radical new thinking about the social and emotional development of human beings. He held honorary degrees from the Universities of Cambridge and Leicester and received awards from professional and scientific bodies, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Paediatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the New York Academy of Medicine.