ABSTRACT

Sir Richard, when did you become interested in attachment theory? I was not chatting with my father about attachment theory when my babies were tiny . I only had discussions with him much later . And he didn't offer any insight either. He only made one comment to my wife , which was that "you're doing fine" (see Bowlby, 2004, p. 21). It wasn't until my children were eight or nine years old that I decided I had better read some of my father 's work. I better read these three thick volumes. My father said: "Well don't start on Volume I, you 'll find it very boring; start on Volume 2, it's a lot more interesting". He was right, but he made a mistake. I should have started on Chapter II of Volume I, because that is all about how we develop these primary attachment bonds. After my father died, I thought I had better learn a bit more about it. Xenia (my wife) and I went to a series ofone-hour evening lectures on attachment theory, and we got to know the people quite well. Mario Marrone, who was organising the lectures, and who co-founded the Attachment & Human Development Journal, said that he was going to repeat the series of lectures. He asked whether I would do an introductory talk about my father. I said no - I had never spoken in public, but Mario said that he had already advertised that I was going to speak. So I made a video and showed it at the next series of lectures. At the end, I asked if there were any questions. Mario had said : "I think you 'll find that you know more than you realise", and he was right, because of course they were asking me questions about my

dad, nobody else's dad. Slowly this (interest in attachment) started perking up. That was in the mid-1990s . But what really made the difference was the birth of my first grandchild, because suddenly I sawall of this happening before my eyes. I had some knowledge by that point. And then I made the real shift to include fathers. You know, I made the video tape and distributed that, and people started to invite me to lecture, and things slowly built up. But then Sophie and Matthew came to live with us for a few years (daughter and son-in-law) after Nathan was born, and Matt said: "There's something wrong with attachment theory - it doesn't account for fathers!"