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Attachment Theory

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Jeffrey Bulanda

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Attachment Theory

Attachment Theory:
Implications for Child & Adult
Treatment “Human beings of all ages are found to be at their happiest and to be able to deploy their talents to best advantage when they are confident that, standing behind them, there are one or more trusted persons who will come to their aid should difficulties arise.”
Bowlby, 1973 The Evolution of Attachment
Theoretical Concepts Attachment as biological Imperative

Internal working Models:
A child has two unconscious working models (or mental maps):
◦How the child views himself
◦How he views the world Characteristics of Attachment:
-Proximity Maintenance: The desire to be near the people that we are attached to
-Safe Haven: Returning to the parents for comfort and safety in face of fear or threat
-Secure Base: The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surroundings
-Separation Distress: anxiety that occurs in the absence of the caregiver Attachment Styles Applications to Therapy Co-created relationships of attachment are the key context for development.

Preverbal experience makes up the core of the developing self.

The stance of the self toward experience predicts attachment security better than the facts of personal history themselves. In the treatment relationship:
-Make dialogue inclusive [depth & breathe for client’s feelings, needs, and behaviors]
-Actively initiate repair
-Upgrade the dialogue
-Be willing to engage and struggle
-Be self-aware: to the extent we are intimate with our own darkness, we are capable of making room for the clients Wallin, D. J. (2007). Attachment in psychotherapy. New York: The Guilford Press.

Hayes, S. (n.d.) Attachment in adulthood. Power Point Presentations. Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.attachment.ie/

Shaver, P. (March, 2006). Adult attachment theory: Does it relate to anxiety, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness?. University of California, Davis, SBM pre-conference.
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