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- ISBN: 9781855758315 | 1855758318
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 11/30/2011
The fourteenth John Bowlby Memorial Conference, held in London in March 2007, stood out as a special conference in a special year. It coincided with the centenary of John Bowlby's birth, and the conference organizing committee were conscious, in particular, of a desire to celebrate the pioneering nature of his work, and the profoundly significant contribution it has made to the understanding, prevention and healing of emotional suffering. Recent research in the fields of attachment and trauma is once more pointing to the contribution of early relational failures to extreme psychic suffering. Disorganised patterns of attachment, identified in children whose caregivers are simultaneously a source of fear and a source of comfort, have been linked to the development of both dissociative and so called borderline disorders in adult life. The conference aim was to bring together speakers able to extend their thinking and bring insights from attachment theory and psychoanalysis to the current debate about the links between the traumatic disorganization of attachment relationships and more severe mental and emotional distress--dissociative states, borderline experiences and psychosis--as they emerge in clinical practice. The papers in this volume have in common a committed insistence upon placing human relationship at the center of their accounts of extreme psychological suffering, both as the source of injury and, most hopefully, as the potential agent of repair. In this respect, they contribute fittingly in his centenary year to the continuation and extension of John Bowlby's pioneering work for the understanding, treatment and relief of such suffering.