chapter  Chapter Twelve
10 Pages

Trauma and attachment

WithAnna Buchheim

The Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP) defines the dimension that is used to identify unresolved attachment following Bowlby's view of defensive exclusion for pathological mourning. The association between unresolved attachment and psychopathology is consistent with Bowlby's original predictions regarding psychiatric instability as a potential response to the death of attachment figures. In sum, and in line with the recent meta-analysis reporting on the distribution of attachment patterns in clinical and non-clinical groups, we can conclude that clinical subjects show highly more insecure and unresolved attachment representations than healthy controls. Out of the many AAP narratives indicating her traumatogenic unresolved attachment, representation was predominantly in the AAP pictures Bench and Window. The last stimulus in the AAP set is an alone scene that portrays a child in the corner, drawn with solid lines that designate perceptual boundaries that potentially confine the child.