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  • 1.
    Wilhelmsson Göstas, Mona
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Psychiatric Research Centre, Örebro, sweden.
    Wiberg, Britt
    Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Engström, Ingemar
    Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Psychiatric Research Centre, Örebro, Sweden.
    Kjellin, Lars
    Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. Psychiatric Research Centre, Örebro, Sweden.
    Self-reported anxious- and avoidant-related attachment correlated to interpersonal problems by patients starting psychotherapy2012In: E-Journal of Applied Psychology, ISSN 1832-7931, E-ISSN 1832-7931, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 9-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Attachment theory is an encompassing theory for understanding human reactions to life stressors, such as loss and separation and interpersonal problems are common reasons for seeking psychotherapy. Psychotherapy may be an opportunity to revise insecure attachment and handle interpersonal problems. This study examined attachment styles and interpersonal problems in a clinical sample of psychotherapy patients (n =168) at the start of psychotherapy. The main aim was to study how self-reported attachment styles, measured by the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ), correlated with interpersonal problems measured using the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP). Avoidant-related  and anxious-related  attachment scales correlated positively to the total IIP scores. Inconsistent with findings in nonclinical samples, specific interpersonal problems in the dominant and affiliative parts of the IIP correlated positively to both the anxious-related and the avoidant-related attachment scales. The findings imply that a challenge for the therapist, at the start of psychotherapy, is to balance providing security with encouraging exploration of feelings, thoughts, and behaviour in the patient’s interpersonal problems in current relationships. Exploring individual profiles of attachment styles helps to clarify motives in expressed interpersonal problems.

     

     

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