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Workshop on Intimacy

Hobrechtstrasse, 66 Berlin, 12047
The Self


What are the internal working models that drive our ability to create and maintain intimacy? Why, so many times, romantic relations follow the same known patterns? Finally, why are these relationships so important in our lives? We will explore these issues in depth using Bowlby's attachment theory.

The child is born with an innate need for closeness, and the parent has natural reactions to the child's signs of distress. Bowlby (1982/1969) viewed this proximity to the caregiver as instrumental in the development of other goals, and he viewed the loss of such proximity as a cause of distress that interferes with exploration. Ainsworth (1967) described three main patterns of reaction to separations from and reunions with the caregiver. These reactions develop an internal model of self and others, that is referred to as attachment style.

Later researchers adopted Ainsworth's three-category typology as a framework for conceptualizing individual differences in the ways adults think, feel, and behave in romantic relationships.

In adolescence and adulthood, a person finds potential comforters and attachment figures, with close friends and romantic partners. During the search for meaningful relations, a person may be lonely at times, which according to attachment theory is caused by separation anxiety or activation of the attachment system. Loneliness is especially common in early adulthood when many people are not yet confident about their attachment relationships outside the family home.

A person's attachment style plays a great roll in the ability to make and maintain meaningful relationships. These relationships, in turn, can change attachment style. The loss of these relationships can also change a person's attachment style, even just temporarily.

The workshop is a three-hour closed group format (with a half an hour break) and up to 20 participants. The structure of the workshop consists of theoretical segments and opportunities for exploration and sharing of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We will explore the nature of adult romantic relationships from an attachment theory perspective: security, anxiety, passion, jealousy, or persistent avoidance of closeness and excessive self-dependency.

Ori Yadlin, M. A. in clinical psychology, is writing a doctoral dissertation on attachment, mindfulness, and perception.

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