The marriage of attachment theory and systemic family therapy practice

An invitation to join the wedding party

Authored by: Chip Chimera

The Routledge Handbook of Attachment: Implications and Interventions

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415706117
eBook ISBN: 9781315764283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317653820


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Family therapists work with the family group, subsystems within it and individual members of the family. Families come to therapy for many reasons, however it is this writer’s clinical experience, spanning over 20 years, that at the heart of most family problems lie attachment dilemmas. Working with the family system, whether the whole or parts, allows attachment issues to be explored in a way that honours each person’s attachment experience and attachment truth. Opportunities for change can be discovered and new, more satisfying ways of relating can be tried. Systemic practice gives specific attention to the influence of relationships on other relationships within the family and the wider network. In what follows two case examples will illustrate the use of attachment as a focus in family therapy together with the theoretical connections.

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