Editor's Note

March/April 2011

Creating a 21st-Century Learning Community

This issue is noteworthy not only for its subject—tracking the influence of attachment research on psychotherapy theory and practice—but also because it demonstrates how the Networker has evolved as a forum for discussion and debate within our field. Despite its roots in the old-media tradition of long-form journalism, this magazine has become only one component, however crucial, in our effort to embrace both time-honored modes of communication and the seemingly unlimited potential of digital connectivity to create a truly 21st-century learning community for therapists.

A case in point: during an address at last year's Symposium, our annual celebration of the rejuvenating power of face-to-face human interaction, Jerome Kagan—perhaps the world's most eminent developmental psychologist and the leading expert on inborn temperament—expressed his view that the field of attachment theory and research lacked a convincing scientific foundation and had become irrelevant. In a workshop immediately following that address, Dan Siegel, psychiatrist, brain researcher, and a strong proponent of attachment theory, challenged Kagan's assertion, and began an impromptu debate that soon mushroomed into the cause celebre of the conference. Their passionate exchange gave the lie to the idea that the "nature-nurture" controversy was old or outdated.

What happened next made the confrontation between these two…

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