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The Relevance of Attachment Theory and Mother-Infant Bonding to the Practice of Music Therapy - Essay Example

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The Relevance of Attachment Theory and Mother-Infant Bonding to the Practice of Music Therapy

The Attachment Theory The attachment theory was postulated by a British psychiatrist named John Bowlby and it was further elaborated on by his colleague who an American developmental psychologist is named Mary Ainsworth (Sigelman & Rider, 2009, p. 406). “The theory was grounded primarily on ethological theory and therefore asked how attachment might have evolved” (Sigelman & Rider, 2009). This theory also derived some of its concepts from psychoanalytic theory as stressed by Sigelman and Rider (2009). “According to Bowlby , an attachment is a strong affection tie that binds a person to an intimate companion; moreover, it is also a behavioural system through which humans regulate their emotional distress when under threat and achieve a sense of security by seeking proximity to another person” (Sigelman & Rider, 2009, p. 407). In addition, Bowlby argued that just as infants are programmed to respond to their caregivers, adults are biologically programmed to respond to an infant's signals; accordingly, it is rather daunting for an adult to ignore a baby's cry or fail to warm to a baby's grin (Sigelman & Rider, 2009). ...
motional adversity in childhood; in both cases Bowlby supposed that the children went on to develop a range of behavioural, emotional and mental health problems (Oldfield et al., 2008). Central to the thinking of attachment theory is that a child has to believe that an attachment figure is present both psychologically as well as physically; Bowlby discovered that an attachment figure who was physically present and yet emotionally absent could arose similar feelings of anxiety and distress as an attachment figure who physically absent (Oldfield et al., 2008). Significantly, for children to thrive they need a close, continuous care-giving relationship: an attachment figure who is available and responsive to their needs as stressed by Oldfield et al. (2008). In relation to the attachment theory, music therapy, for example, has been a known measure in helping adopted children to deal with their tragic experiences in the past that may have been liable for their present behaviour. “Music therapy, being an important non-verbal medium, allows children to go back to the early moments in their life and to process their daunting experiences” (Oldfield et al., 2008). In addition, the non-verbal nature of music therapy enables adoptive parents to respond to their adopted child in a new way, persuading the child to value their new family; working in this way enables a child to become more securely attached as they develop trust and security in their adoptive parents (Oldfield et al., 2008). In lieu of this process, the music therapist functions as the facilitator in building healthy relationships within the family (Oldfield et al., 2008). The Strange Situation Mary Ainsworth is a significant figure in the attachment theory of Bowlby for the reason that she studied attachment ...Show more


THE RELEVANCE OF ATTACHMENT THEORY AND MOTHER-INFANT BONDING TO THE PRACTICE OF MUSIC THERAPY Introduction Relationships are crucial in human development for a wide array of reasons and many known theorists supposed that no social affiliation is more significant than the first and that is, the bond between the mother and the infant…
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