Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To restrict search results by languageā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Search Tool allows you to restrict your search by Language. PEP Web contains articles written in English, French, Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.

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

Schwartz, J. (2015). The Unacknowledged History of John Bowlby's Attachment Theory. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(2):251-266.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(2):251-266

The Unacknowledged History of John Bowlby's Attachment Theory

Joseph Schwartz, Ph.D.

I argue that attachment theory is a central part of the history of psychoanalysis, although in a form not easily recognizable partly because of Bowlby's unique formulation of the centrality of relationships in terms of attachment for understanding the dynamics of the human inner world and partly because of certain defensive features of psychoanalysis that makes changes in thinking difficult and results in the marginalization of dissident voices. Bowlby's unrecognized antecedents extend back to Bleuler in Switzerland and include White, Sullivan and Thompson in the United States and Fairbairn and Winnicott in the UK. A dangerous clinical consequence of the lack of acknowledgement of Bowlby's contribution to psychoanalysis has been a widespread ignorance of the difference between an attachment bond and a trauma bond. An attachment bond provides safety and a trauma bond provides harm. Victims of abuse can mistakenly be encouraged to remain in abusive relationships in the name of attachment because trauma bonds can be strong even though they are harmful. This is a dangerous misreading of attachment theory stemming from the marginalization and ignorance of Bowlby's work.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.