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The Power of Secure Attachment

Offering deep relatedness from the very first session.


We all know what happens to a child when a parent is consistently unpredictable, frightening, or absent.

That child often grows into someone who has a hard time being in relationships with self or others.

As therapists, what can we do?

According to Diane Poole Heller, an expert in trauma and attachment, therapy begins with a focus on the innate human desire to be connected to others. Starting there, we can help clients find their way back to meaningful, safe relationships.

In a recent conversation, Diane explained how to identify and then amplify secure attachment behaviors in clients—allowing them to grow into a safe connection—first with her—and then with others.

Let us know what you think about this video and Diane’s approach.

Diane Poole Heller is just one of the six innovators included in our all-new video webcast series Is Attachment the Problem? Putting Attachment Theory into Practice. It offers an insider’s look at the most practical applications of attachment theory that experts like Bruce Ecker, Susan Johnson, Daniel Hughes, Maggie Phillips, and David Feinstein have to offer. To learn more about this popular webcast, click here.

Want to learn more about attachment? Check out “The Attuned Therapist” by Mary Sykes Wylie and Lynn Turner. It’s a free resource from our award-winning magazine.

Need CEs? Audio Courses available include Couples Therapy with Intimacy Avoiders with Terry Real, and Attachment Theory in Action, with Daniel Hughes.

About Diane Poole Heller: Diane is an expert in Somatic Experiencing and the DARE: Dynamic Attachment Re-Patterning Experience model, and is the author of Crash Course: A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma & Recovery.

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3 Responses to The Power of Secure Attachment

  1. Jacqueline Roig, PsyD says:

    Perhaps it was the context of being interviewed, but the short clip left me fatigued! She speaks so quickly and almost breathlessly that I was wondering, if she acts that way in session, how someone could feel heard by her or at all secure in her presence. The ideas are simple, perhaps idealistic in how clients might respond to, for example, imagining grandmother as looking lovingly if grandmother did not leave that impression. Many times, people are unattached because they do not have that felt sense of being loved or safe. And it is not always straightforward, either; perhaps someone’s “other” did approach them with love but the signals were misinterpreted, which brings the clinician to a whole different place…

    • KimT says:

      I’m sure this is a very effective technique. However as I listened I wondered if it would be necessary to signal or name the client’s act of putting on glasses as an activated attachment system. Could it be enough to just be there, to be attuned, empathic, and mirroring the clients emotional experience?

  2. Julie Houck says:

    I found the clip of Diane Poole Heller to be energetic and inspiring. I wanted to hear more. She introduced a few of her bag of tools to the session. I really enjoyed her energy.

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