Disorganized infant attachment strategies and helpless-fearful profiles of parenting: Integrating attachment research with clinical intervention
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CitationLyons-Ruth, Karlen, and Eda Spielman. 2004. “Disorganized Infant Attachment Strategies and Helpless-Fearful Profiles of Parenting: Integrating Attachment Research with Clinical Intervention.” Infant Mental Health Journal 25 (4): 318–335. doi:10.1002/imhj.20008.
AbstractIn this article, recent research on parenting behaviors associated with infant attachment disorganization is summarized and applied to a parent–infant psychotherapy case. Both hostile/self-referential and helpless-fearful patterns of parenting are described and viewed theoretically as alternate aspects of a single hostile-helpless internal working model of attachment relationships. The case material focuses on the more subtle and harder to identify manifestations of a helpless-fearful parental stance. Some attachment-related treatment guidelines for working with a hostile-helpless parenting stance are suggested, including challenging the hostile-helpless model implicitly in the qualities of the therapist's approach to the parent, explicitly articulating the hostile-helpless bind with the parent, increasing the parent's openness to a wider range of affective experience, differentiating attachment-related needs from other communications of the baby, and developing new skills for balancing the needs of the self and the needs of the other in interaction with the baby.
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