Attachment is conceptualized as the desire to connect with others in a secure and stable way (Green, Marci, and Scholes, 2003). Humans need loving bonds with others to flourish. From a biblical worldview, humans, created in the image of God, are relational beings and suffer when secure attachments are lacking or distorted. Attachment theory recognizes that adult emotional regulation is influenced by early childhood attachments (Girme, Jones, Fleck, Simpson & Overall, 2020; Orlans & Levy, 2014). Inadequate caregiving results in attachment disorders (Zeanah & Gleeson, 2015). Attachment patterns marked by insecurity and anxiety may lead to relationship stress and difficulty. From a biblical perspective, Jesus is the ultimate attachment figure (Knabb, Johnson, Bates & Sisemore, 2019). In Christian therapy with Christian clients, a psychologist or other mental health professional can provide a safe and secure space for clients to explore their early childhood attachment patterns and the strategies they developed to maintain or avoid attention in relationships. The problems arising from these strategies are reframed, and new strategies are developed.
420 | Treatment of Early Attachment Trauma: Jesus as the Ultimate Secure Base
Nicolene Joubert, Ph.D.
Approved For CE
Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Approved For CME/CEU
1. Explain attachment theory and the relation between secure attachment and flourishing versus insecure attachment and anxiety
2. Describe strategies developed in childhood to maintain or avoid attention that could shape ineffective social behavior
3. Describe how a Christian psychologist or other mental health professional can introduce new strategies by facilitating a secure environment for an encounter with Jesus as the ultimate attachment figure
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