In this 6-hour workshop we will use videotaped examples to explore the four major attachment styles: secure; avoidnt; ambivalent; and disorganized. Participants will learn about the profound impact of insecure attachment and neglect on the developing architecture of an infant’s brain, as well as the physical, emotional, social, and behavioral impact of not being securely attached. We will explore the dysfunctional dynamics of disorganized attachment and how they subsequently play out in a traumatized client’s future relationships, including the therapeutic relationship. We will connect attachment issues to affect regulation and dysregulation, processing the concept of the “optimal window of arousal” and exploring the impact that hyper-arousal and hypo-arousal have on clients’ presentations in and outside of therapy sessions.
Participants will learn about the challenge that children face when they are forced to attach to abusive caretakers and the cognitive and emotional price they pay for taking ownership of the abuse. We will process attachment trauma and how depressed or unavailable parents react to their child’s needs. Viewing the Still Face video, we will discuss the ways in which children react to parental mis-attunement. We will also look at the negative impact on children when a trusted caretaker is also their perpetrator.
As we explore several different dysfunctional parenting styles, we will process the “coping strategies’ that children must evolve to navigate and survive parents who are shaming, overly demanding, inappropriately boundaried, emotionally unavailable, or aggressively abusive.