INSECURE ATTACHMENTS AND THEIR INTERMINGLING TRANSFERENCES

Abstract

There are least two different but interrelated motivational systems in human beings both of which begin in infancy: the attachment system and the separate, but interacting, psychodynamic system. Each of these systems is the basis of transference. A major focus of the paper is the affect-regulating feature of the attachment system. Infants’ emotional states can be well-regulated or dysregulated as they emerge in interactions with their primary caregiver. Aberrant interactions of dysregulation typically lead to the development of insecure or disorganized attachments. Rudimentary transference fantasies initially emerge as the child makes sense or meaning about such maladaptive interactions. Our complex minds comprise multi-determined, personally organized fantasies which include those derived from both the attachment system and the psychodynamic one. I present a clinical description of how these two transference fantasies intersect in the mental life of a patient. A clinical case is offered whose focus is on enactments, transferences, and countertransference.

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Correspondence to Doris K. Silverman.

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Address correspondence to Dr. Doris K. Silverman, 315 Central Park West. New York, NY 10025, USA.

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Silverman, D.K. INSECURE ATTACHMENTS AND THEIR INTERMINGLING TRANSFERENCES. Am J Psychoanal 77, 128–145 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-017-9091-8

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Keywords

  • insecure attachment
  • attachment transferences
  • psychodynamic transferences
  • affect-regulation
  • dysregulation
  • fantasy