Topic - Attachment Theory

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

VIDEO: Susan Johnson on the Power of Emotion

The Secret Ingredient in Good Therapy

Susan Johnson

Emotion is the most important motivating force bringing clients to our offices in the first place. Nevertheless, therapists are often strangely queasy in the presence of strong emotion. In this clip from her 2013 Symposium keynote address, Susan Johnson offers a vivid picture of how we can take full therapeutic advantage of the emotional force field to propel the process of change.

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Mindfulness Meets Internal Family Systems

Helping Clients Move from Acceptance to Transformation

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - Many therapeutic attempts to integrate mindfulness help clients notice negative emotions from a place of separation and extend acceptance toward them. But what if it were possible to transform this inner drama, rather than just keep it at arm’s length? The goal of Internal Family Systems (IFS) is to build on this important first step of separating from and accepting these impulses, and then take a second step of helping clients transform them.

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VIDEO: Attuning to Reluctant Teens

Getting Through to Shut-Down Kids

Dan Hughes

Most therapists are aware of the perils of trying to connect with teenage clients. Teens are often brought to therapy against their will by adults, which can make them especially unwilling to let therapists in. And don’t talk to them like kids--they’re too old for that. But don’t bore them with stereotypical “therapist talk” either--they’re expecting that. So how do therapists relate to teens without seeming patronizing, clueless, or invasive? Therapist Dan Hughes explains...

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Getting Unhooked

Optimizing Connection with Teenage Clients by Understanding Your Own Attachment Style

Martha Straus

For a child to develop, adults need to “loan” them their adult regulatory system. But being a self-aware, engaged, and compassionate therapist isn't automatic. To play our part, we must first foster our own capacity to self-regulate before we can demand it of a terrified or furious teen. Attachment is a two-way street: it’s not just about them.

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Using Play to Connect Better with Kids in Therapy

How Modeling Play Can Help Children Heal Trauma, Alleviate Anxiety, and More

David Crenshaw

When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Because play is both releasing and disarming, it may be too threatening for the child to give up control sufficiently to enter into it. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play. But as when you're teaching children with attachment problems to tolerate emotions, this must be done gradually.

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Healing Early Attachment Injuries by Listening to Our Trauma

Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to Speak with Shameful Inner Parts

Janina Fisher

As therapists, we often encounter clients who are so mired in self-hatred that our best efforts to support a sense of self-worth only seem to dig the hole of judgment and self-loathing deeper. Eventually, I began to wonder if the resulting clinical quagmire might be a reflection of a kind of "internal attachment disorder" mirroring the emotional injuries of early childhood. Was it possible that alienation from self and others had become an essential survival strategy early in life? Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I guide my clients in "befriending" the parts they unconsciously disown.

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Applying Attachment Theory in Schools

An Interview with Lou Cozolino

Ryan Howes

Pepperdine professor-psychotherapist Lou Cozolino believes that the key to improving our schools is learning how to incorporate an understanding of attachment theory and social neuroscience into our educational system. Throughout his career, he’s devoted himself to bridging the world of academic research with the realm of practical applications.

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Getting Unhooked

Connecting with Traumatized Kids who Push Your Buttons

Martha Straus

By the end of the hour, even when we begin with her raging and sobbing, Jenna usually leaves more cheerfully. She’s much less reactive than when she entered, and, best of all, we’re more in sync. When I’m able to be present in this way, my cooler, more regulated brain lowers the emotional temperature of her hot head. Over the year or so that we’ve been meeting regularly, she’s allowing me to comfort her more and more, using me more effectively for soothing. This is the wonder of what I call Time In.

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Are You There for Me?

Understanding the Foundations of Couples Conflict

Susan Johnson

On the first day of a clinical placement in my doctoral program during the early 1980s, I was assigned to a counseling center and told by the director that because of unexpected staffing problems, I'd be seeing 20 couples a week. I'd never done any couples therapy, but I did have considerable experience as a family and individual therapist with emotionally disturbed adolescents--a tough, challenging group of clients if ever there was one! So my first thought when given this new assignment was, "After what I've done, how hard can this be?" I plunged in and almost immediately was appalled by how hard it actually could be!

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VIDEO: Presencing Secure Attachment

An Experiential Approach

Diane Poole Heller

What keeps people stuck in destructive relationship patterns? While Attachment Theory has provided some answers as to how those patterns originate, many clients remain trapped within them. What’s missing for them isn’t the desire to change—it’s an authentic experience of what it means to be secure in a relationship. That’s why Diane Poole Heller, expert trainer in the Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning Experience model, has developed tools to create corrective experiences in therapy that nourish clients’ capacity for secure attachment.

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