Attachment, Relational-Needs, and Psychotherapeutic Presence

Richard G. Erskine

Abstract


Humans require the contactful presence of another person who is attuned and responsive to relational-needs. Insecure attachment patterns are the result of repeated disruptions in significant relationships. This article describes eight relational-needs that, when repeatedly unsatisfied, lead to insecure attachment patterns based on the fears of loss of relationship, vulnerability, violation, and invasion.The healing of insecure attachment patterns occurs through a contactful psychotherapeutic presence that occurs when the attitude, behavior and communication of the psychotherapist consistently respects and enhances the client's integrity while responding to relational-needs. The article is the Keynote Address given at the 5th International Integrative Psychotherapy Association Conference in Vichy, France, April 21, 2011.

Keywords


attachment theory; relational needs, psychotherapeutic presence, insecure attachment

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