Ben Grey and Melanie Gill will co-host a dialogue about issues raised for DMM theory and forensic application in recent articles by ABC+D theorists. In January 2021, 70 apparently ABC+D people signed Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues (link to full article and cite below). This article is long and unclear, offering consensus and dissensus points as it tries to make a coherent argument. It argues that some authors believe attachment, and attachment assessments, can be used forensically, while some disagree and claim attachment assessments can never be used forensically. They all seem to argue attachment can never be used for understanding an individual, contrary to how the DMM can be used. They identify only three primary applications of attachment: 1) the child’s need for familiar, non-abusive caregivers, 2) the value of continuity of good-enough care, and 3) the benefits of networks of attachment relationships. The authors blatantly fail to identify that they are only talking from an ABC+D perspective and never mention the DMM.
Does an article like this harm DMM attachment, and if so how and what can be done about it? To what degree is the article consistent with DMM principles (both models argue for high standards in forensic cases)? Is the article a basis for prohibiting the use of DMM attachment in legal situations, and if not how best to handle challenges based on the article? How does the DMM differ from the ABC+D model for forensic and clinical uses. Why do these authors, working from the ABC+D perspective, continue to cause confusion about the difference between the two models? These are weighty questions and we may tackle them in several sessions. In this session, we’ll start a dialogue, so please join us with your best listening skills ready to go.
U.S./Canada: please note the time will start one hour later than normal (even it says otherwise in the Zoom notice), Tuesday at 10 am in Seattle and 1 pm in Miami, and Thursday at 2 pm in Seattle and 5 pm in Miami. EU/UK/AUS/SA start times will all be the usual times.
Date session A: Tuesday, 23 March 2021 (live, not recorded)
Date session B: Thursday, 25 March 2021 (live, not recorded)
Length: 90+ minutes
Host/Facilitator: Ben Grey and Melanie Gill
Platform: Zoom meeting
Sponsor: Conflict Science Institute
Multiple sessions: Each session will be unique, please join both! Invite your colleagues.
Session A (US/EU/Africa/India): Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. Seattle (UTC -7) (1:00 pm in Miami; 5:00 p.m. in London; 7:00 p.m. in Cape Town; 9:00 p.m. in New Delhi; midnight in Bangkok.)
Session B (US/EU/AUS/Asia): Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. in Seattle (5:00 p.m. in Miami; 9:00 p.m. in London; and (in Australia/Thailand/China on Friday) at 8:00 a.m. in Sydney. (AUS/ASIA participants should confirm their local start time against Seattle time.)
2021 Attachment goes to court
Link to full article: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616734.2020.1840762
Tommie Forslund, Pehr Granqvist, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Avi Sagi-Schwartz, Danya Glaser, Miriam Steele, Mårten Hammarlund, Carlo Schuengel, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Howard Steele, Phillip R. Shaver, Ulrike Lux, John Simmonds, Deborah Jacobvitz, Ashley M. Groh, Kristin Bernard, Chantal Cyr, Nancy L. Hazen, Sarah Foster, Elia Psouni, Philip A. Cowan, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Anne Rifkin-Graboi, David Wilkins, Blaise Pierrehumbert, George M. Tarabulsy, Rodrigo A. Carcamo, Zhengyan Wang, Xi Liang, Maria Kázmierczak, Paulina Pawlicka, Lilian Ayiro, Tamara Chansa, Francis Sichimba, Haatembo Mooya, Loyola McLean, Manuela Verissimo, Sonia Gojman-de-Millán, Marlene M. Moretti, Fabien Bacro, Mikko J. Peltola, Megan Galbally, Kiyomi Kondo-Ikemura, Kazuko Y. Behrens, Stephen Scott, Andrés Fresno Rodriguez, Rosario Spencer, Germán Posada, Rosalinda Cassibba, Neus Barrantes-Vidal, Jesus Palacios, Lavinia Barone, Sheri Madigan, Karen Mason-Jones, Sophie Reijman, Femmie Juffer, R. Pasco Fearon, Annie Bernier, Dante Cicchetti, Glenn I. Roisman, Jude Cassidy, Heinz Kindler, Peter Zimmerman, Ruth Feldman, Gottfried Spangler, Charles H. Zeanah, Mary Dozier, Jay Belsky, Michael E. Lamb & Robbie Duschinsky (2021) Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues, Attachment & Human Development, DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2020.1840762
Another relevant article explaining the limited usefulness of disorganized attachment was the 2017 Granqvist article, signed by 43 people, Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28745146/
Dr. Benedict Grey is the Programme Convenor (Director) and Senior Lecturer for the Attachment Studies program, Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, London. He is also co-director of Cambridge Centre for Attachment (www.attachment.services) and has been using the DMM in the family court arena for nearly 20 years. He also developed and validated the Meaning of the Child interview (www.meaningofthechild.org), a system of analysing parenting discourse based on the DMM.
Dr. Melanie Gill is a British psychologist trained in multiple scientific DMM attachment assessments and other forensic assessments. She is a member of the U.K. Academy of Experts, and is the Executive Director and Head of Assessments at the Family Attachment Consultancy where she primarily conducts family forensic evaluations for court matters. She uses the DMM and a wide variety of other methodologies to formulate a systemic understanding of family needs to support treatment and family healing recommendations.