NP0016 The Great Attachment Debate

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0016 The Great Attachment Debate.

NP0016, Attachment, Session 3, Dan Siegel


How can attunement enhance brain integration and self-regulation? In this third session of The Great Attachment Debate, Dan Siegel, one of the leading proponents of integrating brain science and psychotherapy, will explore the practical applications of Attachment Theory in clinical practice, and explain the role of attunement in integration. Siegel, a prominent researcher, will shed light on interpersonal neurobiology.

After participating in this session, please take a few minutes to review and engage in the Comment Board. What did you learn in this session that was new or surprising? What was most interesting or relevant to you? What questions do you have now for the presenter or other participants? Please feel free to share your thoughts, and we invite you to include your name and hometown along with your comment. If you ever have any technical questions or concerns, contact support@psychotherapynetworker.org, and someone from our Support Team will respond as soon as possible.

04.03.2012   Posted In: NP0016 The Great Attachment Debate   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar Najwa Aref 04.03.2012 13:05
    This Debate is above my ability to understand english vocabulary , did not understand it accurately , did not enjoy it ..
  • 0 avatar Beryl Ann Cowan 04.03.2012 13:22
    I found this lecture the most relevant of the series thus far! I appreciated Dr. Siegel's ability to lay out the neuro-bio framework and then apply it to a hypothetical case- proving that for therapists, the integrated understanding of science and practice makes enormous senses. I had one question that has not been addressed by any of the presenters, and that is the concept of ongoing attachment in childhood. It would appear to me from my own experiences,and those that I observe in my work, that the notion of the attachment period should be expanded beyond the earliest ones of life. Certainly attachment experiences during the early years (perhaps 0-6) might be examined- I think that the traditional focus on the mother /baby may be too narrow. I think that theoretically including more caregivers, and experiences (day care and multiple caretakers) might be accurate and helpful in our current culture. What are your thoughts, and thank you for this wonderful hour! Beryl Ann Cowan, J.D.,Ph.D.
    • Not available avatar Ramona Clifton, LCSW 04.10.2012 11:19
      Agreed - while discussing adult narrative/observable behavior and the connections to child attachment, Dr. Siegel said "a child can have different attachments to different caregivers". I'd love to hear more about this, as it indicates that more than one attachment experience can have significant effects. Great webinar, thanks to the presenters!
  • Not available avatar Christine Bettridge 04.03.2012 14:55
    It was a pleasure to hear this very cohesive presentation on childhood and adult attachment and its influence on the brain and relationship with self and others. It was beneficial to hear an example of the practical application of attachment as it relates to the clinical exchange between therapist and client. A gem I will take with me from Dr. Siegel's work is the poignant reminder of being a mindful therapist in the room with my clients while they courageously work to expand their own mindful awareness. Thank you!
  • 0 avatar ANITA FRANKEL MA, MFT 04.03.2012 16:53
    I am so moved by BOTH Jerome Kagan and Dan Siegel, from whom I've learned so much over the years. I'm a yearly participant in ongoing colloquia on Relational-Cultural Theory and Practice, as developed at Wellesley's Jean Baker Miller Training Institute. I have learned there to see a basic compatibility where Kagan and Siegel find themselves at odds. Ae Kagan says, cultural and class inequality and other maldistributions of power manifest themsleves all along the growth and development of our selves, so we find. They create patterns of domination by some over others, impacting one's sense of self-worth as parents, and as children themselves as they enter the wider world of school.. If we have low self-worth, we are less available to access our own empathic abilities with our children. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is still valid. Parents "distracted" by losing a job,or a house, or having an illness without health insurance, are at high risk for losing optimal emotional consistency. It takes an amazing amount of new experiences of safety and respect to move past all of that. Narrative therapy perspectives on how we are "silenced" or "given voice" among friends, teachers, bosses, is part of the relational picture too. That said, Siegel's singular and brilliant contribution is to tell us how any and all relational experiences in childhood are crucial to brain development. And his proposal that the brain's neuroplasticity can keep it growing with new experiences later on is a wonderful invitation to clinicians to connect with clients through empathic awareness and shared observations -- to create a growth-fostering relationship, one which can help client and therapist alike to resist the paradigms of domination/submission in our culture.
  • 0 avatar Tom Hicks 04.04.2012 17:08
    I liked using the example to bring the theory to life; the prototypical male who is disconnected from his emotions. I'd love to read a treatment plan here by Dan of the counterpart (and often the partner of) to this male; the caretaker female who neglects her own needs to keep the relationship going. Thanks for a great workshop.
  • Not available avatar heather heywood 04.07.2012 17:16
    Dr Siegel's presentation was excellent. He provided me and my therapeutic approach with structure and language that fits so well with what I sense needs to be at the heart of helping hurting people effectively.
  • 0 avatar Carita Gehlhausen 04.09.2012 17:23
    Carita Gehlhausen, LCSW

    Dr. Siegel's presentation was for me the most meaningful so far in this webinar, inspiring and exciting. It builds on past research and brings the discussion into the realm of the brain and its functioning as it underlies behavior and feelings. This brings quite a challenge to the education and development of therapists, myself included. Thank you!

  • Not available avatar Chantal Wiebe 04.09.2012 21:09
    Amazing webinar! Definitely worthwhile reminders to continue in my work (as a school psychologist in schools) to see children as a whole, not just their IQ numbers, or the frequency of their behavioural outbursts. This perspective of integration has been paramount in my assessment of children and re-framing them to their teachers and parents.

    Twitter: @chantal_wiebe
  • Not available avatar amy 04.10.2012 11:40
    Dr. Seigel really does a great job at pulling all of this together. Attachment work is very relevent to what therapists do.
    I definately appreaciate this series.
  • 0 avatar Irle Goldman 06.22.2012 11:23
    A great session...especially the last half which connected the clinical situation so powerfully to the brain theory and research.

    I would love to see you Rich, do a series connecting the dots. Much of what Dan Siegel describes echoes/mirrors/reverberates with my psychodynamic training of the sixties and seventies...the power of relationship, transference/countertransference/ early experience as an important area to explore, the power of the here and now. I would love you to do another series with the old sages and the new sages and connect their wisdom.

    Also, I would love to use this description of the power of the relationship and its connectioon to the mind with my students who are studying to be counselors.. So much of what they learn now is 'solution-focused' and 'anti-hitorical symptom treatment. It seems we have regressed and the lastest in interpersonal neurobiology may lead us back to the right path. Which videos on his website (that I can share with students) best describe this theory most economically, i.e. concentrating on the clinical area especially.

    Thank you for this series.

    Irle Goldman
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