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Attachment and the Conversational Model

Attachment and the Conversational Model

Early attachment is viewed as a major organizing principle that may explain important aspects of normal and pathological interpersonal relations across the life cycle – including the therapeutic relationship with patients. (Bowlby 1979) The therapeutic relationship is widely accepted to be the bedrock on which the progress of psychotherapy depends. Attachment theory, with its focus on relationships across the life span, is helpful in understanding the nature and the unfolding of the therapeutic relationship.

That humans are primarily and innately adapted to relatedness with others was proposed by Suttie, (1935) Sullivan (1960) and A. Meares (1961).  In the later 1970’s Russell Meares and Robert Hobson further elaborated that the form of relatedness dictates the form of conversation in the psychotherapy situation; and that the form of conversation determines in return the emerging sense of relatedness.

I will briefly describe Attachment Theory (Bowlby 1979) and the different types of attachment, (Bowlby, Ainsworth 1988) and proceed to look at how they inform the development of the therapeutic relationship, and the forms of relatedness required to progress in psychotherapy with the Conversational Model.

Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Attachment


Theme and Variations: The way the Complex Traumatic past becomes the Complex Traumatic present

All About My M/other: on m/othering and the relational matrix

Attachment, the Therapeutic Dyad and the CM Perspective: tracking self-development and (re)integration

Human beings develop in connected relationships, commencing with the touch, gaze, voice and affective tone of the proto-conversation and the sequencing of activities that tend to care, safety, comfort and play, extending to the therapeutic context where psychotherapy is the base for a healing relationship that fosters post-traumatic transformation, often mutual. Connectivity is constructed at every level of the individual and interpersonal systems: neurons fire and wire together, autonomic nervous systems are in conversation and the “soft wiring” and intrapersonal connections slowly unfold.

I will be with you, always”: An overview of the relationship to God as an attachment relationship in the context of psychotherapy

Current understandings of the power and importance of attachment relationships for the development and

Male and female attachment and severity of self-reported delinquent and risk-taking behaviors

The family is the most important influence in the lives of children, and is the first line of defense against various types of delinquent behavior. Families have the ability to serve as a protective factor, which research shows can have a very positive effect on the future of the child. Attachment to at least one parent has an immense effect on resilience in youth. Present study examined relationship between different family characteristics, attachment and frequency and severity of delinquent and risky behavior among urban youth. The sample included 1422 urban youth of both gender, aged 13-19.

Restoration of a moral universe: The perspectives of children and youth from war-affected contexts on justice and forgiveness: Traumatic, developmental and attachment dimensions.

Research on the psychological concomitants of forgiveness has direct implications for therapy with traumatized and war-affected children. Finding that forgiveness has been linked with well-being has led to the promotion of reconciliation following political violence. Whether responses to war, however, should be corrected or modified has encountered strong challenges from those who insist that truth-telling and justice must precede forgiveness and that such psychological forays may undermine social and political recovery. When post-traumatic symptoms such as nightmares and re-enactments persist, moral dilemmas around anger, guilt are often at play. The (re)-construction of a narrative is often prescribed as a therapeutic means of attenuating the impact of potentially traumatic events.

The adaptation of immigrant psychotherapists to the culture and psyche of their clients in the host country.

There has been a steady increase in the number of overseas born and trained psychotherapists practicing in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Immigration is a complex and stressful process. Immigrant