Childhood Attachment Essay

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How Important Is an Understanding of the Client’s Early Attachment Experience to the Psychodynamic Practice of Counselling Psychology? By Stacey Tobin Word Count - [2000] Introduction: The purpose of this essay is to critically evaluate Larson’s (2012) views of attachment in relation to psychodynamic practice and counselling. Attachment theory has become widely regarded as the most important and supported framework for understanding social and emotional development (Goldberg 2000). Throughout the assignment I will attempt to provide evidence that suggests that attachment based interventions help allow for a greater understanding, sensitive response and more effective use of practitioners skills (Kennedy and Kennedy 2004) Winnicott (1967) both placed great emphasis on “holding the child” to help the child feel secure, allowing the child autonomy at their own pace. Klein’s (1984) theory of primitive object relation, postulated the reason an infant develops close ties to his mother is because she is the source of food, referred to as “cupboard love theory”. Mahler, Pine, Bergman (1975): defined Separation and Individuation as the process by which an infant moves from symbiosis with the mother to awareness of separateness from the mother and formation of a relationship with her as a differentiated other. There are many different views on attachment theory. Most recognised is the father of attachment theory, J. Bowlby (1958). Bowlby’s belief a “theory of attachment” was that an infant will establish a “secure base” and strong attachment with their primary caregiver. Initially identified as the mother, but society has changed over generations; hence due to environmental changes the father is also considered within context. Bowlby (1969) empathised the role of the primary caregiver in

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