The Application of Attachment Theory to Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

  • Alan Eppel


Attachment theory is supremely relevant to the practice of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. It provides an understanding of childhood development and the importance of dyadic interaction between the infant and primary attachment figures. The quality of early attachment relationships predicts future attachment styles and relationship patterns.

An important finding from attachment research that has relevance to the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy includes secure and insecure attachment patterns in adults and children and the concepts of secure base, exploration and internal working models. The chapter discusses the evolution of attachment theory and the work of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth and Mary Main Edward Tronick’s mutual regulation model is described.

It is proposed that psychodynamic terminology can be updated and translated into the language of attachment.


Attachment theory Strange situation AAI Secure base Tronick Bowlby Winnicott 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Eppel
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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