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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Liotti, G. (2016). Infant Attachment and the Origins of Dissociative Processes: An Approach Based on the Evolutionary Theory of Multiple Motivational Systems. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 10(1):20-36.

(2016). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 10(1):20-36

Infant Attachment and the Origins of Dissociative Processes: An Approach Based on the Evolutionary Theory of Multiple Motivational Systems

Giovanni Liotti

This article argues that attachment is one among many motivational systems whose bases have been selected by evolutionary processes, and that applications of attachment theory to clinical work require a careful consideration of the dynamic tensions between the attachment system and other motivational systems. The clinical relevance of this argument is illustrated by an analysis of the conflicts and tensions between motivational systems that characterise infant attachment disorganisation and its developmental sequelae.

Attachment disorganisation is the consequence of a conflict between attachment and the survival defence system, while its developmental sequelae (controlling strategies) involve abnormal dynamic tensions between attachment and three other motivational systems regulating competitive ritualised aggression (the social ranking system), caregiving (the caregiving system), and sexuality (the sexual mating system). These conflicts and tensions between different motivational systems explain the links, evidenced by empirical research, between infant attachment disorganisation, dissociation, and adult disorders involving post-traumatic dissociative symptoms.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the article. PEP-Web provides full-text search of the complete articles for current and archive content, but only the abstracts are displayed for current content, due to contractual obligations with the journal publishers. For details on how to read the full text of 2016 and more current articles see the publishers official website.]

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