Attachment, Neurobiology and the New Science of Psychotherapy
Covid-19 vaccines are delivered on a variety of ‘platforms’, traditional and innovative — all aiming at a common underlying mechanism of protection, i.e. stimulating the development of anti-spike-protein antibodies and T-cell activation. Similarly, scholars have tried to delineate the common factors which underpin the 570 (and counting) varieties of psychotherapy, many of which, as the ‘dodo-bird verdict’ suggests, can be highly effective, but none consistently demonstrably more so than another.
I shall argue that attachment theory and Friston’s Free Energy Principle provide an evidence base, rationale and theoretical framework for understanding the transmutative power of psychotherapies. In the ‘duet for one’ and built-in ambiguities of the psychotherapeutic relationship, these include enhanced ‘granularity’ of entero- and extero-perceptions, an expanded range of ’top-down’ generative models, and facilitated agency by which outdated models and repressed feelings can be revised and transcended. The result is greater flexibility, range of choices, and resilience.
- Holmes, J. & Slade, A. (2017) Attachment in Clinical Practice. SAGE
- Holmes, J. (2020) The Brain has a Mind of its Own: Attachment, neurobiology, and the new science of psychotherapy. Confer Books.
- Thomson, R., Simpson, J. & Berlin, L. (2021) (Eds.) Attachment : the fundamental questions. Guilford.
- Attachment Theory & Psychotherapy: An Introduction
About the Speaker:
Professor Jeremy Holmes
For 35 years, Professor Holmes was Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Psychotherapist at University College London and then in North Devon, and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 1998 until 2002. He is visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and lectures nationally and internationally. In addition to 200+ peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of psychoanalysis and attachment theory, his books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy, Exploring In Security, The Therapeutic Imagination, Attachment in Therapeutic Practice, and most recently: “The Brain has a Mind of Its Own”.
Professor Holmes received the Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award in 2009. In his spare time, he enjoys making music, gardening, engaging in green politics and spending time with his grandchildren.
Subscribe to the Podcast
Upcoming at TWU
This episode is sponsored by our upcoming Day on Changing Consciousness, taking place at the University of Greenwich on 26th June, 2022.
This will be The Weekend University’s first ‘in person’ event in over two years, and it’s shaping up to be a special occasion. The lectures will focus on consciousness paradigms that go beyond the brain, how they work, why they matter, and how understanding them can enhance your everyday experience of reality, with talks on:
–> Panpsychism: Is Everything Conscious? – Dr Philip Goff, PhD
–> From Ego-Centric to Eco-Centric: Changing Consciousness through Psychedelics – Dr Sam Gandy, PhD
–> Is Reality an Illusion? – Professor Donald Hoffman, PhD (via live video link)
By attending live, you can interact with the speakers in the Q&A sessions, connect with like-minded participants during the conference, and get CPD certification.
Should you be unable to attend in person, you’ll also be able to tune in from the comfort of home with a “Livestream Pass”.
As a listener of this podcast, you can get a discount on your ticket, if you go to https://bit.ly/ccj-twu, and use the discount code: POD when registering.