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The figure of attachment: A literature review of attachment theory In the context of Gestalt therapy theory

Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Jon Frew, Ph.D., ABPP


Relationship discord and strain is a considerable source of pain for individuals and couples. Considering this area of distress, it appears appropriate to explore methods of incorporating attachment theory into contemporary therapeutic orientations, as the attachment approach explores the nature of bonds between people in relationships. The present literature review explores the utility of considering attachment theory in the context of Gestalt therapy theory, a holistic, relational, and process-oriented approach to therapy, in order to illustrate important ties. Several important connections were elucidated, such as similarities in the conceptualization of behavior, in ways of explaining adjustment to the environment, and the goal of therapeutic tasks. In light of the preliminary observation that the theories may be related, further research is necessary to reveal correlations, and to improve the understanding of how one would incorporate attachment concepts into Gestalt therapy.


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