The workshop “Attachment Issues in Adulthood” held on 23rd November, is a continuation of the first workshop on “Attachment in the 21st Century” hosted by Willingness.

Speaker – Dr. Gwen Adshead 

The speaker was Dr. Gwen Adshead, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist renowned for her groundbreaking work in the field of forensic psychiatry. Dr. Adshead has held pivotal roles in institutions like Broadmoor Hospital. She delves into areas such as attachment, trauma, and personality disorders in her exploration of criminal behaviour.

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Exploration of Childhood Attachment and its lasting influence

During the 3-hour workshop, Dr. Gwen Adshead explored the theme of childhood attachment and its lasting influence on adult life. Dr. Adshead further expanded on how attachment insecurity can shape relationships in various aspects of adulthood, such as caregiving, intimate partnerships, parenting, friendships, and the care of elderly parents, amongst others. 

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As we delved into the impact of attachment on relationships, special attention was given to the unique dynamics between individuals and their therapists. The workshop explored how attachment security influences interactions with therapists, uncovering layers of understanding about the therapeutic journey. Dr. Adshead further expanded on a variety of ways professionals should and should not interact with their clients, from holding strong therapeutic relationship boundaries to building a secure base through a detailed history intake.  

A Focus of Case Studies

Throughout the workshop, Dr. Gwen Adshead insightfully explored a diverse array of case studies where close attention was given to the language and metaphors used by the individuals. Cases included scenarios of the bereavement of the attachment figure, which led to thoughts of homicide and suicide; transitions into parenthood; bereavement during pregnancy; and migrants escaping war, among many others. 

Discussion with Dr. Gwen Adshead

The final part of the workshop was dedicated to a 45-minute discussion with Dr. Gwen Adshead and the participants. Participants had the opportunity to directly ask the renowned speaker any questions.

This unlocked some rich and intriguing discussions on the impact and application of attachment in a pool of different scenarios. Questions covered attachment-based therapy in couples, EMDR, the link between attachment and elders, as well as tips for individuals who have insecure and avoidant attachment when presenting with psychosomatic conditions.