Attachment Centered Therapy Manchester, London and Guildford
I am Charley Shults and I have been practicing counselling and psychotherapy since 1987. I provide:
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Relationship Counselling Manchester
Family Therapy Manchester
Attachment Centred Therapy Manchester
I provide these at Hampden House Psychotherapy Centre in Manchester as well as 10 Harley Street in London.
Healing The Broken Bond:Is a book that I am working on and I will be posting regular excerpts from the book online. Further below is the next next installment from Chapter 1.
Since you are here, you probably have an interest in attachment and what it is about. There are 3 basic strategies, A, B, and C, that, in broad terms, determine how you relate to those closest to you.
A’s tend to deny their own needs and feelings and are pre-occupied with meeting the needs of others. They rely primarily on facts in processing information, to the exclusion of emotional information, particularly negative emotions.
C’s tend to dismiss the needs and feelings of others and are pre-occupied with their own. They rely primarily on their own emotional state in processing information.
B’s use a balance of both facts and feelings in processing information about relationships.
I have created 3 sayings, one for each category, that are designed to help them to reprogram, except for the B’s who don’t really need much help and rarely show up in a therapy office.
For A’s: Logically, it makes sense to be more emotional.
For C’s: Emotionally, it feels good to be more logical.
For B’s: I am comfortable using both facts and feelings in making choices in relationships.
Attachment Centered Therapy Manchester and London:
As a part of my work with individuals, couples and families I provide
Relationship Counselling Manchester
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Family Therapy Manchester
as well as providing these services in London.
These are offered either separately or as an integral part of Attachment Centred Therapy, since I find that difficulties in these areas almost always spring from attachment difficulties. I also find that this work has a global effect, so that those clients who do this work experience changes in all areas of their life's functioning.
Relationship Counselling Manchester and London: Over decades of working with clients, and training in many areas of specialisation, I am convinced that the problems that most people present in therapy settings grow out of difficulties in their attachment relationships. These attachment experiences determine how we relate to other people in our lives, particularly those most close to us, and also how we deal with the difficulties that life presents us. I believe that by correcting these difficulties with attachment people are enabled to make the changes that they want to make and do the things that they know they need to do. My experience tells me that this is so.
Family Therapy Manchester and London: I also use an attachment based approach for working with families. Family work can be done with an entire family, or with different configurations of people from the family.
Addiction Counselling Manchester and London: I believe that most addictive disorders are due to attachment difficulties that result in unmet needs and feelings not being dealt with in an effective manner. The addictive disordered behavior develops because it is a vain attempt to meet unmet needs. While the addictive behavior provides the illusion of making things better by making the negative feelings that come from unmet needs go away, this is only temporary and so those unmet needs come back stronger than before, often leading to an escalation of the addictive behavior.
Attachment difficulties lead to other common problems, such as:
My practice for Attachment Centered Therapy, Addiction Counselling, and Relationship Counselling is in Manchester and London. My Manchester practice is within easy reach of Cheshire. I also have offices available in London, Harley Street.
Thank you for the work you are doing for me and for Isabella*. To my surprise she has told me about her "compulsive self reliance" and even read to me some data from the website you have kindly advised to look at.... I see this... as a big step forward in her life for which I am grateful to you. We are so lucky to have a professional person like you!
Sent from my iPad
Healing the Broken Bond: how attachment difficulties creates problems and what to do about it.
The Past, Experience
Enter the Dragon: Pat Crittenden and the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment
About 10 years after Mary Main got her doctorate and began her career, Mary Ainsworth had another protégé who did the same: Patricia Crittenden. Both pursued their research, but Crittenden, though trying to follow Main, found inconsistent results based on her studies of more at risk populations than either Mary Ainsworth or Mary Main had worked with. As a result, Pat Crittenden took a different path, and that has resulted in a very different model of attachment, the Dynamic Maturational Model.
Mary Main had become Mary Ainsworth’s star pupil and really made a name for herself with her prodigious research efforts, so when Pat Crittenden came on the scene, and formed different conclusions from Mary Main, it was Pat Crittenden who got the cold shoulder. But not from Mary Ainsworth. Robert Karen quotes Mary Ainsworth as saying, ‘You just have to observe abusing mothers with their children over time, as my friend Pat Crittenden does, and you'll see it sure has an effect.’
This captures the essence of their different experiences: that whereas Mary Main had worked with mostly safe, stable middle-class Berkeley families from academic and professional backgrounds, Pat Crittenden worked with Appalachian working class and at risk families, including the ‘abusing mothers’ to whom Mary Ainsworth refers in the previous paragraph.
As their work continued, Drs Ainsworth, Main and doctoral candidate Crittenden collaborated. Mary Ainsworth died without, so far as I know from disinterested sources , expressing directly a preference for the Mary Main model of ABC+D or the Pat Crittenden Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment. However she seemed very clear about her desire to have a model that continued to be elaborated into ever more refined ways of interpreting anomalous data, as Pat Crittenden has done with the DMM.[insert here the quote from letters from ainsworth].
Ainsworth, Crittenden and Main met in [get year and place] and watched videos of these anomalous SSPs. Mary Main, looking through her theoretical orientation, saw dross, data that did not fit her theory, and so she discarded it into the dustbin of ‘Disorganized.’ Crittenden instead saw paydirt. She realized that in these discrepancies lay vital information which she proceeded to refine into a model that is dynamic, both growing as we learn more and emphasizing the dynamic nature of attachment – that it can change over time regardless of changing circumstances – and maturational, so that children, as they mature, may adopt more elaborate strategies to allow them to adapt to difficult circumstances.
So, consider, if I am using the ABCD model of attachment, virtually all of my clients are going to fall into the category of ‘disorganized,’ meaning that they were not able to develop a coherent attachment strategy due to a lack of ‘safety.’ I will have one category with a few modifiers, such as U/Loss (unresolved loss) and U/Trauma (unresolved trauma) and that is going to help me virtually not at all in understanding how clients formed their core beliefs, or in how to intervene properly in order to help them. Nor will it help them to help themselves.
Pat Crittenden’s DMM, on the other hand, rather than providing me with one category and one erroneous explanation of how it got that way as the ABC+D model does, instead provides me with multiple categories and combinations of categories that give both me and my clients a much more accurate understanding of the behaviour in which they are engaged.
I want to stress that I do not know Mary Main, have no axe to grind with her, and totally appreciate the creation of the AAI, and that I have never trained with her nor been indoctrinated into the ABC+C model, other than what I have read of it in research papers and what I have been told by Dr Crittenden based on her past associations with Drs Ainsworth and Main. I want to stress that Dr Crittenden has never said a critical word about Dr Main personally. She has simply presented what I consider to be the facts of the evolution of the two systems, and what she has said has been consistent with what I have read in the research papers presented by the ABC+D researchers, and what I have concluded myself over the years. My conclusions about the inaccuracy of the ‘transmission’ idea, where A begets A and so on, and the lack of continuity of attachment strategy over time because it is always subject to change given the right circumstances (that is what ACT is all about, after all, is changing the attachment strategy toward B3) were formed by reading the body of attachment research created by Mary Main and her colleagues. Both presumptions flew in the face of my own personal and professional experience.
To contrast the two systems:
Safety v. Danger
In ABCD, the assumption is that safety ‘organizes’ the attachment strategy. But this is not true. If you are safe, you have no need for attachment. There is no threat from which to be protected. You are not in danger of starvation, dehydration, exposure, enemies, natural disasters, or any other thing that can end your life. It is danger that requires protection that creates attachment so that your caregivers can protect you from death. Simple.
In the DMM, it is this element of danger -we do live in a dangerous world, after all, just in case you hadn’t noticed sitting in your living room with your feet up reading this book – that creates the need for protection from danger, resulting in an attachment strategy. If you were an amoeba, you would not have an attachment strategy. Or a sponge. Or a reptile. Some amphibians provide some degree of protection and care, but not much. No, it is mammals and above that really have attachment in spades. Why? Well, as you think about it, a protective attachment strategy goes with parental care. For those species who use a strategy of huge numbers that flood the market creating more offspring than can possibly be killed and eaten so that some survive, they don’t need to invest anything in caring for them. On the other hand, for those whose offspring are few in number, such as us primates, having a strategy that protects the offspring and provides the means for sustaining life, in the presence of danger, becomes paramount for continuation of the species.
How Dr Main and colleagues could have got it so wrong for so long is an interesting question, but not one that we will pursue further. Suffice to say that her conclusion was – apparently without actually researching it – that the more danger a child or family was exposed to the more disorganized the strategy would be.
Dr Crittenden reached the opposite conclusion: the more threat, the more organized the attachment strategy needs to be. After all, one only need to consider the model for the creation of a naïve B3, who has never known danger, and who uses a balance of cognition and emotion in reaching decisions about attachment relationships and perhaps other areas of life as well, but who does it naturally, simply as an extension of the developmental process, and without having to think about it. At the other extreme is the psychopath. I shall use the example of Dexter Morgan from the TV series, Dexter. Watch a few of those episodes if you want to see a very high degree of organization. If you want a real-life example, consider Ted Bundy. So, D is for Disaster in that the ABC+D model has led mainstream attachment research and thinking down the wrong path.
In addition to leading the researchers the wrong way, having one classification, ‘D’, that applies to virtually everyone who comes to see me as a client is about as useful as labelling them ‘Client.’ It doesn’t tell me much. In the DMM, on the other hand, I have an array of classifications from which to choose: A-3, Compulsive Caregiving; A-4, Compulsive Compliance/Performance; A-5, Compulsive Promiscuity; A-6, Compulsive Self-reliance; A-7, Delusional Idealization; A-8, Externally Assembled Self; C-3, Aggressive Anger; C-4, Feigned Helplessness; C-5, Punitive; C-6, Seductive; C-7 Menacing; C-8, Paranoid; AC, Psychopathy. That gives me thirteen different classifications for understanding my clients. Then when you include the A/C possibilities, and the modifiers, you now have a multiplicity of classifications with which to work, and understand, and change.
There are a few things about Pat’s classificatory system that are confusing until one understands them, but that is a minor point. For example, A/C refers to a classification in which one might use no clearly differentiated strategy, sometimes on the C side, saying ‘I can’t do it – I’m overwhelmed,’ versus the A side saying, ‘I must do it.’ On the other hand, it is not at all unusual to see the C-4, Feigned Helplessness strategy combined with the A-6, Compulsive Self-reliance strategy which would result in a form of depression in which there is no way to get needs adequately met.
This brings us to the many modifiers, such as depression – there are about a dozen of those – which affect how a strategy is working. We cannot possibly explore all the permutations in this book. You need to buy Pat’s book, Assessing Adult Attachment, co-authored with her friend and colleague, Andrea Landini, that will give you the information about the classification system. The point is that this system provides a hugely rich menu of possibilities for exploring how someone is functioning and how to help them change it.
Many clients can very quickly identify their basic strategy themselves when shown the DMM model. Others fairly quickly get it after they have learned more about it. For my part, I am not particularly concerned about the label the person wears. What is important is being able to identify the distortions of information that create the strategy and to be able to correct them. This then leads to global changes in functioning at a very deep, unconscious level.