Reflections on the reception of attachment theory by psychoanalysts. A review of publications

José A. Castillo-Garayoa, Ramón Echevarría

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts


This article explores the reception and response of the psychoanalytic community to attachment theory by reviewing articles, with 'attachment' as a keyword, published up until December 2020 in the top seven (according to impact factor) English-language psychoanalysis journals in the ISI Web of Knowledge. A category system was designed and applied to classify the articles which met the inclusion criteria. Since 1996, there has been a significant increase in publications that compare attachment theory and psychoanalysis, explore avenues of integration, analyse different theoretical and technical aspects, or make eclectic use of concepts from both models. Overall, however, few articles referring to attachment (246, representing 1.8% of the sample) have been published in the analysed journals, and of those, many hardly make any mention of psychoanalysis. Contributions by the attachment theory pioneer, John Bowlby, emerged from psychoanalytic practice, with attachment theory reinforcing the more relational approaches of psychoanalysis. Nonetheless, a main conclusion of our study is that attachment and psychoanalysis follow parallel or divergent paths.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)509-526
Nombre de pàgines18
RevistaInternational Journal of Psychoanalysis
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2023


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