Dr. Dan Siegel kicked off the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine’s invaluable 2015 “New Brain Series” of weekly webinars April 8. The series continues through May, and you can catch Dr. Pat Odgen on “Why the Body Matters When Working with Brain Science,” Wednesday, May 6 at 5:00 pm Eastern, rebroadcast at 6:30pm Eastern. Sign up to watch free at time of broadcast. Dr. Ogden speaks about Body Work and Somatic Healing. It’s about how to change the brain to heal trauma. Schedule and speakers list for all six weeks is below; videos, mp3s and transcripts of all speakers in April and May will stay available for purchase.Read More
Only 55% of us have “secure attachment”– a number which would worry us all if we knew what it meant — according to 1970-1996 research on over 2,000 infant-parent pairs. And the level of attachment we get as infants continues all our lives in our relationships.
The math says the other 45% of us suffer “insecure attachment.” That means 45% can’t handle a committed, stable relationship with anyone, from childhood to the rest of our lives, as of 1996. We also pass this emotional pain to our children, who turn out similarly. A National Institute of Health article summarizes the secure rate: “Infants with secure attachment greet and/or approach the caregiver and maintain contact but are able to return to play, which occurs in 55% of the general population.” 1
This is the blockbuster result of Dr. Mary Ainsworth’s 1970-1978 “Strange Situation” study of babies. The work was completed by her student Mary Main, and Main’s research led to shocking conclusions.
Main discovered so many babies were peculiar, she got concerned about the parents. So in 1982, she created the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) to study the adults, releasing results 1984-96.
Her journey was so “strange” and involved, that it got published in language hard to decipher (or even google) for most folks. The tale took me weeks to unravel (footnotes below).
This huge “insecure” figure is a predictor of broken homes and broken hearts for half the nation. It starts to explain why we’ve got a 50% divorce rate. If you’re like me and have tried “over 40” internet dating after a divorce, it won’t surprise you to hear that science shows 50% of adults out there can’t carry on a secure, committed, loving relationship. You’ve already experienced it.
And if 45% of us were “insecurely attached” in 1996, what’s the percent in 2014? In 1996 most of us hadn’t heard of the Internet. In almost 20 years since, email, texting, and so on have further trashed our ability to relate in person. Several psychotherapists interviewed for this blog said that a round number of “about 50%” is a conservative estimate for how many Americans lack secure attachment today. Many believe it’s much higher.Read More