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Bindung und Migration
19th International Attachment Conference
Attachment and Mental Disorders
September 11th - September 13th, 2020
Bindung und Migration

Shimony, Michal (Herzliya/ Israel)

Attachment theory and group processes: The association between attachment style and group-related representations, goals, memories, and functioning

According to attachment theory, the availability of caring, supportive relationship partners, beginning in infancy, is extremely important for the development of a sense of attachment security (confidence that one is competent and lovable and that others will be available and supportive when needed), which in turn fosters the development of stable self-esteem, constructive coping strategies, maintenance of mental health, and formation of mutually satisfying relationships throughout life.

In this presentation, I move beyond the well-researched correlates of attachment security and the laboratory priming of security-enhancing mental representations to propose a broader group-related model of psychological change.

According to this model, repeated interactions with responsive and supportive leaders and cohesive groups beneficially alter a person’s attachment patterns and psychological functioning. I review prospective longitudinal findings showing that being involved in a relationship with a responsive and supportive leader or a cohesive and supportive group creates long-term beneficial changes in attachment-related cognitions and feelings and in broader psychological functioning.

The findings provide strong support for Bowlby’s ideas about the plasticity of the attachment system across the life span and the growth-enhancing consequences of responsive leaders and cohesive groups.

CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)

Michal Shimoni has a BA & MA in Behavioral Science (Psychology and Sociology) from Ben Gurion University of the Negev and a PhD Degree in Social-Organizational Psychology from Bar Ilan University. She is also the graduate of a two-year group facilitation program at Tel Aviv University. Her Doctorate study, guided by Professor Mario Mikulincer, researched group processes and the significant connection between type of attachment, motivations, resilience and performance. She is the Head of the Organizational Department and Group Trainer.

Michal has extensive experience as an and group facilitator, supporting processes of change, facilitating leadership development processes, team development, and personally accompanying company managers within a wide range of organizations and educational institutions. *
* On a personal note, I believe in people and in their power and will to learn and change. I believe in seeing every moment as a meaningful opportunity.