TU126 – What Do We Mean by Modern Attachment? Sue Marriott & Ann Kelley Discuss


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By Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP & Ann Kelley PhD, Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP, and Ann Kelley PhD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum, a new way of bringing attachment science to real life.

Pausing the riches of the guest interviews, Ann Kelley & Sue Marriott are back to discuss what has changed in the attachment field. They share what makes it modern anyway, review the science, and discuss their Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum (MARS). They also cover best practices for getting through online therapy. Learn more at Therapist Uncensored www.therapistuncensored.com and get full shownotes here.

This episode references the Modern Attachment Regulation Spectrum created by Therapist Uncensored. Find out more about that in Episode 31 below.


Episode 126 Show Notes: Why learn attachment theory?

  • Backed by over 70 years of clinical research in animals and people, founded and organized originally by seminal scholars like John Bowlby, Mary Main, Mary Ainsworth, Pat CRittenden and a BOATLOAD of of other researchers and clinicians working on developing and fine-tuning attachment science.
  • At its core, attachment theory is the study of how the child attaches to the primary carregiver and how those experiences shape the child’s development
  • Often this gets lumped together with a gendered understanding of the world, but it’s a totally gender-neutral science. Anyone can be or become a primary caregiver, even if the primary parent is often referred to as the mother. Also, much of the science surrounds mothers rather than fathers and non-traditional families, but more on that at another time.

What is Modern Attachment?

  • The first set of attachment science included the 4 quadrants and has primarily been research-based looking at infants, and then mothers and infants.
  • Modern attachment science incorporates the explosion of neuroscience that began to spill out in the 1990’s. It has always been biiologically informed theory, but with interpersonal neuroscience we can now literally see inside them developmental process and fine-tune and verify the evolving theory as go. With contributions from the likes of Dan Siegel, Alan Shore, Lou Cossolino, Ed Tronik, David Elliott, Dan Brown, Dan Stern… and another boatload of clinicians and scientists we bring this theory forward again with confidence of it’s validity.
  • Alan Schore speak volumes about the importance of the right brain and implicit maps that shape our world view.
  • Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley amplify this message and bring in the clinical application witht he Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum.

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More on the evolving understanding of the mind and relationships

  • Importantly, our brains double in size very quickly after birth, and all that growth is constantly shaped and changed by our interactions. Your felt sense of your body learns am I safe, is my environment safe, and is my caregiver safe.When those early experiences with the caregiver go well, you’ll always have a healthy network hardwired into your body.
  • On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you can’t change your attachment system if it’s not working for you currently. Deep personal exploration and new emotinonal experiences can re-wire your brain and help build a new, healthy attachment network in anyone at any age.

Let’s talk about online therapy

  • Online therapy is hard. It’s hard on the therapist just as much as it’s hard on the client. Neither person can feel as deeply the body based reactions that are so key to our non-verbal communication
  • So what can we do about it? And how do we integrate modern attachment theory into an online environment? Try embracing the differences of an online environment instead of trying to ignore them. Experiment with different camera set ups and feedback techniques to really ensure as deep of an interpersonal connection as you can. Pick different words to describe emotions and feelings. Or try making more explicit asks of each other during your session.
  • All in all, be true to yourself and take risks to explore the new online environment, and continue to be patient with yourself and the world around you

More content like this on Therapist Uncensored podcast:

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And tons of free episodes:

Neuroscience of Psychotherapy Episode 36 https://therapistuncensored.com/episodes/tu36-the-neuroscience-of-psychotherapy-an-interview-with-louis-cozolino/

It’s Not Crazy It’s a Solution to an Unsolvable Problem – Disorganized Attachment Episode 61

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