One or both people going through a separation and divorce process may hope that an attachment relationship can continue in some form, after the end of their life as a couple. That hope may not survive the journey, creating as it does further ‘ambiguous loss’ (Boss, 2000) to add to what is already often a complex process. Multiple primal anxieties can be stirred up as well as projections, ‘demonisation’ (Alon & Omer, 2005) and blame, not only from the couple in the eye of the storm but also from their surrounding supporters and detractors. Sometimes the professionals working with the couple can get caught up as rescuer, victim and even persecutor. What does it take for two individuals to weather the storm, hold onto that hope, and gradually, over time, make a new kind of friendship together?
This presentation will use an attachment filter to address the ambiguity of ‘staying friends’ at many levels. The presenter will draw on professional practice and personal examples, as well, being British, examples from the current internal and external struggles over Brexit.
Andrea Perry is an integrative psychotherapist, specialising in trauma and attachment, and a writer and presenter. A former Chair of the British Association for Dramatherapists, Andrea is also co-founder of B.A.S.E.® Babywatching UK and commissioning Editor of Worth Publishing. She has written three books on procrastination and claustrophobia, and edited more than 40 others, and is asked to provide a psychological perspective on issues for BBC radio. Andrea works for the International Family Tracing Service of the British Red Cross, is a trainer for the BRC psychosocial team working in the UK and is on rota with the Rapid Deployment Team of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office at times of crisis overseas.