Theoretical Foundations: Overview
John Bowlby’s seminal research into close attachments described the intense emotions that humans typically experience if we sense our intimate relationships weaken and/or become unpredicable.
Minuchin and colleagues pioneered the conceptual and practice base for Systemic Therapy. This contributed to a therapeutic capacity to conceive of the mind/brain/body reacting to and changing itself in relation to inputs from outside that system and from within it.
Stephen Porge's Polyvagal Theory and Deb Dana's work offers a scientifically grounded description of how our Reactive Brains and Bodies interact when triggered into fight/flight and/or hide/freeze states.
Daniel Sigel's Window of Tolerance provides a graphic description of how the human brain and body system moves into and out of balance especially in connection with intimate relationships that are under threat.
Plomin and Dawkins describe the enduring impact of human evolution in an ancient and dangerous world on our genetic inheritance today and its connection with intense behavioural reactions in the modern world that often appear out of sync with the actual level of threat we are experiencing.
Pat Ogden’s work on Sensorimotor Therapy, Francine Shapiro's development of EMDR and the work of Jannina Fisher, Bessel Van de Kolk and others demonstrates how practice that integrates the mind, brain and body is a therapeutically effective way of working with clients experiencing PTSD.