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Unread October 28th, 2006, 06:18 AM
alexandra_k alexandra_k is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 106
Default Re: attachment therapy/disorders/theory

Yeah, I'd be interested to know what kinds of problems you are talking about too. Do you mean such things as oppositional defiance (in the sense of, violence, swearing, etc. Impulse control problems, emotion regulation problems, self harm, etc.

Might be that you are talking about childhood versions of what might eventually be considered to be... Personality disorders. In which case... Attachment theory can be fairly useful. Especially if you are looking at how the child is adjusting to foster care or adoptive parents or similar.

There are behaviourist techniques that can be fairly helpful. Helpful for oppositional defiant type behaviours. First thing you need to work out is what the function of their unwanted behaviour is. Once you have figured out the function (attention, expression etc) then you can set about teaching alternative (more appropriate) ways that they can get those needs met and you can shape their behaviour gradually to what is desired... Same goes for self harm and things like that.

Marsha Linehan has adapted CBT into what she calls 'dialectical behaviour therapy' or DBT. She is looking at self harm, suicidal behaviours, emotional dysregulation, and inadequate interpersonal skills mostly. I was reading a special edition of a journal the other day and they were looking at mechanisms that might be responsible for the success of both psychodynamic / attachment therapies and CBT and schema therapies etc for treating those kinds of behaviours.

The mechanism... Was thought to be mentalization. Teaching people how to observe and describe their intentions, thoughts, feelings, desires etc. The observe, describe, participate mindfulness techniques of Linehan with the mentalization stuff that has been written about in the psychodynamic literature. In particular I was reading that what might be going wrong in BPD was that there was a failure to mentalize appropriately when the attachment (emotion) system was active.

But yeah, examples of the particular kinds of symptoms you are interested in would help.
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