Welcome to the
21st International Attachment Conference 2022
DISTURBED ATTACHMENT IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Causes, prevention, counseling, and therapy
Virtually no technological revolution has changed our relationships as much as the digitalization of almost all aspects of daily life. The relationship between parents and their infants and children, between teachers and students, how young people interact in peer groups, and in homeschooling, home offices, dating habits and expectations, couples relationships, videoconferencing with grandparents – all of these areas of life are now mediated by smart phones and other digital social media. The Covid pandemic has vastly increased the prevalence of digital interactions.
As a result, the question arises whether the use of digital technology promotes or perhaps distorts the development of secure attachment between parents and children, students, couples, and in professional relationships. At what point does the pervasiveness and intensity of online relationships lead to attachment problems or even disorders requiring counseling or therapy? Despite the endless possibilities for online connection, loneliness may be profound.
The fact that one may at (almost) any time make contact with another person is countered by the real danger of emotional trauma as a result of insults and hate, cyberbullying, the social pressure of constant self-comparison, ghosting (sudden unexplained termination of a chat partner), and the possibility of becoming the victim of sexual abuse. How might the prevention of these disorders in our relationships look in our digital age? And how may such disturbances in our relationships be avoided.
And on the other hand, what new modes of digital communication might facilitate and even enrich dialog between therapists and clients or between partners?
Internationally renowned researchers and clinicians will discuss questions relating to these topics, and report on their studies and clinical experience to illuminate potential preventive measures.
The conference is aimed at all professionals involved in counseling and therapy, including physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, educators, social workers, politicians, and courts involved with adults, families, couples, children, and adolescents whose relationships have been adversely affected by digital media. Its purpose is to suggest approaches to those involved in promoting attachment resilience so that they may minimize and even prevent the consequences of attachment disorders and traumatic experiences resulting from digital communications. Digital media will also be discussed as a resource for new forms of interaction.
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