Attachment Theory and the Psychoanalytic Process
Attachment theory, the brainchild of child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby, has begun to have a worldwide impact among clinicians within the last ten years. This interest marks a departure from the early fate of attachment theory. At first shunned by the psychoanalytic community, Bowlbya s brilliant and groundbreaking effort to recast basic psychoanalytic concepts within system theories and a new, ethologically based model of the importance of affectional ties across the life span was taken up by a group of gifted developmental researchers. Empirical research not only tested and confirmed many basic propositions of attachment theory, but also extended Attachment theory in unexpected and creative ways. Bowlby was surprised and gratified by this turn of events, but also disappointed that his intended clinical audience has not taken the theory and run with it. This edited book is in part a testament to the fact that clinicians are beginning to do just that; they are taking Attachment theory and research creatively to examine clinical issues. In doing so, new vistas and hypothesis are being put forward showing that Attachment theory is alive and well.
In this volume the editors gathered a distinguished group of clinician--scholars from around the world (Argentina, Italy, Mexico, UK, USA and Spain) to examine and extend Bowlbya s legacy. The book should be of interest to clinicians regardless of their orientation. Attachment theory cuts across boundaries of clinical modalities--individual, group or family therapy--and orientations--psychoanalytic, cognitive or behavioural. The book should also be of interest to researchers who may find the heuristic value of clinical insights a valuable addition to the legacy of Attachment theory.