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Introduction to the Bowlby Centre

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Introducing you to the The Bowlby Centre

The Bowlby Centre is a group of people committed to the development of attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

We offer:

  • a referral service and low fee clinic for those seeking psychotherapeutic help
  • supplementary training and development to promote and develop attachment-based practice for trained psychotherapy practitioners and other professionals
  • a UKCP accredited training in attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • conferences and events to support the continuing professional development of our members
  • a consultation and outreach service aimed at encouraging policy makers to heed attachment issues, contributing research from our experience of attachment-based practice
  • a professional journal “Attachment” published in conjunction with Karnac
  • rooms for rental for training and therapeutic purposes
  • The Bowlby Centre is a member of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA). The CPJA is a College of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy has developed on the basis of the growing understanding of the importance of attachment relationship to human growth and development throughout life. This approach to psychotherapy, developing from the relational tradition of psychoanalysis, draws upon psychoanalytic insights and the rapidly growing field of attachment theory.

Understanding psychotherapy within the context of attachment relationships leads to an approach to psychotherapy as a co-operative venture between therapist and client. The aim is to develop a sufficiently secure base to enable the exploration of the impact of loss and trauma in the course of development. The therapy is designed to create a safe space in which the client and therapist can reflect upon their lived experience and their experience of relationships in the present, including the therapeutic relationship.

Mourning is vital to the acknowledgement and understanding of the effects of abandonment, loss, and abuse, whether emotional, sexual, or physical. Support for an authentic process of mourning forms a central part of the therapeutic work, where applicable. This is crucial to the development of a sense of self, and the capacity to form and sustain intimate relationships. Both a strong sense of self and good attachment relationships are essential to managing stressful experiences.

The losses and traumas to be addressed in therapy are not confined to a private world or to early life. Groups and society as a whole shape attachment relationships formed by individuals. The experience of loss and abuse as a result of structures and pressures and everyday experiences concerning race, gender, sexuality, class, culture and disability, together with the complexity of the individual’s response, can be worked with in a profound way through attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

John Bowlby’s original development of attachment theory was promoted primarily by his concern to ensure social recognition for the central importance of attachment and the role of the experience of loss in early development. He particularly valued the sciences and so was also concerned to strengthen the scientific foundations for psychoanalysis. Since Bowlby’s original work attachment theory has come to occupy a key position. Attachment theory provides a crucial link between psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, neurobiology and the behavioural sciences.