Skip to content

ISRS Seminars The ISRS invites to the (online) ISRS Seminars organized 3 times a year. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to Participation in the seminar is free.

Upcoming seminars

Attachment theory as a psychological approach to the evolutionary significance of loneliness Aleksandar Dimitrijevic

The seminar will take place on Friday 3rd November 2023, at 15.00 UK time /10.00 US EST time /4pm Polish time / 4pm Malta /5pm Israeli time / 5pm Turkish time / 10pm Hong Kong / 12pm Melbourne. It will be held in MS Teams application. If you want to join, click here.

In our evolutionary past, attachment was a necessary primary source of motivation because helpless human youngsters were not able to survive the danger of aloneness. We evolved as a species that thrives only in collaboration and our inborn mechanisms make loneliness a painful experience.

I will use current developmental and neuroscientific research to show that the insecure forms of attachment are, in fact, reactions to being left alone for too long and/or often too early, while disorganized attachment is a reaction to the complete lack of predictability in the together-alone dynamic. Clinical work and research will be summarised to point out that the other significant concepts in the domain of early attachment are also possible to define through loneliness: trauma is an overwhelming togetherness; neglect is an overwhelming aloneness; implicit relational knowing is the most important asset one can take from the earliest childhood.

Finally, I will review data indicating that both attachment and parenthood are curiously similar to addictions, which, once again, shows that most dangerous enemy was not cold, hunger or even predators, but being exposed to these perils when alone.

Aleksandar Dimitrijević, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Berlin. He worked as a university lecturer for more than twenty years. He has given lectures, seminars, university courses, and conference presentations throughout Europe and in the US. He is the author of many conceptual and empirical papers about attachment theory and research, psychoanalytic education, and psychoanalysis and the arts, some of which have been translated into German, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish. He has also edited or co-edited twelve books or special journal issues, the most recent of which are Silence and Silencing in Psychoanalysis and From the Abyss of Loneliness to the Bliss of Solitude (both with Michael B. Buchholz).

Archive (view video recording)