Publication date: 5 February 1998
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.