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Renn, P. (2017). Prologue: Creative Attachments: Clinical Practice Through an Attachment Theory Lens. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(5):275-280.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(5):275-280


Prologue: Creative Attachments: Clinical Practice Through an Attachment Theory Lens

Paul Renn, DSW

On being invited to edit an issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, the topic that immediately sprang to mind was the use of attachment theory and research in clinical practice. Why did I settle so quickly on this particular theme, when there is a plethora of other clinically relevant subjects that I might well have chosen instead? My decision was influenced, at least in part, by the fact that my clinical practice with adults (individuals and couples) is centrally informed by attachment theory and research. This, in turn, reflects the fact that attachment ideas and empirical findings inform many new ways of thinking about clinical issues and the therapeutic process: for example, the Boston Change Process Study Group (BCPSG)’s work on the nonverbal implicit/procedural domain of being and relating, Beebe and Lachmann’s adult treatment model, Allan Schore’s neurobiological approach to affect regulation and cumulative developmental trauma, Bateman and Fonagy’s mentalization-based treatment of borderline personality disorder, Joseph Lichtenberg’s thinking about motivational systems and adult sexuality and sensuality, Giovanni Liotti’s understanding of the cognitive-developmental and motivational basis of dissociation and multiple self-representations, Alicia Lieberman’s development of psychoanalytic infant-parent psychotherapy, Arietta Slade’s emphasis on reflective functioning in conjoint work with parents and children and focus on narrative

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