Attachment based treatment is the most recently developed type of mental health based treatments. It is the product of the last thirty years of a mushrooming region of medical research. It concerns how we evolve from biological beings consisting of a web of brain neurons to a human being. The importance of this research is that many people have mental illnesses which are due to their inability to form lasting and meaningful attachments to others. As a result, their quality of life is always reduced. Their goals and aspirations always seem empty and unfulfilled and their motivation and drive are markedly impaired. Although, these seem less important than the biological deficits that mental health research has uncovered, they are much more pervasive and destructive to our well-being than has previously been recognized.


How to Find Connections to People You Love — a collection of different types of attachment deficits and the psychotherapy treatments used to manage them. The interventions outlined can be used for those who are not participating in psychotherapy for improving their quality of life.

The types of deficits involved these mental illnesses form a hierarchy of types. Each type is connected by modern research to a deficit in a particular brain region. Each can be sourced to a communication failure which is connected to a specific region of the brain. Each type of deficit leads to a specific type of communication and adaptation pattern which could lead to a specific psychiatric disorder. Each type is remedied by a particular alteration in the psychotherapy situation. When this alteration is provided, the needed communication channel is opened to the individual. Once this occurs, the therapist can administer the type of communication that has been missing. As the treatment occurs, the developmental arrest is overcome, and the patient learns to live a quality of life that was previously unobtainable.


Just as the human brain may be wired through evolution to support social and psychological improvements, so the are the types of communication that that we are capable of.









Dr. Marty Fields innovative new book

These types of communication form a pyramid with the most basic being associated with the deepest part of the limbic system (or the emotional brain) and proceeding to the highest region with the most advanced type of communication associated with the regions of the prefrontal cortex.  Each type of communication has its own brain region for which it is associated. In addition, each region has its own type of psychopathology originating from a failure of a specific kind of communication. Each type of pathology is an attachment failure, a type of communication failure, and a brain region development failure.


The type of psychopathology associated with each developmental failure will create a hierarchy, which is strikingly akin to the psychopathological severity tree formed through modern Psychiatric classification types.


The modes of communication hierarchy start with the most deeply unconscious and moves up to the most conscious type—each building on the on the one before it. Also, there is striking evidence that each brain region, with its characteristic communication type, evolved as the hierarchy of mammalian evolution proceeded. These forms of attachment evolved in a sequential manner with goal directed communication that only the human is capable of. In each form, the type of communication is most adaptive for the level of function of the animal and the form of attachment emanating from it the most useful to support the adaptation of that species.


I will briefly outline this hierarchy:

The most basic is the basic form of attachment which the most primitive mammals such as prairie vole or rat use. It emanates from the deepest level of the hippocampus and the form of communication which is involved is so called telepathic communication. This is the form of communication used by parents and their infants. It results in heart rate coordination, movement coordination, endocrine fit and brain to brain synchrony. Failures of this form of communication lead to the deepest forms of psychopathology such as schizophrenia and bipolar illness.


The 2nd level of attachment failure is at the level of the hippocampus/amygdala junction. It is associated with attachment failures in the process of separation. As animals leave the nest they start to experience fear. The amygdala is the brain region responsible for that emotion. When fear is experienced too early in life or is too excessive later in life, the amygdala overgrows the hippocampus and shuts off development. We have conditions known as PTSD conditions to represent those failures. The mode of communication is fear.

The 3rd level of attachment failure is at the level of the nucleus accumbens core and shell. This is our brain’s pleasure center. The mode of communication associated with this is intuition. Failure of intuition results in lack of sharing pleasure which results in addiction problems.


The 4th level of attachment failure is the level of the corpus striatum. This is the brain’s region that integrates pleasure and satisfaction with seeking goals to attain pleasure and satisfaction. It is a fundamentally motor region activating the goal attainment parts of the brain and failure of this results in catatonia symptoms. The fundamental communication between mother and infant at this developmental level is attention. Failure of attention is what may be associated with the psychopathology at this level.


The 5th level of attachment failure is at the default mode of the brain. At this level the brain integrates emotional expressions into a larger context, which would be a more advanced social group. Only primates are capable of this type of communication. The primary mode of communication is empathic which is a much more advanced form of communication than the prior type. The form of psychopathology involved is depression which emanates from failure of empathic communication.


The final level of attachment failure is at the prefrontal cortex and is based upon the form of communication which is more objective from its antecedent communication types which are more emotional. There is bottom up brain function which is based upon the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex and that is converted to top down communication which is based on the dorso lateral prefrontal cortex. This is the brain region involved in forming goal directed behaviors from fundamentally emotion driven behaviors which are not goal directed. The type of psychopathology associated with a failure of attachment at this level is anxiety. The communication mode is spontaneity. The only type of animal capable of this form of attachment is the human.


The book shows each level of attachment failure separately and shows how to remedy it using many clinical examples. It would be the only book which outlines these levels, shows how it is related to brain development and to clinical remedy for each type of attachment failures. It is a revolutionary book.