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Attachment Styles

For readers unfamiliar with the theory, attachment styles are patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that maximize our abilities to establish and maintain connections to our significant others. In childhood, they are adaptations that enable children to adjust to whatever parental conditions they are born into. Secure Attachment. If parents are consistent, available, and responsive, their children […]

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The Dissociative Continuum

In the face of persisting threat, the infant or young child will activate otherneurophysiological and functional responses. This involves activation of dissociative adaptations. Dissociation is a broad descriptive term that includes a variety of mental mechanism involved in disengaging from the external world and attending to stimuli in the internal world. This can involve distraction, […]

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Attachment

Parents play many different roles in the lives of their children, including teacher, playmate, disciplinarian, caregiver and attachment figure. Of all these roles, their role as an attachment figure is one of the most important in predicting the child’s later social and emotional outcome (1–3). Attachment is one specific and circumscribed aspect of the relationship […]

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Attachment Theory and Parental Alienation | Ludwig Lowenstein –

 Following an acrimonious divorce or separation, arguments are  frequently presented as to why a child should not be with a non-resident parent. The custodial parent, whether a father or amother, uses the concept of a child being attached to himself or herself and therefore this should prevent the child from having actual or reasonable contact with the absent parent. This view is based on antagonism between the former partners rather than the importance of the attachment theory being […]

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The Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation

The Dynamic–Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) emphasizes the dynamic interaction of the maturation of the human organism, across the life-span, with the contexts in which maturational possibilities are used to protect the self, reproduce, and protect one’s progeny. Overview of the DMM The Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) emphasizes the dynamic interaction of the maturation of the human organism, […]

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WHAT THEN DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR SOCIAL WORKERS IN THEIR WORK WITH CHILDREN WHO HAVE INSECURE/ANXIOUS ATTACHMENTS WITH MOTHERS, FATHERS, STEP-PARENTS/CAREGIVERS.

I think it is absolutely essential that social workers have a basic understanding of attachment theory and the importance of the early relationship between baby and mother (again used as shorthand) from the first moments of birth, and even in utero as there is evidence that babies can be adversely affected if there is tension, […]

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AMBIVALENT ATTACHMENT

This attachment pattern forms when parents are insensitive, unreliable and inconsistently responsive. Children very often adapt the psychological defence of fight, and show angry behaviour, crying, whining, fretting, clinging, demanding, shouting and tantrums. This is an attempt to break through the emotional neglect, unavailability and lack of responsivity. Needless to say this generally doesn’t bring […]

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AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT

This attachment pattern is sometimes referred to as dismissive. The mother (or parents) of these babies are often rejecting and controlling. If the baby cries it annoys or agitates the parents, and they lack sensitivity to the child, are unreliable and largely disinterested in the baby. These babies are often “prop fed” a bottle put into […]

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INSECURE/ANXIOUS ATTACHMENTS

These attachment patterns are broken down into Avoidant or Ambivalent attachments. Children who show these insecure attachment patterns have learned that there are conditions attached to their gaining proximity to their mother. Interestingly these children develop appropriate strategies that a) increase the mother’s emotional availability and do not cause her to withdraw and b) bring […]

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Attachment – Who Makes the Diagnosis?

Basically ‘attachment’ is a theory developed by psychologists to explain how a child interacts with the adults looking after him or her. If a child has a healthy attachment, this means the child can be confident that the adults will respond to the child’s needs, for example if he is hungry, tired or frightened, the […]

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