The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) (Mary Main et al.) is the gold standard of Attachment Assessments. For those that are committed to healing their attachment conditioning and foundational psychology, this is a benchmark to establish.
The interview triggers the client’s ‘attachment mechanism’ by asking the client questions about childhood attachment situations. The responses are then coded for patterns that place the client into one or a combination of attachment styles (secure, dismissing, preoccupied, disorganized, unresolved).
The interview it self takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The scoring is detailed and takes another two to three hours to render. It takes a comprehensive look at childhood experiences in terms of the caregiver’s level of:
- pressure to achieve
- overall “loving-ness”
Trauma and loss are also assessed. Moreover the client’s current state of mind relative to attachment is also assessed. This is accomplished largely by gauging:
- degree of idealization of attachment figures (positive claims about caregivers that aren’t backed up by memories later on in the interview)
- degree helpless anger
- derogation of caregivers
- derogation of attachment
The following are determined as well:
- Meta-cognitive/reflective functioning (when scored for reflective function)
- Passivity of thought process
- Coherence of transcript and mind
Final scoring produces a detailed assessment of the client’s attachment style based on these factors. The AAI is valuable as it gives us a pre-treatment determination of attachment conditioning. Then at the end of treatment it be re-administered. This produces pre/post scores which validate the your journey from insecure attachment (dismissing, preoccupied, and disorganized) to secure attachment. This helps with motivation and faith in the practice. The transformation of the internal working model of attachment and therefore core mental health is quantified and tracked.
To that point; when the your primary attachment style is known then we modify the attachment repair meditation to correct that type of insecure attachment (dismissing, preoccupied, or disorganized).
So, taking the AAI within the first month of one-on-one treatment is very helpful as it optimized the course of treatment. However, it is not obligatory. For many clients, it makes sense to put off the AAI until full faith in the therapeutic/corrective process of attachment repair is developed.
Moreover, after the second phase of treatment (working through ‘early maladaptive schemas’) secure attachment conditioning is assumed to be in place. At that point we re-administer the AAI to verify the attainment of secure attachment. This is very satisfying as it assures all parties of the success of the treatment.
Book an appointment for an AAI
Cedric has done the AAI training, but has not yet completed the reliability training. Scoring will be sent to a third-party who is an official coder who has completed their reliability training.Book an AAI