Introduction to Resources
If you are interested in getting a head start on the conference, we are including access to introductory resources on attachment theory, the speakers at the conference, and our own integration of attachment theory as it applies in Genetic Alliance contexts.
With a little bit of exploration, you will get the basics quickly and can begin to think of how they apply in your own experience. One of the wonderful things about attachment theory is its simplicity and, with it, the resonance that it carries with lived experience.
You can begin with the idea that every person develops a working model of attachment with regard to themselves, others, and relationships. It is the filter that a person uses to determine whether or not one experiences another as a safe haven and secure base for being in the world or not.
Neuroscience has begun to document the biological bases of affect regulation, i.e., how our emotions influence our experience of ourselves in relationship with others. With the scientific and clinical research being done, practical approaches to creating secure attachment bonds have been developed, and the resources below will open the door for you to understand the theory and its application, as well as prepare for the conference.
Finally, central to attachment theory is the understanding that conflict, trauma, and emotional wounds impact people’s lives in profound ways. With the inclusion of John Paul Lederach in the conference, we are getting a stimulating look into the practice of conflict transformation, powerful ways of being in the world that directly influence the lives of many toward peace.
These resources will be added to between now and the conference, and we trust that they will assist you in developing your own perspectives on attachment theory and its application in your own life.
- Wikipedia article on Attachment in Adults
- An excellent introduction to attachment theory in the context of its application with adults, primarily in couple (romantic) relationships. It can be generalized to leadership, and an increasing number of Leadership and Attachment Theory articles are appearing in the literature. This article includes the importance of concepts such as attachment styles, working model, and affect regulation, all of which will be important to our developing understanding of attachment.
- Transforming Leadership
- This is the Genetic Alliance blog on attachment that is a companion to the conference.
- What Attachment Theory Can Teach Us About Leadership
- This is an article (PDF) by Duncan Fraser that offers a simple, yet comprehensive view of attachment theory in the context of leadership and organization. This article identifies the four patterns or attachment styles that influence all relationship behavior, unpacks the structure of each attachment style in terms of working models (view of self, view of other, and reaction under stress), and asks great questions about how these styles might impact one’s leadership and organizational perspective.
- Emotionally Focused Marital Intervention for Couples With Chronically III Children
- This article (PDF) by Sue Johnson and colleagues from 1996 looks at the effects of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) for couples with chronically ill children. It addresses the reality of the stress that exists for such couples and documents the effect of EFT in working with them (i.e., decreasing stress, increasing attachment bonds, etc.) This is a starting point for patient advocates impacted by the stress of chronically ill family members, offering something very real and tangible in theory and practice. We intend to elaborate on this work in our Friday afternoon breakout session with Sue.
- Emotionally Focused Therapy For Couples
- These are PowerPoint slides (PDF) by Sue Johnson that review key ideas and practices of the therapy model that she uses. (Also see her book, Hold Me Tight.) Much of the work that Sue has written about focuses on therapy practice and results. The theory and principles that she uses come from the larger body of work originally developed by John Bowlby and elaborated on by numerous other researchers and practitioners. This theory is clearly one grounded in the nature of relationships and therefore can be applied to any relationship setting, e.g., for parents who are patient advocates, in leadership/management contexts, and in organizational contexts.
- The Experience of Connection
- This is a 7:51-minute clip in which Sue evocatively describes the experience of connection that is the goal of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy). It is not instruction in the theory or process, but it captures the essence of what she is about and the “poetry” she has to offer us all (at multiple levels). Sue’s website with additional information about her personal history, perspective on emotionally focused therapy (EFT), and a short video on EFT can be found at http://www.iceeft.com.
- Developing Your Mindsight
- This is a 4:42-minute clip that gives a taste of his approach and interest. Clearly, much more is available. For a longer introduction to his work, listen to him giving a Google lecture, which is just over one hour long, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr4Od7kqDT8
- Here’s a bit of background, as edited from the website of his Mindsight Institute. “Mindsight” is a term coined by Dan Siegel, M.D., to describe the capacity for insight and empathy. (See Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.) It is the ability of the human mind to see itself—to know one’s own mind and be able to perceive the minds of others. With a scientific emphasis on the mind and well-being, Dan and his colleagues focus on the growth of healthy people who can nurture a more compassionate society. At the heart of this approach is the concept of integration, which is defined as the linkage of differentiated components of a system. In an individual mind, integration involves the linkage of separate aspects of mental processes to each other such as thought with feeling or bodily sensation with logic. In a relationship, integration entails each person being respected for his or her autonomy and differentiated self, while at the same time being linked to others in empathic communication. For the brain, integration means that separated areas with their unique functions, in the skull and throughout the body, become linked to each other through synaptic connections. These integrated linkages enable more intricate functions—such as insight, empathy, intuition, and morality—to emerge. The terms used for these three forms of integration are a coherent mind, empathic relationships, and an integrated brain.
John Paul Lederach
Widely known for his pioneering work on conflict transformation, John Paul Lederach is involved in conciliation work in Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Somalia, the Philippines, Northern Ireland, and the Basque Country, among others. He has helped design and conduct training programs in 25 countries across five continents. He is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, and the Distinguished Scholar at the Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University. (See his book Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.)
- Experience in International Peace-Building – Mediate.com Video
- This is a short, 2:21-minute, clip in which John Paul reviews his interest and experience in peace-building, particularly at the grassroots level.
- A second, 3:44 minute,clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjYf2sg5Cgk continues John Paul’s perspective on how to mediate a space, shifting from mediating “as person” to mediating “as space.” He points toward people who collaborate for their particular piece and the wider whole, illustrating the point with a story about his work with migrants from Latin and South America following the wars that were occurring there. He articulates the deep structure of engaging people and becoming trusted and naturally included in their lives as a way of being peace bringing peace.