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P004, Attachment, Session 6, Allan Schore

Thank you for attending this final session of “The Great Attachment Debate.” We hope you’ll come away from this course with a better understanding of attachment research and an awareness of the range of viewpoints about attachment theory and the consulting room.

During this session with Allan Schore, one of the leaders of the neuropsychology movement, he’ll delve into how affect and psychobiological change are significant in the therapy process. He’ll cover intersubjectivity and how understanding it can help us in our work, how to help clients develop a body-based relationship unconscious, and much more.

After listening to the course, please take a few minutes to comment about what was most interesting to you about this session, and to reflect on the course in its entirety. What was most relevant to you in your practice and everyday life? What questions remain for you? Thank you all for your participation in this series, and for taking the time to share your thoughts.
05.05.2011   Posted In: P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment Debate   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • 0 avatar Diana Bunday 05.10.2011 13:06
    Thank you so much for these wonderful and thought provoking expert lessons. I would like and hope to hear more about all of the ideas presented.

  • 0 avatar Charlie Love 05.10.2011 13:11
    Alan captured the process of Being with clients as a learned skill though practice as well as knoweldge.
    Rich interrupted him nunmerous times which I feel was disrutptful. Rich would ask him a question and not allow him to expand on his process. I felt that Alan was making sense and giving needed information. The interruptions were so frequent that it actually interrupted Alan giving information on the topics on the slide. I appreciate the fact that Rich was trying to get Alan to either give a case study or describe his process with clients, but I feel Alan did describe his process as well as a non verbal process can be described.
    Charlie Love
    Austin, TX.
    • 0 avatar Merrilee Gibson 05.11.2011 10:24
      Just a comment about Rich's interactions. First, I am enormously grateful for his efforts in making these presentations happen. In most previous sessions, I found Rich's comments helpful most of the time There were, however, several occasions when I actually found myself saying "Be quiet, Rich, and let him(her) speak." I particularly had that feeling in Dr Schore's presentation. It seemed to me that Rich was being very "left brain" about "right brain" processes. While I do understand that as moderator that it is his job to move the presentations along and make the major points in the allotted time. I found his constant interruptions of Dr. Schore and his repeated insistence, with very little time remaining, for specifics of how to do therapy in the ways Dr. Schore was discussing, as very jarring and disrespectful. It really felt like Rich was hounding Dr. Schore. It was not a welcome process to behold. Rich was asking for "left brain" answers to "right brain" questions. I really had the sense that Rich just didn't get it. If he had really been LISTENING to the essence of Dr. Schore's message, I don't believe he would have asked THOSE questions in THAT way at the end of the session.
  • 0 avatar Debra Tripp 05.10.2011 13:23
    As a therapist I am reassured to find that many of the approaches I have learned by receiving my own therapy and have consciously or non-consciously put into place are now being presented as solid. I've always drawn a diffence between 'counseling' and 'therapy' with clients. Some want to just work on a problem, others want to change their manner of being. For the latter the work is often a mystery to me as clients report some shift in themselves that I didn't intend or forsee, yet it occurred.
    It also is interesting to me that my spouse, a very LEFT brained man, gestures all the time. Is is fair to say that is his right brain trying to find an outlet?
  • 0 avatar Christine Imgrund 05.10.2011 13:37
    Throughout these sessions I have been struck by the dearth of women experts in the attachment field, and wonder, if more women were involved in this research how much richer it could be today. Today’s presentation really brings this home with the newfound importance of “reading under the words” and “non verbal communication”. I am surmising that cognitive theories have dominated because men – who tend toward favoring their left brains - were the primary researchers.

    • 0 avatar Merrilee Gibson 05.10.2011 22:48
      Well, I think Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, Inge Bretherton, to name just three women, are certainly primary attachment researchers. Also, Arietta Slade, Joan Stevenson-Hinde, Jude Cassidy, come to mind. I'm sure there are several others. This is just off the top of my head.
  • 0 avatar Donna Vogeler-Boutin 05.10.2011 15:12
    I agree with Christine above relative to cognitive theories. Men over the centuries (war etc) have needed to be in control of their emotions for their own survival not to mention the numbness that comes with too much war. I also worry about trauma to the right brain in utero, alcohol, medication, pollution (mercury etc), poisoned food, exposure to radiation - cell phones, tsunamis and damage to right brain development and feelings of empathy. There is such a spike in autism.
  • 0 avatar Judith Gulko 05.10.2011 15:40
    I found myself exclaiming out loud “yes” when Allan reminded us of the origins and authors of ideas and beautifully wove together an interdisciplinary understanding deeply informed by both theory and research. However, his discussion of clinical application in psychotherapy was vague. I would rather he had declined or deferred, for his research and theoretical knowledge alone are more than sufficient. I too found myself wanting further clinical application, since unless I misunderstood, it seemed as if Allan was offering that, beyond the powerful yet already well-understood impact of the therapist-client relationship on many levels.
  • 0 avatar Merrilee Gibson 05.10.2011 17:42
    My left brain is put in the unenviable position of trying to express the inexpressible satisfaction of hearing and seeing Dr. Schore speaking today, after long experience of reading his words on the printed page.

    My left brain struggles to make sense of all the information on attachment, as it has evolved since Bowlby’s initial presentations, as it appears in voluminous professional literature, and as presented in the past six weeks on these web lectures, with prestigious clinicians sharing their undoubtedly valuable but sometimes widely-differing opinions in this field.

    I am just one therapist in a small practice working with patients referred by State and County mental health programs. Most of my patients are children and I do see presentations of what certainly appears to be attachment-related behavior. My job is to help these children.

    So, Dr. Schore’s message spoke to my right brain, and in many ways supported what I have known all along, as a therapist. It also seems to me that Carl Rogers was right—therapy is a way of being, and the alliance is the principal mechanism of change. Virginia Satir was right, too, in her involving of multiple senses—the whole body-- into the therapeutic experience, in her reminding us that everything we do is communication, that we are comunicating all the time.

    Donald Meichenbaum once said, in a lecture I attended, that therapy is hard work. And he is right about that: it takes everything I can muster to work with the children I see. But in addition to the hard work, there is also the joy. There is a child’s sudden delighted smile; there is the enchanting music of a spontaneous peal of laughter; there is also an unseen but vividly felt mutual presence. I am humbled and thrilled with what I learn from the children all the time.

    My right brain thanks you, Dr. Schore.
  • 0 avatar Pauline Druffel 05.10.2011 22:43
    I, too, am grateful for today's presentation by Alan Shore, as well as all six presentations. I come away from this exposure to Attachment Theory and those who disagree with its value, with an even greater appreciation for the theory. As others have said, it fits with what we are already doing.

    I also have been jarred when Rich interrupted a speaker--and I understood that he was trying to provide a structure for the dialogue. The hour long presentations all felt too short--especially those which were supportive of Attachment Theory. I'm glad to know the names of authors who I can go to for more in depth information.

    Thanks for the Webinar--my first.
  • 0 avatar Kenny Meagher 05.11.2011 18:50
    I cant get the replay to work on my computer for the final segment. This is the only one I missed live. Rich I agree with several of the other comments that you played too big a role in the actual "interviews". They did feel more like interviews than presentations because of that. What you do is great but we need a little less of it!
    Kenny Meagher
  • 0 avatar Joyce Buckner 05.12.2011 05:07
    I awoke at 4:30 this morning with the awareness that I need to comment about what I noticed yesterday as I experienced your face and body responses to Rich's question about what clues you could pass along to other therapists about how to "do" right brain to right brain work which you "be" so exquisitely. I worked with Charles Truax years ago as he was researching the interpersonal skills arena and continued the work researching the "teachability" of these skills. I've spent 30 years developing a process which I call The ERA (Empathy, Respect, Authenticity) Process and which I have published in the book MAKING REAL LOVE HAPPEN--THE NEW ERA OF INTIMACY. I struggled to make this book clear and simple--it is a primer. Joyce Buckner, PhD
  • Not available avatar Amy Olson 05.13.2011 13:50
    Your notion of the importance of up-regulating positive emotions within a session was important, as often we respond with greater emphasis on the pain. Can you give me an idea of how YOU may up-regulate a positive emotion effectively in a session? I"d like to pay more attention to this. Thank you for your participation in the webinar
  • Not available avatar barbara goodman-fischtrom 05.13.2011 13:52
    Great lecture. Thank you. My question is when you stated near the end of presentation about the therapist being in an intimate relationship. were you referring to the therapeutic relationship as being perceived as intimate or one's own personal intimate relationships are a good foundation to being open as a therapist?
  • Not available avatar Larry Lease 05.14.2011 17:47
    Rich, At the risk of piling on, I must ditto the complaint raised by others. While it reached new heights today, you've trampled your guests lines in every other webinar, too.
  • Not available avatar gail smith 05.14.2011 19:49
    Thank you for yet another stimulating web session. I agree that this is the future of psychotherapy (for now). I had to smile as Rich endeavored a response from Mr. Schore who was apparently in a right brain loss for words. As Mr. Schore stated, "language is a poor medium for expressing quality and nuancing of emotion". After all, how does one convey the act of intuiting with a patient. I'm sorry this series is over but I look forward to the next. Thank you Rich.
    • 0 avatar Nick Child 06.12.2011 09:18
      There seemed to be more of an internet delay between Rich and Alan this time than in other webinars. I think there is some subtle technology going on to match audio to the pictures and wondered if this time we were seeing Alan taking a long time to answer not just because of being puzzled and not sure how to find the words, but just that he was receiving Rich's question a significant delay after we had heard it?!!
      Actually on this occasion I thought Rich - despite the overlaps and interruptions (perhaps also caused by some technical thing) - was more in tune with his guest than in some webinars! Despite these irritations, I have come to always admire Rich's steady, cheerful, intelligent management of the webinar event - acting on our behalf (the listener) to slow down and punctuate and repeat and ask for relevance, a kind of "every-person" character. When irritated by his slowing it down, I remind myself how it would be if we got 60 minutes solid from one talking head piling into the short time their lifetime's work!! I'm sure there are other ways to run a webinar, but I've become quite attached to Rich's way!
      Nick Child
  • Not available avatar Dov F. 05.14.2011 22:52
    Thank you for a brilliant presentation. I am wondering if there is any difference in your clinical practice between Carl Rogers and yourself?
  • Not available avatar Yetta Zelikovitz 05.15.2011 00:10
    This was a fascinating webinar, and I wished it would have gone on longer.I can't thank you enough Rich for the wonderful learning opportunities you are giving to your readership. Ditto re the interruptions, Rich. [A simple "can you show us what this would look like in session?" would have left room for Allan to expand, without need for you to expand on your comments and questions] Allan made a comment about the ideal being that the therapist would be working in a way as if he was doing nothing -if I caught the jyst of it - but it was interrupted, and I would love to hear more about this - can you oblige by discussing this further on the comment board Allan?
    I was trained as a family therapist in the 80s and I remember Minuchin wrote that therapists should steep themselves in learning the theories and techniques and then put it all on the back burner, and just be their spontaneous selves with their clients, and let their inner wisdom choose the approach that feels intuitively right for this client....which jibes very well with the approach you presented, Allan. Whitaker also spoke alot about being with and resonating with the client family...the brain science was missing in their writings, but was certainly intuited!
    Thank you again for the excellent webinars Rich, and for your mind opening presentation, Allan.
  • Not available avatar Scot Liepack 05.15.2011 11:40
    Dr. Schore, you are a hero and a mentor for me. Your work, and the "Interpersonal Neurobiology" group that has formed around your work is truly transformative. Although the term "paradigm shift" gets used too frequently, the shift from cognitive-behavioral theory to regulation theory truly is the next major paradigm shift in psychotherapy. Thank you.

    Rich asked a very important question, one which could set up a whole series in itself: how to train to be an effective therapist in this regulation framework. I believe that the answer comes in our own attachment based psychotherapy. The abilities and skills being discussed become "freed up" in our own "secure" or "earned secure" status and remain accessible as we continue our own therapeutic process. Implicit in this is the transformation of psychotherapy from its sole status in an illness model to it prominence in a health and wellness model.
    • Not available avatar Scot Liepack 05.15.2011 12:02
      P.S. Being brave to do our own work. In terms of therapy this means EMDR and somatic therapies. It also means a lifestyle incorporating mindful awareness practices including mindful exercise. Deep muscle emotional release body-work, such as Rolfing, is also profound. It has been said that therapy has been constrained to the left-hemisphere because as therapists we have not been willing to confront the "life-trauma" that resides in our right-hemispheres, yet this is exactly what opens us up to being the best we can be for our clients. A whole new example of "healer, heal thyself."
  • Not available avatar Rosemary 05.15.2011 11:47
    Hi Rich, I have only had the luxury of viewing the final two sessions in this series and got a lot from them; the timing has been 'exquisitely perfect' in terms of current dilemmas with 'difficult cases' so I thank the intuitive right brain connections between my colleague and I, in that he sent me the link, (without knowing how relevant it would be to me just now!) The description of the practice application in the two seminars (Susan Johnson and Allan Schore) fits totally with my style of working.
    Thanks Rich for providing this opportunity and for bringing such a warm, relaxed and present sense of yourself to it, albeit with the limitations of minor webcam delay. I look forward to many more. I'd like to hear from you at some stage Allan (and /or Susan) re your thoughts on working with people who seem to use their trauma diagnosis as a weapon to control others and not take any responsibility for their actions.
  • Not available avatar Niquie Dworkin 05.15.2011 18:55
    Allan Schore justifies in a left brain model what good therapists have known intuitively but have often diluted and muddied with confusing theories. Thanks for the reminders to therapists to pay attention to affect and push beyond our own defenses.

    Thanks for a very useful and thoughtful series.
  • Not available avatar Susan LW Miller 05.15.2011 20:59
    Important tweaks, learnings, ect re: Dr. Shore's presentation: the importance of noticing and responding to 'points of contact' -- when the ventral vagal system comes into play--when left processing jumps to right processing, slow down the process during these times -- linger, stay, note what's happening in the body -- what's painful, what's joyful?; in the psychotherapeutic relationship, an over emphasis on negtive affects has downplayed the equal importance of assisting in increasing postive affect (e.g., joy, interest, surprise; Core 'project' of psychotherapy is affect regulation; Dr. Shore's clarification of right brain functions that were once attributed to the left hemisphere (e.g., the ability to reflect, intuition, symbolic functions); the developmental shift(s)in attachment theory--strange situation a bx paradigm; AAI a cognitive paradigm and now the psychobiology paradigm; early right brain functions are reactivated in the transference/countertransference; the importance of addressing 'controlled' emotions as well as 'uncontrolled' emotions; and last but not least..the paradox of creating safety that's not too safe! Thank you for a thought provoking session and series!
  • Not available avatar Myrta E. Lange 05.15.2011 22:11
    Thank you for this thought provoking series. Have enjoyed participating in the attachement debate. Allan's ideas have highlighted aspects of the therapeutic work previously done unconsciously.
    Great contributions. Thanks again.
  • Not available avatar Christine Fall Moore 05.16.2011 19:24
    Dear Dr. Schore,
    Thank you so much for your research and readings regarding the UC right brain communication, your work along with others such as Dr. Siegel's and Dr. Davanloos has been an inspiration to me first a person and then a therapist. You were so kind to reply/write me via email and give me some tips while I was completing my masters a couple of years ago...I thought this profound as I can only imagion how busy you must be with your left brain research on the right brain. What I would like to hear/learn more about is the physiological cues/expressions linked to the right brain.
    • 0 avatar Nick Child 06.12.2011 09:30
      As usual, I see I'm a month late in viewing and blogging here. I imagine no one reads this! So just to repeat what others have said - this is such good CE - or CPD as we call it in the UK (Continuing Professional Development). And Alan Schore's integrating approach cannot help but be engaging and affirming as he echos so many old ideas while giving them the authority of the new brain science that CAN do what psychotherapists only joked about doing - that is, see into people's minds, it seems! Having done some analytical training in my time, how lovely to see the language coming up still with new meanings - unconscious, pre/oedipal, primary/secondary process etc.
      One question: He suggested that brief psychotherapy is not going to make deeper changes (by which I guess we now mean brain image visible, not just psychological depth!). He talked mainly of individual psychotherapy - ie one-to-one rather than couple or family therapy. Imago therapy most explicitly talks of the clients and their relationship being each other's therapist. As a family therapist, I feel that real short cuts are possible because you are working with a continuing relationship in your room - and certainly Imago and EFT describe the deep changes happening between the clients, not mainly with the therapist.
      Hope someone reads this and replies . . . !!
      Nick Child
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