Dr John Bowlby (1907-1990)
Seventy years ago, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, John Bowlby, came up with Attachment Theory as a good way to describe close relationships in families, how they do or don’t go well. His own childhood was a key influence.
Apparently Mrs Bowlby suggested he should call his a theory of ‘Love’. But Bowlby wanted to be taken seriously and chose a more scientific-sounding word.
The field of Attachment Theory has grown and developed massively since then. Famous for developing Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and families, one of many approaches that have been based on Attachment, Sue Johnson now does call it ‘the science of love’. Her focus on couples highlights how the same patterns of safe and disturbed Attachment of children and parents are found in intimate adult relationships and separation.
It is certainly time to move it on from being mere ‘theory’ to call it…
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