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Forward, Y. (2015). John Bowlby and His Influence and Impact. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 9(3):xii-xiii.

(2015). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 9(3):xii-xiii

John Bowlby and His Influence and Impact

Yvonne Forward

I first became aware of Bowlby's work at an open day at the Centre for Attachment Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (now known as The Bowlby Centre).

Susan Vas Dias spoke of attachment theory and the importance of the relationship between a baby and his or her primary caregiver and everything she covered resonated with me on a personal level.

It became clear how we innately seek out relationships and will attach to our primary caregivers regardless of the quality of the relationship. Compromises are made if the quality is not as attuned or as caretaking as needed to enable a secure attachment.

When working with clients I regularly see the fall out from those early relationships playing out in their relationship difficulties as adults. Disoganised, ambivalent, avoidant, and occasionally secure attachments with early caregivers are often the starting point and also the axis around which the work that my clients and I enter into play out.

Bowlby's attachment theory and his writing on loss and mourning are at the very core of my working methods and without these I am not sure what kind of therapist I would be.

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