Psychotherapy in English & Spanish

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Dr Mario Marrone

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Attachment Theory

Attachment theory is a  way of understanding why people tend to make special relationships with specific others and how what happens in these relationships has an enormous impact on the emotional life, health and well-being of those involved.

Attachment theory was proposed by John Bowlby (1907-1990), a British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, who first became fascinated by how small children were attaching themselves to adults in order to feel safe, to form connections and to later grow into independent and well-functioning adults.

Bowlby made  valuable observations and links between early childhood deprivations and issues with mental health in adult life. His fascination was shared and followed by  prominent researchers in the fields of developmental psychology, medical sociology and neurosciences who consolidated his ideas and scientific basis.

When we try to make sense of our adult life and world of relationships, we need to also think about our early childhood experiences. Our early family life is hugely important for our later emotional functioning and behaviour. In this context, it makes sense to embark on an exploratory journey to discover meaningful links between then and now. This is what we call exploration of internal working models: how we unconsciously created internal maps of relationships that currently set us into autopilot mode.

In the past 20 years, psychotherapists and psychiatrists have recognised that early childhood trauma is at the root of many problems in later life. Normally, the child does not know the cause of his/her suffering and cannot express it with words. People around him/her do not notice trauma. My work is informed by trauma studies. Many people show noticeable symptoms rooted in trauma. Others simply experience limitations in their lives and simply believe that this is the way things are and there is nothing to be done. Yet, these limitations are the result of trauma in early attachment relationships and can be resolved in therapy. Resolution means that trauma does no longer control their lives.

If you allow yourself to stay in the therapeutic process for some time (even through Skype), then you can expect to find ways of changing and living a more fulfilling life. I see therapy as a process that fundamentally involves a reflective dialogue between patient and therapist. This also includes negotiating fees and ending. Reflective dialogue also means mutual respect, empathy, consideration and sense of integrity.