Centre for Social Work Practice

Implications of Attachment Theory for Social Work Education

Posted January 01, 2010


Susanne Bennett and Kathleen Holtz Deal – January 2010

Historically, attachment theory has been an explanatory theory of human behavior applied to child development and, more recently, adult pair-bond relationships, personality structure, and psychopathology. In previous chapters, this book has demonstrated the current upsurge of the application of attachment theory to adult treatment processes and clinical relationships as well. Research studies on these topics have maintained a ‘micro’ or ‘mezzo’ center of attention, but over the past decade, attachment research has extended into institutional settings, adding an organizational focus to the theory (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). This new focus is useful for educators in the helping professions in understanding relationships between students and their instructors and for conceptualizing the development of professional identity and leadership. Essential Clinical Social Work Series, 2010, Part 3

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