Slide 1 – So, this is a quick review… Secure attachment:
• positive enough holding environment creates
basic trust
• parents are present, protective, contingent,
available, respectful of boundaries, right?
Space…
• parents take the position of being master
regulators of the household; the adult couple
regulating each other and regulating their kids
out of that connection.

 

Slide 2 – This is, again, “good enough” mothering, coming from Winnicott. Creating that kind of a holding environment. One of the things we are doing in therapy is
creating containment; and another thing that allows Secure Attachment to
happen is that, whatever experience arises, what we are trying to do as
therapists is meet that in a way that contains it – that doesn’t mean we allow
people to hit us over the head with a two by four, right? – but whatever
state comes up, that we have this ability to contain, and help the person then contain it in their own experience.

Parents that are operating from Secure Attachment have a capacity to do that: when the kid is screaming they are able to help kid regulate, when the kid is really happy they are able to get into that ecstasy, kind of joyful bliss, right? so just whatever state – grief, anger, sadness, disappointment, whatever comes up – there is a sort of feeling contained. So one of the things we are trying to do on a mental level with the group is it that we create a container for ourselves in this group, that whatever rises is respected and held… and helps us all to process through whatever comes up for us that we want to process through – and if you are doing group therapy, you are also creating that kind of thing for individuals, in that group therapy context, right?

Slide 3 – Playfulness, “you’re special to me” eye gaze,
prosody…PROSODY is the tone of voice. Tone of voice – we didn’t mention it earlier – it’s a huge part of how your Attachment system works. Tone of voice can trigger the Amygdala immediately – it’s designed to be an instant danger signal. What happens in  women’s voices when they get activated or they see danger? They get shrill, it’s way up… that’s like a siren call for, like, back to tribal days, to get some people there to help protect you and the kids. And
sometimes, when we think we are having a calm conversation with someone, our voice goes up a bit, but we are not aware of it, right? And you are sending a very strong threat signal to your partner, right? So some of this we have to learn… how to use our tone of voice, and the prosody of our voice, to regulate. And shrillness will take you to – your
partner, or your friends, or your kids, will take them immediately in the center of the Amygdala. Boom! the alarm system is going up, and then they’re in defense, and they are not in Social Engagement. So whatever you are trying to work out, it’s going to get much harder. Now for men, when they go into their own activation or threat response, what do their voices do?