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Unresolved attachment in Psychotherapy

Involved persons: Alessandro Talia

There is robust evidence that a form of adult attachment, Unresolved/disorganized attachment (U/d), is strongly associated with maladaptive parenting behavior and severe mental health issues, particularly personality disorder (PD). However, we know very little about how U/d manifests itself in dysfunctional interpersonal behavior in general and in the clinical setting in particular. For this reason, it has been difficult to develop preventive and therapeutic interventions tailored to this group of patients. In this project, we will introduce and validate a novel observer-based measure of U/d that is based on tracking these manifestations of U/d in interviews and psychotherapy, and use it to address two questions: 1) How does U/d influence psychotherapy? 2) Why is U/d linked to mental health problems? The knowledge gained through these studies will lay the ground for more specific interventions for parents and patients with PDs and other serious mental health conditions.

Duration: 2019 - Ongoing

Funding agency: International Psychoanalytic Association