Nino Dazzi, Giulio Cesare Zavattini

Attachment paradigm and the clinical practice

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: attachment, internal working models, infant research, clinical intervention, psychotherapy.

Attachment theory can be considered as the most convincing theory of early emotional development. The concept of Internal Working Models has «redrawn» the etiology of psychopathology in the direction of interpersonal relationships and of the role played by traumatic situations, with the greatest attention to intersubjective interplays and to the key role of affects within the therapeutic relationship. The element which perhaps represents the most significant contribution of AAI to research in the field of mental processes is the shift of attention focus from the analysis of content - what happened - to the narrative coherence - how it is told. This implies the necessity to include in the systems of meaning also the procedural forms of our knowledge and to reconsider our clinical approach to psychopathology and to adaptive processes, allowing greater attention to interpersonal functions rather than to intrapsychic defensive functions. The richness of attachment theory applications and results propose a new and complex conceptual framework where many questions related to psychotherapy functioning could be relocated. However, in the present stage of the debate a difference persists between those who think of an influence exerted on psychotherapy by concepts and research findings obtained within the attachment paradigm - attachment informed (or attachment oriented) psychotherapy - and those who propose their clinical praxis as a new model of - attachment-based - psychotherapy.

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