*Attachment Simplified – Secure Attachment (Organized)


SECURE / autonomous


“…the way adults can flexibly access information about childhood and reflect upon such information in a coherent manner determines their likelihood of raising securely attached children.  The abilities to reflect upon one’s own childhood history, to conceptualize the mental states of one’s parents, and to describe the impact of these experiences on personal development are the essential elements of coherent adult attachment narratives.  [It can only be helpful, then, to better educate people about what can go wrong also because that can add to their own understanding of the mental state of their parents…I had no possible idea as to what could have been so wrong with my mother and my father.  Not a clue!  It has taken a year’s worth of work just to get this far!] Moreover, the capacity to reflect on the role of mental states in determining human behavior is associated with the capacity to provide sensitive and nurturing parenting….this reflective function is more than the ability to introspect; it directly influences a self-organizational process within the individual…..the reflective function also enables the parent to facilitate the self-organizational development of the child….the coherent organization of the mind depends upon an integrative process that enables such reflective processes to occur….integrative coherence within the individual may early in life depend upon, and later facilitate, interpersonal connections that foster the development of emotional well-being.  (siegle/tdm/312)”  [last half of this paragraph is copied over to dissociation notes 6]


“Some people, then, can spend the vast majority of their time in cohesive, albeit relatively independent, self-states.  If these states are not conflictual with one another – if the desires, beliefs, goals, and behaviors of one state are not in destructive competition with another – then what is the problem?  Perhaps there is none.  For these individuals, a coherent mind may be a natural developmental outcome of authentic nurturing relationships, supportive experiences with teachers in school, meaningful friendships, and identification with peer groups, which have all contributed to the development of a capacity for self-organization in a wide variety of contexts.  Integration establishes a sense of congruity and unity of the mind as it emerges within the flexible patterns in the flow of information and energy processes of the brain, both within itself and in interaction with others.  This is coherence.  (siegel/tdm/316)”



“…a fourteen-month-old boy who wants to climb onto a table with a lamp on it.  One possible parental response would be to yell “No!” and then take the boy outside, where his drive to climb can be “attuned to.”  (siegel/tdm/282)


All one para

“The first year of life is filled with the attunement of infant and attachment figure, which often centers around the upbeat, high-vitality affects of interest/excitement and enjoyment/joy.

The sympathetic system is being activated and developed at a high level during this period.

Children who become securely attached to their parents are likely to have a good baseline autonomic tone.

They are capable (siegle/tdm/282) of tolerating high-intensity emotional states.

Specifically, if a pattern of attunement…is chronically repeated, the securely attached child will experience an aroused state (excited about climbing) that is responded to by the parent with a prohibition (inducing parasympathetic activation and a sense of shame), rapidly followed by a repair (attuning to the gist of the initial aroused state and redirecting it in socially acceptable ways).

This child’s orbitofrontal cortex “learns” that even high-arousal states (in need of connection) can be modified, and then connection will be reestablished.

We can propose that such connection-disconnection-repair transactions are one means by which patterns of parent-child communication promote the prefrontally mediated capacity for response flexibility.  (siegel/tdm/283)”

“As parents reflect with their securely attached children on the mental states that create their shared subjective experience, they are joining with them in an important co-constructive process of understanding how the mind functions.  The inherent features of secure attachment – contingent, collaborative communication – is also a fundamental component in how interpersonal relationships facilitate internal integration in a child.  We can propose that a parent’s engaging in what we have called reflective dialogue (focusing on the central importance of mental states in human behavior and their manifestations as feelings, perceptions, intentions, goals, beliefs, and desires) is also central to both secure attachment and the integrative process of co-construction of narrativesSocial competence and a sense of autonomy, mastery, and self-determination are aspects of resilience that secure attachment fosters.  We can propose that integration also becomes a developmental capacity within the foundation of nurturing and reflective early relationships.  (siegel/tdm/333)”

“Secure attachment facilitates integration in the developing child (siegel/tdm/333) by allowing for different forms of interpersonal resonance to occur.

“Left-hemisphere-to-left-hemisphere resonance takes the form of verbal communication within a linear, logical mode of discourse.

“Right-hemisphere-to-right-hemisphere resonance involves the nonverbal components of communication, such as tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions.

“In the co-construction of stories, parent and child enter into a dyadic form of bilateral resonance:  Each person enters a state of interhemispheric integration, which is facilitated b interpersonal communication.  In this manner, secure attachment involves an intimate dance of resonant processes involving left-to-left, right-to-right, and bilateral-to-bilateral communication.  This highly complex form of collaborative communication allows the dyad to move into highly resonant states, and also enables the child’s mind to develop its own capacity for integration.  Such a capacity may be at the heart of self-regulation.  (siegel/tdm/334)”


“For some adults [SECURE], their developmental path has led to a coherent set of interactions with the world —  interactions that have enabled the emergence of various self-states, which perform their functions with relatively minimal conflict among themselves.  Such individuals may live a comparatively carefree existence, without internal tumult or impairment in functioning.  (siegel/tdm/309)”


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