Attachment Theory John Bowlby Introduced the “Attachment Behavior System” This system has the primary and immediate responsibility for regulating infant safety in the environments of evolutionary adaptedness….it leads the infant to continually monitor the physical and psychological accessibility of attachment figures.
Attachment Theory Mary Ainsworth- “The Strange Situation” “The Strange Situation”- Widely replicated experiment that studied infants’ interactions with their primary caregivers. Identified infant attachment behaviors Seeking proximity Secure base Flight to attachment figure The most important factor in the child’s developing psychological is not whether he/she has become attached, but how the attachment to the primary figure has become organized.
Two Broad Categories of Attachment Secure Infant feels confident about the predictable response of the caregiver. Insecure Infant feels anxious about the unpredictable responses of the caregiver.
Typesof Insecure Attachment Insecure-Preoccupied “Sometimes my caregiver meets my needs, but sometimes not, so I am anxious and will cling to her/him for reassurance.” Insecure-Avoidant “My security needs won’t be met, so I won’t look to my caregiver for reassurance. This would mean risking rejection.”
Insecure-Disorganized “I have so much anxiety over my caregiver’s inconsistent (and sometimes threatening) responses, that I will seek out safety from anyonewho looks like they might meet my needs.”
What Causes Insecure Attachment?
Frightening or Dangerous Caregiving
Unresolved States Within the Caregiver
Attachment is BIOLOGICAL! Attachment actually shapes many biological systems within the body.
Brain mass, volume, and functioning
Autonomic Nervous System
How are Brains Made?
Internal Working Models
Use of Body
THE GROWTH OF AN ATTACHMENT SYSTEM The explosion of right brain growth during the first two years of life is the basis of the attachment system. Right brain functions include:
Sense of Self in Space
Attachment theorists maintain that models of attachment develop initially in childhood relationships with parents and serve as prototypes for later relationships.
AdultAttachment Mary Ainsworth (1991) “There is a seeking to obtain an experience of security and comfort in the relationship with the partner.” Romantic Partners can help each other develop secure attachment.
Attachment-Focused Family Therapy
PACE Model of Parenting Playfulness Acceptance Curiosity Empathy The PACE parenting model rests on the principle that home should be a sanctuary…a safe haven for all. The rights of all members of the home, children and adults, deserve respect. The development of each person is encouraged without hurting the development of another.
Allan Schore… “The essential biological purpose of intersubjective communications in all human interactions, including those imbedded in the psychobiological core of the therapeutic alliance, is the regulation of right-brain/mind/body states.” (2005)
OnTrack’s Attachment Program Rationale: Research overwhelmingly show that children removed from their parents and placed in “better” environments fare worse than those who remain with their families of origin, however flawed they may be.
OnTrack’s Attachment Program Goals:
Build parenting capacities
Reduce attachment trauma
Reduce intergenerational transmission of attachment-related disorders
Reduce out-of-home placement of at-risk children
OnTrack’s Attachment Program Interventions:
Individual and Parent/Child assessment.
Attachment-focused family therapy.
Parent/child attachment coaching.
Psychoeducation in attachment for parents in treatment.