The International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA) is a multi-disciplinary association of mental health professionals.
We focus on how humans cope with danger, how attachment relationships affect this, and how later adaptation to life circumstances draws on these experiences.
We believe that understanding the strategies that people use to organize their current behavior can improve the way we care for troubled people.
Like John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, we assess attachment by observing people in real life relationships. Our assessments highlight how they protect themselves from threat. These observations demonstrate that there is more to attachment than promoting security. Troubled people make meaning from their past experience and use it to protect themselves and their children as best they can, given their circumstances. Rather than documenting their lack of security, we assess the strategies they use to cope.
Time for a Change
We think evidence-based assessment, careful formulation, and therapeutic relationships underlay good treatment. Mental health treatment methods are quite powerful, but they are often used without sufficient precision.
To promote safe and effective treatment, we need a rationale for accessing the full range of treatments from all theoretical models.
IASA promotes research on when and with whom various treatment approaches are likely to be successful.