Attachment theory is a psychologists' approach that examines patterns in the way we relate to those we love. The field took a huge advance with the advent of functional MRIs, which let researchers watch the brain in action.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the way we love -- or shy away from it, or cling to it -- isn't just a habit. It's encoded in the actual structure of the brain as it develops in the first year or so after birth.
Dr. Allan Schore of UCLA is probably the top researcher in this field. His first book, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, sets out how our identity and emotions develop. His latest, Affect Regulation and Repair of the Self, has a wonderful message: No matter how damaged our emotions, they can be repaired -- at any age.
Dr. Schore's books are deep and intricately researched, aimed at professionals. They are quite challenging to read. That's why I'm so excited to have the opportunity to attend a two-day conference he's presenting this weekend in Chico, Calif.
Dr. Schore is leading the "Children in Trauma 2007 Conference" at California State University at Chico. It's a professional development class designed for psychologists, social workers, educators and anyone else who works with children who've experienced trauma or fallen into the "system."
It's an opportunity to learn all about the development of the brain, the emotions and attachment from the master himself. Dr. Schore also will explain how to use the findings of neuroscience to help kids heal deeply and permanently.
By the way, this information can help all of us, as adults, heal ourselves, as well.