Our public lecture and discussion on Attachment Theory on 7 November 2014 was a fantastic opportunity, here in Newbury, to gain Sir Richard Bowlby’s insight into his father John Bowlby’s famous life and work.
Over 100 people attended the lecture, ranging from A level psychology students and teachers of children with learning difficulties to experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and complementary health practitioners.
John Bowlby was a medically trained doctor, psychoanalyst and psychologist, and was motivated 50 years ago to research and develop “Attachment Theory” in part because of his own losses in childhood – namely that of his nanny when he was 4 and then at age 8 attending boarding school. This theory has since been a very important way of understanding what babies and small children need if they are to develop good mental health. It has been – and still is – a major feature of any psychology training in the UK.
Sir Richard Bowlby, internationally renowned for the lectures he gives about his father’s work, presented this topic in an engaging way. He told our audience that Attachment Theory is the “science of love”. It is what many of us know instinctively if we ourselves were able to form a secure attachment to a primary carer (such as mum) in early childhood. This would happen for example if our parent responded to our emotions (fear, joy) in a reasonably attuned, consistent, predictable and frequent manner. Sounds easy? And yet statistics show that 40% of people in the UK are “insecurely attached”. This might take the form of clinging to avoid any loss, or alternatively avoidance of attachments in the first place.
From 71 completed feedback forms from participants we scored an average rating of 4.48 out of 5 for overall assessment of the event. Sir Richard Bowlby received 4.71 out of 5 as a speaker. Fabulous scores! Comments include:
“Fantastic opportunity, a very positive experience”
“With this knowledge I can help others in some small way”
“Fascinating and enlightening… really helped me for my work”
“Interesting subject – good to hear this from John Bowlby’s son”
“A charming and heartwarming man to listen to”
“Excellent speaker, very engaging”
“Wish I had learned this before I had children”
The first 20 minutes of this lecture can be viewed on our Youtube channel:
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12 November 2014