Tracing the storyline from parent to child : insights into improved family therapy : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in Guidance Counselling at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The effects of the application of attachment theory and classification measurements to family therapy was examined in order to judge its contribution to family therapy. A narrative case study analysis of attachment relationships was conducted of the first three counselling sessions with five solo mothers of European-origin seeking assistance with their children's behaviour. The Adult Attachment Interview (George, Kaplan & Main, 1985) was a vital component of the application of adult attachment concepts within a family therapy setting. The results of the interview formed the basis for assessment of intergenerational transmission of attachment relationships, and the client's ability or readiness to be in a therapeutic relationship. This approach helped the therapist better understand the clients' conceptualisation of intimate relationships in order to more accurately address dysfunctional habits of relating. The findings suggest that the integration of attachment theory into traditional family therapy methods can greatly enhance the therapist's understanding of historical causes of the presenting problem. This enriched understanding can point to more comprehensive therapeutic interventions, which will contribute to fundamental and lasting improvements in family relations.