“Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair” by Daniel Brown et al., & Ideal Parent Figure Protocol for a Disorganized Adult Client
Guided visualization meditation treatment
The guided visualization process developed by Brown et al. to help heal the insecure “Internal Working Model of Attachment” (IWMA) is the “Ideal Parent Figure Protocol” (IPF) (2016). The Ideal Parents (IPF’s) shouldn’t be based on your actual parents, rather someone who you know who seem perfect to you (a loving movie star or a saint etc) (Brown, et al, 2016). IPF as a treatment seeks to give the adult client the five factors of secure attachment mentioned below and thereby remap the insecure internal working model of attachment.
- Attachment theory describes how human emotionally connect with others.
- More particularly there is an ‘critical attachment period’ that is understood to be the first 24 or even up the first 36 months of life.
- In this period the infant is largely helpless and therefore reliant on its parents/caregivers for most needs and for survival.
- These early experiences mark the child deeply and have a significant role in forming the brain (Brown, et al,, 2016).
Five factors for secure attachment
According to Daniel Brown et al. to get secure attachment the following five factors are needed during the attachment period (2016):
- Safety and Protection
- Attunement, feeling understood
- Comfort, soothing, and physical affection
- Delight (having delight expressed towards the clients from the caregivers)
- Support for exploration
There are four attachment styles in the system that Brown et al. use. They are:
- Dismissing (avoidant)
- Preoccupied (anxious)
- Disorganized (fearful)
The guided meditation below is on disorganized attachment. Disorganized attachment is caused by early developmental trauma in the early attachment period.
Early developmental trauma’s effects on personality (and brain) of adults with disorganized attachment
Adults with disorganized attachment often have these personality traits (Brown et al., 2016):
- Dysregulated psychophysiological states
- Affect dysregulation
- Lapses in self-observation
- Activation of contradictory attachment postures (preoccupied one moment, dismissing the next)
- Controlling behaviors
- Excessive submissiveness
- Consistent instability in relationship and in self-states
- Fearfulness (overactive amigdala)
Guided IPF meditation for adults with disorganized attachment
Please note fear generally and, more specifically, fear of connecting with others is one of the primary symptoms of disorganized (fearful) attachment. This guided meditation helps remap the internal working model attachment such to lessen fear, especially of attachment figures.