On Wednesday 19th April 2017, Attachment Foundation hosted a Durban-based launch for professionals in the health and child care industry. It was a great success and privilege to have connected with like-minded professionals who are just as excited and passionate about Attachment Theory and Practices as we are.
For those of you who missed it here is a summary of the evening and what the Attachment Foundation is all about:
”Humans are an exquisitely social species, thriving in good company and suffering in isolation. More than anything else, our intimate relationships, or lack thereof, shape and define our lives” (Murphy, 2017)
In the field of psychology, there are many schools of thought that help us understand how individuals function in relationships. Ironically, Attachment Theory is the most rigorously studied however is not very well known to individuals. The vast amounts of information gleaned from Attachment Theory can transform the way individuals function in relationships for the better and can, therefore, have a hugely positive impact on their lives.
Attachment theory focuses on how establishing a secure and healthy emotional bond between an adult and a child can set that child up to become:
- Secure-autonomous adults
- Comfortable with emotions, intimacy, inter-dependency
- Tolerant to relational frustration
- Trusting that relationships are generally safe and people are generally helpful
- Optimistic about relationships lasting and being satisfying
Establishing a secure and healthy bond between an adult and child can be a very simple task, however, there are many things that can prevent a secure attachment. Barriers to attachment can be:
- Trauma, adverse experiences, and toxic stress
- Previous poor attachment experiences
- Sensory processing difficulties
- Neurological disorders, such as ADHD and ASD
- Special education needs
Due to some of these barriers, many children are not developing secure attachments and this can have a wide-ranging impact on their adult lives. Attachment difficulties in children and adults have been found to be correlated to:
- Emotional and biological dysregulation
- Mental health issues
- Vulnerability to PTSD
- Poor sense of self
- Substance abuse disorders
- Process addictions
- Relationship difficulties
- Poor view of the world
Access to information on Attachment Theory is, therefore, vital to the optimal development of individuals. Not only can Attachment Theory prevent the development of mental health and relational difficulties, but it can also repair the damage that may have already been done. Unfortunately, accurate and evidence-based information on attachment is largely inaccessible to everyday individuals. Or if it is accessible it may be full or jargon and difficult to understand. On the other hand, there is a wealth of information that is readily available to individuals but this information may be inaccurate and fall in the “pop psychology” realm.
At Attachment Foundation, we are driven to provide accurate, evidence-based information on Attachment Theory and Attachment-based practices in an easily understandable and accessible way. We would like to leverage technology to broaden the reach of those we can impact and be seen as a trusted source of information to both professionals and everyday individuals. We would like to become thought leaders in the space of Attachment Theory in South Africa and into Africa through educating and empowering individuals online and in person. We will be offering regular free information online and then paid online and in-person workshops and conferences. We are also focused on bringing together multidisciplinary professionals to connect and communicate about Attachment Theory, both nationally and internationally. We have a heart for community outreach and will be offering our services to communities in need.