Category Archives: Attachment theory (Bowlby)

Sir Richard Bowlby – “a rare and special opportunity” in 2014

Rachel Cooper, psychotherapist at Wendy Bramham Therapy in Newbury, reviews our recent day on attachment theory with Sir Richard Bowlby:

“Hearing Sir Richard speak at the recent Wendy Bramham seminar in Newbury felt a rare and special opportunity to get up close and personal with his father, Sir John Bowlby’s, pioneering work.

Richard highlighted the significance of attachment theory by taking us back to the fright we each felt when we got lost (and separated from our caregiver) as a child, even though we were not in any danger; caused by the terror of separation from an attachment figure. He also reminded us of its ongoing impact on all relationships held as adults and explained how he himself developed a secure attachment as an adult through his relationship with his wife.

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy BramhamSir Richard with Wendy Bramham

Richard provided an updated slant with research and views, sparking stimulating debates that ranged from the science of epigenetics to the art of using attachment theory creatively and individually within psychotherapy. Also the despair caused by the lack of influence of attachment theory on politician’s agenda within schooling, versus the hope from a psychotherapist providing a reliable, responsive, helpful and empathic secure base from which clients can begin to explore in a way that has previously been too scary. I loved Richard’s description of a psychotherapist being, “someone to hold our hand while we go into scary places”.

Richard was such an engaging speaker through his warm, humorous and down to earth style. His sharing of personal experiences with his upbringing and own family really brought the theory to life. A really engaging, enlightening and informative event.”

newburytherapy.com/rachel-cooper-therapist-newbury.php

Attachment Theory – “The Science of Love”

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy Bramham

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy Bramham

 

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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Wendy Bramham
12 November 2014