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Erdman, A. Crocker, M.C. (2019). Idioms of Attachment: Performative Dimensions of Object Relating, Affect, and Connection. Psychoanal. Rev., 106(2):149-173.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Review, 106(2):149-173

Idioms of Attachment: Performative Dimensions of Object Relating, Affect, and Connection

Andrew Erdman, Ph.D., LCSW and Michael C. Crocker, DSW, LCSW

Classical attachment theory has yielded rich explanations for behavior by classifying attachment into “styles” such as avoidant and ambivalent. Modern attachment theory has deepened our understanding of these formations by integrating knowledge about affect regulation and cognitive narratives. In looking at how attachment manifests in the phenomenal, sensation-evoking world, we draw on the work of postmodern performance theorist Judith Butler and others to get a clarified picture not just of one's style of attaching but of the specific ways that attachment behaviors are rehearsed, repeated, and refined over time. We look at attachment at the level of lived experience, rather than merely that of signification, to gain insights on how to interpret and work with attachment-laden behaviors in the therapeutic relationship.

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