Separation Crises in Over‐Attached Families

Carolyn Quadrio*, Florence Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Families are described as “over‐attached” whose members respond anxiously to the otherwise normal unfolding of separation‐individuation processes and in the absence of past traumatic separations. It is observed that “anxious attachment” occurs with over‐availability just as with under‐availability of attachment figures and that attachment is an intra‐familial process as well as a dyadic one. A reformulation of Bowlby's attachment theory is required in order to encompass this systemic perspective, and to allow also for the integration of intrapsychic and extrapsychic process. Bowlby's control systems model need not stand in opposition to either systemic or psychoanalytic thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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