Using Modern Attachment Theory to Guide Clinical Assessments of Early Attachment Relationships

  • Allan N. Schore
  • Ruth P. Newton
Part of the Essential Clinical Social Work Series book series (ECSWS)


In this chapter, we offer a review of recent research on mother–infant right brain-to-right brain visual, auditory, and tactile attachment communications and on current developmental neuroscientific studies of the interpersonal neurobiological mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit the experience-dependent maturation of the infant’s developing right brain. With this data in mind, we then utilize regulation theory to model the implicit right brain/mind/body neurodynamics of a relational sequence between a 7-month-old infant and his mother. Lastly, we offer some thoughts about the unique contributions of modern attachment theory’s integration of biological and psychoanalytic domains in constructing more effective models of early assessment, intervention, and prevention. We argue that the interdisciplinary trans-theoretical lens of regulation theory can be applied to any clinician’s understanding of how one’s subjectivity and implicit corporeal self is used in both assessment and treatment of deficits in affective intersubjective processes at all stages of the life span, including the critical periods of infancy.


Orbitofrontal Cortex Nonverbal Communication Insecure Attachment Parasympathetic Nervous System Attachment Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUCLA David Geffen School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Newton Center for Affect RegulationLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.Newton Center for Affect RegulationSt. Vincent de Paul Village, San DiegoUSA

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