The following is an excerpt from a presentation by Dr. Sue Johnson at the Creating Connection Conference, Sept. 2016, in Washington, DC. Dr. Sue Johnson is the creator of EFT, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, a therapy method that is rooted, lovingly, in attachment theory. I make use of her training in all of my work with couples and individuals.
Attachment theory and science, which started in the 1960’s with the study of mothers and infants and has exploded in the two decades with more than 500 studies of adult attachment, offers us all of the above and more. The immense vulnerability of our young and our ongoing need for connection with others has shaped our neural architecture, emotional make-up and strategies for dealing with stress, as well as the potent interpersonal dramas that are at the very heart of our lives. I suggest, for psychotherapy, for individual, couple and family interventions, attachment theory and science is the Holy Grail. This perspective allows us to move beyond compartmentalization and fragmentation, to what E.O. Wilson called consilience – where the inherent order in human heart, brain and relationships can be discovered from converging lines of evidence and a blueprint for being a fully functioning human being set out in a way that not only helps us know who we are and how we get stuck in our lives, but shows a therapist how to move us towards our best selves in every session. We are social bonding animals wired for connection with others. We are homo vinculum – the one who bonds – inherently relational from the cradle to the grave. Close connection with others is THE survival code of our species and our greatest resource, our baseline ecological niche as my colleague Jim Coan would say. In fact, this connection is necessary even for the creation of a coherent sense of self. The self is an ongoing constructive process – a dance that you do with others. (Solitary confinement is abusive precisely because in isolation that sense of self breaks down).
For the complete manuscript visit:http://www.iceeft.com/images/PDFs/PlenaryCC2016.pdf