chapter  6
17 Pages

Understanding attachment, trauma and dissociation in complex developmental trauma disorders

ByKATHY STEELE AND ONNO VAN DER HART

The heart of psychotherapy is in understanding and changing the ways in which individuals experience, develop and maintain human relationships. Attachment theory and the ¿ eld of interpersonal neurobiology have gifted us with a nuanced and powerful understanding of relationships, the mental representations of self and other that shape relationships, and the regulatory and organising functions of attachment. No one is more in need of help with attachment and regulation than those who have been chronically abused and neglected in childhood. These individuals generally suffer from a wide array of symptoms that can be understood as complex developmental trauma disorders, including Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), trauma-related Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and the Dissociative Disorders. Our emphasis in this chapter will be on working with attachment problems in patients who have a dissociative disorder.