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Changing minds - changing bodies: Using attachment as a secure base for biopsychosocial research.

Dr Loyola McLean

Attachment theory is a robust biopsychosocial model that is developmental and evolutionary based, proposing that human beings develop in relationship. It speaks to both the development of self and self-regulation and the mal/adaptations and disruptions due to stress or trauma that often underlie health presentations as well as the ongoing power of relationships to promote resilience and to heal. It powerfully predicts the stress responses and the coping strategies that arise if a person is not safely and comfortably supported, including both the conscious strategies and unconscious strategies.

It then offers a guide to different recovery pathways and strategies and is a model that can apply to systems and cultures as well as the individual and is conducive to integrated care. An overview of a body of collaborative biopsychosocial research (including work by McLean, Kozlowska and Proctor) will be presented, using the unifying model of Attachment theory for research and integrated care.

Recorded: 20 June 2013
Westmead Psychotherapy Program for Complex Traumatic Disorders
Psychotherapy Think Tank / Grand Rounds
Mental Health Sciences Centre,
Building 112, Cumberland Hospital. NSW, Australia

Loyola McLean
Loyola McLean
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Dr Loyola McLean

Dr McLean is a Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist in public and private practice with interests in attachment psychosomatics, the psychophysiology of stress system disorders and the therapeutic consequences. She is currently working as a Psychotherapy Educator with the Sydney West and Greater Southern Psychiatry Training Network. Her recent PhD studied the mediating haemostatic and inflammatory links between depression and coronary heart disease. That research project nourished her interest in attachment theory as a theory of 'body mind and stress systems' and her research will continue in this area. Her aims are to explore the underlying psychophysiology and the paths to repair and to make attachment theory more user-friendly for clinicians and patients in order to foster more collaborative ways of understanding presentations and treatment goals and to promote integrated therapies.

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