Beyond Secure Attachment

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1. Attachment Theory: Origins and Orientations

2. Secure Attachment in the Therapeutic Context
3. Authentic Self-Transcendence in the

Therapeutic Setting

Influences on Imoda

Self and Self-transcendence

Development of the Self and the Three Parameters

Self-transcendence in Psychotherapy

4. Authentic Self-transcendence

through Secure Attachment

Two Constructs in Dialogue

Attachment and the Act of Transcendence

Authentic Self-transcendence in the Therapeutic Setting

Secure Attachment as a Mediation

General Conclusions


Author Index

Subject Index


Beyond Secure Attachment

Psychotherapeutic Applications of Attachment Theory from a Christian Perspective

What attracts an infant to its mother? Is it food or maternal protection? John Bowlby argued that an infant primarily needs maternal protection. Relationship with the mother protects the infant and ensures its survival. Likewise, relationship with our significant persons emotionally protects us and ensures our affective survival.Today’s common problems such as anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, substance abuse, marital problems – all seem to have their roots in the defective internal secure base. A better awareness of the processes underlying our attachment relationships can foster greater self-awareness and help us to be more considerate towards ourselves and others. The attachment theory serves as an effective tool in the analysis of the process of relating. If we can properly interpret the human need for relationship against the background of an integral anthropology, it can illumine our day to day life in a transcendental way as suggested by the Italian Jesuit psychologist Franco Imoda. It is the basic attachment we develop in our relationship with our caregivers that enables us to transcend ourselves towards others and the Ultimate Other. This book enquires into the possibilities of the power of human relationship in effecting a change in human persons.

Tomy Tharayil is a catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, and is at present working at the Danahalaya Institute of Formation. Punnapra, Kerala, India. He holds a Masters in English Literature from the Kerala University and a Doctorate in Psychology from the Institute of Psychology. Gregorian University, Rome. He was trained at the Anna Freud Centre. London on ‘Mentalisation Based Therapy for Borderline Pati


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