Transforming Attachments – Can psychotherapy make you secure?
Friday 6 November 2020 - A Live Webinar
With Linda Cundy, Siobhán McGee and Dr Kathrin Stauffer
- Includes a recording of the event with access for a year (14 days post the event)
- Bookings close at 9.00am BST Tuesday 3 November
It is perhaps a given that, whatever someone’s starting point for coming into therapy, they have a wish to change – to suffer less – and that one way of thinking about that is as a desire to be securely attached. Of course, most people don’t come into therapy framing their problem as an incapacity for secure attachment, but psychotherapists who think of emotional suffering as rooted in childhood deficits may view the work through the lens of attachment theory.READ MORE...
They will seek to bring these deficits to consciousness in such a way as to both validate the client’s distress and to arrive at some level of psychological integration between past and present.
An understanding of the importance of having secure attachments leads us to a further idea: that it may also be possible to acquire these via the therapeutic relationship itself as a reparative experience. If so, we would want to ask what kind of secure attachment would that be? Could it involve a profound shift in the client’s expectation of the other? Or would it be an alternative gain: the capacity to think, empathically, about one’s emotions and the feelings of others without becoming overwhelmed? Underpinning these possibilities is the question: how does psychotherapy enable people to change? Our panel will explore the psychotherapeutic processes they believe lead to “earning security” from a range of perspectives.
13.00 BST (08.00 EDT)
The Aims of Psychotherapy: Earned Security
Secure attachment develops in early life when a child feels safe, loved and encouraged. Such a history confers advantages, providing foundations for how we approach our lives, engage with other people, and relate to ourselves. However half the population have not experienced warm, reliable caregiving, and they make up the great majority of psychotherapy clients. Whatever the presenting issue, attachment-informed therapy aims to help clients “earn” security. But what does that look like? Where do we start from? And how do we go about it? Drawing on findings from attachment research and clinical experience, this talk will propose a model based on areas of deficit in early experience that need to be recognised and addressed. It acknowledges the differing needs of clients with Dismissing, Preoccupied and Unresolved patterns of attachment, and is a useful tool for supervision. There will be an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own work using this model.
Resting into Being – Intimacy and earned security in the therapeutic relationship
“Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it”. Dr Karl Menninger This session will be a reflection on and enquiry into the nature of attuned presence in the therapeutic relationship. Wilfred Bion said, “In every consulting room there ought to be two rather frightened people” – the therapist and client. Siobhán will explore how mindfulness and an embodied relationship inform therapy to liberate the heart of both. The intention is to explore what creates a “safe enough” space, and how spiritual, alchemical or transpersonal territories might warm the container as a resting place for deep intimacy and internal attachment.We will explore what happens in relationship when the heart opens to self-compassion as a bridge to earned security and what might get in the way of this. Siobhán’s intention is to co-create a space in which to invite the Imaginal to support an embodied sense of wellbeing.
Dr Kathrin Stauffer
Earned Security – a Body and Humanistic Psychotherapy Perspective
Body psychotherapists are trained to attune to their clients on a nonverbal, “energetic” level, and by this means they often quickly contact very young states in clients where an attachment can happen, rather like falling in love. This can be an advantage in working with insecurely attached clients. If physical contact is possible, a degree of attachment security can soon form and can be felt as being held safely and warmly. Kathrin will present some case material to illustrate potential difficulties, including earning attachment security with clients where physical contact is not an option. She will illustrate practical interventions that can be helpful.
Q&A, comments and opportunity to share