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Assessing attachment in adults

I'm a doctor and psychotherapist who's interested in using attachment ideas to improve how helpful I can be for clients.  Awareness of attachment issues informs therapy, it doesn't dictate it.  An obvious question is whether it's sometimes worth assessing attachment in a "formal" way.  I'm no expert in this area.  I'm an "informed amateur" and, after reading and exploring a good deal around the subject, my impression is that it can be pretty useful at times to assess attachment.  The Wikipedia article on Attachment measures provides an excellent overview of the field while, for much more in depth information, the two attachment books and the various websites that I've described in previous blog post

Some great attachment websites

Last week I wrote about "A couple of fine books on attachment".  Today I want to highlight what a fantastic resource the internet is - below are details of half a dozen websites that offer lots of attachment information, and also details of further websites that are helpful but more limited.

A couple of fine, recent books on attachment

I wrote earlier this month on "Attachment, compassion & relationships".  I've been aware of John Bowlby's work on adult-child attachment for many years but, when I've approached it for insights that might help in my work as a psychotherapist, I've been put off by the complexity of assessment methods and variety of reported attachment styles, as well as by the rapidly growing size of the relevant academic literature.  As Jude Cassidy and Phillip Shaver write in their preface to the 2008 meister work "Handbook of attachment (2nd ed)" - see more details at the end of this blog post - "Anybody who conducts a literature search on the topic of 'attachment' will turn up more than 10,000 entries since 1975, and the entries will be spread across scores of physiological, clinical, developmental, and social psychology journals, will include numerous

Attachment, compassion & relationships

Well I didn't sleep too well last night.  Catero, my wife, and I went to the cinema yesterday evening and watched "500 Days of Summer" . I enjoyed it and it got me thinking about relationships.  The "Summer" of the title is a woman who doesn't believe in romantic love.  She's kind of charming and maddening and, as I biked away from the cinema, I wondered how I would have approached treating her if she had come to me for therapy!  Interestingly a newspaper reviewer commented that the film is "weirdly incurious about the inner life of its female lead".

Relationships, families, couples & psychosexual

“ Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives - the power to retell it, reexperience it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change - truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts. ” - Salman Rushdie

Here are a series of questionnaires and handouts on couples, sexuality, parenting, attachment, and abuse.  The first sequence of 20 or so handouts are from a two day workshop I run - for more details including downloadable copies of the slides, see the blog post "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Listed below these are further relevant handouts & questionnaires.

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