Disorganized Infant Attachment Strategies and Helpless-fearful Profiles of Parenting: Integrating Attachment Research with Clinical Intervention.

Abstract

In this article, recent research on parenting behaviors associated with infant attachment disorganization is summarized and applied to a parent-infant psychotherapy case. Both hostile/self-referential and helpless-fearful patterns of parentingare described and viewed theoretically as alternate aspects of a single hostile-helpless internal working model of attachment relationships. The case material focuses on the more subtle and harder to identify manifestations of a helpless-fearful parental stance. Some attachment-related treatment guidelines for working with a hostile-helpless parenting stance are suggested, including challenging the hostile-helpless model implicitly in the qualities of the therapist's approach to the parent, explicitly articulating the hostile-helpless bind with the parent, increasing the parent's openness to a wider range of affective experience, differentiating attachment-related needs from other communications of the baby, and developing new skills for balancing the needs of the self and the needs of the other in interaction with the baby.

Cite this paper

@article{LyonsRuth2004DisorganizedIA, title={Disorganized Infant Attachment Strategies and Helpless-fearful Profiles of Parenting: Integrating Attachment Research with Clinical Intervention.}, author={Karlen Lyons-Ruth and Eda Spielman}, journal={Infant mental health journal}, year={2004}, volume={25 4}, pages={318-335} }