Pulling on the heart strings: An emotionally focused approach to family life cycle transitions

ArticleinJournal of Marital and Family Therapy 27(2):177-87 · May 2001with33 Reads
DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2001.tb01155.x · Source: PubMed
  • 16.76 · Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Transitions through the family life cycle can be stressful because they challenge attachment bonds between family members. Open communication and the processing of primary attachment emotions are crucial when family systems change. When family members are insecurely attached, such open communication is difficult, and people tend to get stuck in absorbing states of secondary defensive affect. Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) can be particularly helpful by encouraging family members to express primary emotions. This expression then fosters renegotiation of bonds and the clarification of attachment needs and concerns. Case examples illustrate how EFT can be applied to each family life cycle stage.
    • "Counselors can play an important role in helping fathers identify and work through the myriad of losses—for their child, for their families, and for themselves—following a diagnosis of schizophrenia by listening to and validating the stories of loss (Grams, 1996). Because schizophrenia is an illness that aflects the entire family system, couple and family work similar to the emotionally focused approaches used during stressfiil family transitions (Dankoski, 2001 ) may also be useftil to assist all family members in integrating this new reality into their individual lives and into the family system. The fathers in this study reported that they were committed to parenting together with their spouse, and acknowledged the challenges involved in this process. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to give voice to fathers of young adult children diagnosed with schizophrenia within the past 10 years. A qualitative, phenomenological method was used to explore and describe the fathering experiences of the 6 volunteer participants. The findings suggest that mental health professionals should recognize the needs and important role of fathers in the lives of their children who have schizophrenia. Suggestions are provided for counselors working with this population.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009
    • "Bowlby's attachment theory provides the theoretical model to account for adult love relationships which concentrates on such issues as emotional bonds, as well as adaptive needs for protection, security, and connectedness with significant others (Johnson, 1996; Dankoski, 2001). Recent literature has begun to examine the relationship between attachment patterns learned in childhood and adult attachment patterns in couple relationships. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although family of origin theory and attachment theory have their own distinctive conceptual frameworks, this paper argues that both theories can also be understood as different perspectives on the same human experience, the development of attachment and relationship patterns within the womb of the family. Both theories have developed a continuum of attachment patterns. This paper attempts to bridge corresponding attachment patterns and structures a new paradigm for attachment. The genogram is suggested as a more simplified and useful assessment map of attachment patterns. Finally, the paper offers a case study exploring the implications for couple therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2004
    • "adults may experience challenges to their bond from loyalty conflicts arising from parenting roles, and pre-established bonds between parents and biological children (Visher & Visher, 1979). Stepcouples navigating the stressors inherent to remarriage or re-partnering experience the attachment challenges found in other family life cycle transitions. Dankoski (2001) notes that all life cycle transitions involve " renegotiation of attachment bonds among family members " (p. 179). There is a sense of disorientation as the roles shift and the rules change. In traditional life cycle transitions, this implies an accompanying redefinition of meaning and expression of attachment bonds. The stepfamily, on "
    Article · Mar 2003 · Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy
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