18 & 20 May 2021. Misinformation about attachment theory is rampant and beliefs are often rigidly adhered to, making it difficult to open dialogues about attachment and it’s proper application. In this DMM Coffee House session, we will discuss how to combat misinformation about attachment theory. We will look at social media posts and blog posts/articles which attempt to provide psychoeducation to the wider public about attachment theory and discuss misperceptions. We will also discuss how to share information about the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) with therapists and other professionals who are more well-versed in the ABC+D model of attachment, or who have other limited theory education. This meeting may involve the opportunity to practice putting into words how the DMM model functions to improve an understanding of the attachment system.
This session is part of the DMM Coffee House series on addressing misunderstandings about attachment theory. A brief comparison of the DMM and ABC+D models of attachment, a brief historical context for the development of the DMM, and some of the unfair criticism of the DMM, are discussed in the DMM Wikipedia article. The DMM is sometimes described as too simple and sometimes as too complex. It may just be robust.
Some journal articles
Disorganized attachment is a failed concept. This article by the creators of the disorganized concept and other attachment leaders explains why disorganized attachment cannot be used by therapists, forensically, or otherwise. Pehr Granqvist, L. Alan Sroufe, Erik Hesse, Miriam Steele, Marinus van Ijzendoorn, Judith Solomon, Jude Cassidy, Susan Spieker, Ruth Goldwyn, June Sroufe, Daniel Siegel, Peter Fonagy, Everett Waters, Dante Cicchetti, Charles H Zeanah, Mary Main, Robbie Duschinsky, et al. (2017). Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers, Attachment & Human Development, 19:6, 534-558, DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2017.1354040
A debate about the differences between the DMM and ABC+D model proponents was held in a 2018 volume of the Infant Mental Health Journal (November/December issue, v39, issue 6, pages 625-655). Even here, misinformation was used by some of the ABC+D proponents, such as by claiming forensic attachment assessments must be held to a “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” legal standard. In the article below, those authors acknowledge that claim was a mistake. The articles in this volume are fully available online. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/10970355/2018/39/6
The ABC+D model of attachment has limited use forensically and for assessing an individual person. This opinion-piece article describes limitations of the ABC+D model as it tries to address misinformation about attachment theory. Unfortunately, the article itself creates some misinformation, notably by failing to identify that there are two major models of attachment, the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and the ABC+D (or Berkeley) model. The authors fail to acknowledge that the DMM avoided the foundational problems which the ABC+D model suffers from, and thus does not need the same forensic limitations. Tommie Forslund, Pehr Granqvist, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, et al. (2021). Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues, Attachment & Human Development, DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2020.1840762
Date session A: Tuesday, 18 May 2021 (live, recorded)
Date session B: Thursday, 20 May 2021 (video replay)
Length: 90+ minutes
Host/Facilitator: Shanna Donhauser
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, 9:00 a.m. Seattle (UTC -7) (11:00 a.m. in Dallas; noon 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 1:00 p.m. in Seattle (3:00 p.m. in Dallas; 4:00 p.m. in Miami; 9:00 p.m. in London; and (in Australia/Thailand/China on Friday) at 6:00 a.m. in Sydney. (AUS/ASIA participants should confirm their local start time against Seattle time.)
Shanna Donhauser is a psychotherapist focusing on young children and their parents. After completing her MSW at NYU (’14), Shanna completed the Infant Mental Health Certificate at the University of Washington. She had a private practice in Seattle WA for several years serving young children and couples but is currently on a clinical sabbatical, completing the MSc in Attachment Theory at the University of Roehampton in summer 2021. Her dissertation focuses on couples attachment, with a specific interest in the consistency between the dysfluency of speakers when discussing childhood attachment and adult romantic relationships. Shanna’s clinical interest lies on the attachment relationship between parents and the potential for developing more attachment integration through adult love relationships, as well as the potential parallel process that might emerge in the attachment relationship of the parents and their children.
Shanna can be contacted through her website, Happy Nest | Family Therapy Seattle (happynesttherapy.com).