Can therapists tell the attachment style of a person after just a short period of time? And if so, how? (Quora)

Good question without a really good answer.
There are some therapists who say they can discern an attachment style relatively quickly even within the initial appointment. I have no reason to doubt this, but it runs counter to my more cautious stance on diagnosis & prognosis.
The research into attachment has spawned a number of good therapeutic interventions, or in my mind, enhanced ways of connecting with people who for whatever reason display problematic attachment styles and behavior.
I say I’m cautious about this as, in my experience, a quick assessment or diagnosis is held prey to counter-transference in the therapist. The quicker the diagnosis the more likely it’s colored by the therapist’s unconscious attachment styles that are then easily seen, through projection, in one or another patient.
I find that if I take more time to experience the relationship with a new patient the more sanguine I am regarding diagnosis and prognosis as I have allowed more data, so to speak, to accumulate to support my diagnostic thinking.
In closing, I’d like to point out that there are some gifted therapists in identifying and communicating attachment styles. These are time savers for sure and may allow them to move more quickly into treatment. & in our insurance dominated professions, speed and accuracy of diagnosis is held in high esteem.
However, as I’ve laid out above, this also has it’s down side in misconstruing the more delicate distinctions among attachment styles that then show the path to treatment and resolution of the patient’s problems.
Briefly stated, we humans are a complex lot that often requires slowed down approach that allows someone’s attachment difficulties to present them to and inside the therapist.

About left0089

Columnist at American News Report. Pain care activist. Poet, memoirist.
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