Characteristics of attachment styles in adults diagnosed with psychotic disorders - a research review
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Zakład Seksuologii Medycznej i Psychoterapii, Centrum Medyczne Kształcenia Podyplomowego
Klinika Psychiatrii, Centrum Medyczne Kształcenia Podyplomowego
Submission date: 2020-05-23
Final revision date: 2020-10-23
Acceptance date: 2020-12-12
Online publication date: 2022-04-30
Publication date: 2022-04-30
Corresponding author
Michal Lew-Starowicz   

Klinika Psychiatrii, Centrum Medyczne Kształcenia Podyplomowego
Psychiatr Pol 2022;56(2):261-276
Attachment theory offers a coherent conceptualisation of emotional bond formation, social functioning and affect regulation, which can be helpful in explaining the onset and course of mental disorders, as well as optimizing the healing process. Despite the growing interest in importance of attachment in psychopathology, this issue has not been explored in the population of patients suffering from psychotic disorders (PD) in Poland. The aim of this study is a comprehensive approach to attachment in adults in the context of PD, i.e. to integrate existing reports on the specificity of attachment in adults with PD and the role of attachment in the etiology of PD, its course, patients' functioning, and the healing process. Attachment can provide an important theoretical perspective, offering opportunities to understand PD and to plan clinical strategies tailored to the individual needs of patients. Among people with psychotic disorders, insecure attachment patterns are more common, which corresponds to reports of increased prevalence of traumatizing childhood experiences in this group. Insecure attachment can worsen negatively affect the psychosocial functioning of people diagnosed with psychotic disorders in interpersonal relations, metacognitive skills and affect regulation. Relationships between insecure attachment and the severity and specificity of productive symptoms, especially hallucinations and delusions have been demonstrated. Patient attachment patterns can affect the interpersonal component of psychosis treatment, including relationships with psychiatric staff and therapeutic alliance. Considering this perspective by adjusting interactions to patient attachment patterns, as well as increasing safety in the therapeutic relationship can translate into improved patient treatment.
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