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Attachment Theory & Therapy: Dr. Eric Spiegel Radio Interview

I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a wide-ranging hour-long radio interview with Stephanie Heck on her show “The (Not So) Hidden Agenda” on Philadelphia’s G-Town Radio 92.9 WGGT-LP FM.  Our talk covered attachment theory, human development, relationships and group dynamics, and attachment therapy.  We also considered the role of attachment in understanding two of the most controversial subjects in today’s news – the personality and behavior of Donald Trump, and the impact of his forced migrant family separation policy on young children.

This is one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve participated in, mainly due to the fact that the format of the show and style of the interviewer allowed us to do a deep-dive into a fascinating subject.  One of the nice aspects of our talk and the subjects that we covered was that it made attachment highly relatable for everyone.

Listen to it here, and read below for a detailed description of the subjects covered.

Among the sub-topics we discussed:

  • What is attachment theory?
  • How does attachment explain  and predict human development from childhood into adulthood?
  • How does attachment influence emotional, mental, and identity development?  How does attachment predict the kinds of personal, professional, and romantic relationships we will be likely to form as adults?
  • How does early childhood relational trauma influence attachment formation and human development?
  • How can therapy progress patients from insecure attachment to ‘earned secure attachment’?
  • Attachment & group dynamics / Attachment in group therapy
    • How does attachment predict relationships to groups and group dynamics?
    • Can therapy be used to successfully treat attachment pathology?
    • How does group therapy work?
    • What makes group therapy therapeutic?
    • How does group therapy help treat attachment issues?
  • The role of clinical hypnosis in attachment therapy
    • What is clinical hypnosis?
    • How does clinical hypnosis help improve attachment and promote healing?
    • How does treatment integration work for clinical hypnosis in attachment therapy?
    • How can you find appropriately-trained, ethical mental health practitioners of clinical hypnosis?
  • My background as a psychologist and personal interest in the topic of attachment theory
  • How attachment can help explain current events
    • How can attachment help us possibly understand the mental world and behavior of President Trump? (*Note: he is not my patient and I do not purport to definitively know or diagnose him- my responses on the radio refer to documented historical events and potential explanations based on attachment theory)
    • Trump’s forced migrant family separation policy – what are the attachment and mental health consequences of such forced separations on affected young children?

Eric Spiegel, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and practice director of Attune Philadelphia Therapy Group.  He is the President of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) for 2018-2019, and has won numerous awards from ASCH, including their Early Career Achievement Award (2012).  Dr. Spiegel is the co-author of the book Attachment in Group Psychotherapy, published by the American Psychological Association.  He has also published journal articles and book chapters on subjects such as attachment therapy, hypnosis, group therapy, anxiety, trauma, and relationships.