Artem Zen, host of the podcast Elevating Consciousness, interviewed David Elliott about the phenomena of attachment and the Three Pillars of treatment for attachment repair.
This chapter in Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders: Past, Present, Future (2nd ed.) was co-written with my colleague in Sidney, Australia, Pam Stavropoulos. Pam is a brilliant and sensitive clinician and writer who has published in areas of trauma, dissociation, and their treatment; global cultural issues including nationalism, liberalism, colonialism, gender politics, and climate change; and several psychotherapy-themed works of fiction.
Abstract: Dissociation – disconnection between domains of functioning which are ordinarily integrated – is commonly severe in complex trauma and poses many treatment challenges. A phased therapy approach is often recommended but has also been challenged in various ways. This chapter considers whether phased treatment for complex trauma and dissociation is necessary, or whether treatments accorded the imprimatur of ‘evidence based’ (generally short-term and exposure-based) are sufficient and effective. This seemingly straightforward question invites queries about optimal treatment of complex trauma-related dissociation, which this chapter also explores.
The reference is: Stavropoulos, P., & Elliott, D. S. (2023). Controversies in the treatment of traumatic dissociation: The phased model, ‘exposure’, and the challenges of therapy for complex trauma. In Dorahy, M.J., Gold, S.N., & O’Neil, J.A. (Eds.), Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders: Past, Present, Future (pp. 713-727). New York: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003057314-53
This journal article focuses on the ‘first pillar’ of the Three Pillars model of treating adult attachment insecurity. You can view and download the article here.
The reference is: Elliott, D. S. (2021). Co-creating secure attachment imagery to enhance relational healing. Attachment, 15, 36–55. doi: 10.33212/att.v15n1.2021.36
During January, 2020, David Elliott was interviewed by Eugene Pustoshkin for the online magazine Eros & Kosmos, based in St. Petersburg, Russia. As Dr. Elliott has taught in Russia annually since 1998, he and Eugene included in their discussion the particular importance of the understanding of attachment in Russia – within the Russian population the prevalence of insecure attachment is very high. This video provides a basic introduction to the phenomena of secure and insecure attachment, and of the Three Pillars treatment approach.
The English language page for this interview is here.
The Russian language page, which includes a transcript of the dialogue in Russian, can be found here. For Russian subtitles during the video, click on the Settings icon (a round gear icon) at the lower right of the video window.
Listen to Ann Kelley and David Elliott talk about the challenges of social isolation in an attachment context. There is also a short guided imagery practice for helping people who are missing supportive interpersonal contact.
The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) awarded their 2018 Pierre Janet Writing Award to Daniel P. Brown, Ph.D. and to David S. Elliott, Ph.D. for their book Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. This award is given “for the best clinical, theoretical or research written work in the field of dissociation and/or trauma within the past year”.
View 2018 winners here.
RESEARCH REPORT PUBLISHED SHOWING THAT THE IDEAL PARENT FIGURE METHOD BENEFITS PEOPLE WITH COMPLEX PTSD
The Ideal Parent Figure method, developed by Daniel Brown, David Elliott, and colleagues, is a fundamental part of the Three Pillars of comprehensive treatment for adults with insecure attachment. The therapist guides the patient in imagining being a young child in close relationship with parents who would be an ideal, just-right fit for the particular needs and feelings of the patient-as-child.
In this study, the Ideal Parent Figure process was presented in just four therapy sessions with patients with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The therapist also gave each patient an audio recording of the guided process to listen to in between the therapy sessions.
The results were striking: With this very brief treatment, there were statistically significant reductions in the patient’s symptoms, and a statistically significant increase in a measure of their quality of life. These results continued to be present at a follow-up 8 months after the treatment.
Listen to Sue Marriott and David Elliott talk about attachment and the integrative Three Pillars treatment method.
Therapist Uncensored is a tremendous resource for mental health professionals and anyone interested in psychotherapy, relationships, parenting, current applications of neuroscience to psychotherapy, and overall well-being. Ann Kelly and Sue Marriott are skilled and sensitive clinicians, enthusiastic interviewers, and wonderfully delightful people.