Unprecedented Conference on ‘Attachment’ Coming

February 24th, 2011

What are healthy attachments, why do we need them, and how can we form them? In answering these questions, we can discover how to be fully human.

So say the organizers of an “attachment conference” to be led by experts from across North America gathering at EMU in the spring of 2011.

“Conversations on Attachment: Integrating the Science of Love and Spirituality,” a first of its kind, will bring together five internationally-recognized experts from a variety of disciplines to apply key insights from attachment theory to current research and practice.

The conference will be held March 31-April 1, 2011, and is open to the public.

“We hope hundreds of people will join us for three days of life-changing conversation that is sure to change how you see yourself, your relationships and the larger world,” says Annmarie Early, PhD, director of EMU’s MA in counseling program, one of the conference sponsors.

Program planner Tara Kishbaugh, PhD, EMU associate professor of chemistry, believes this conference “is sorely needed as well as timely.”

Recent neuroscience demonstrates that “healthy attachments, particularly people-to-people connections, are crucial for society to survive and flourish,” says Kishbaugh.

“One of our most important tasks is to learn how to form healthy attachments – with each other, with the earth and with God.”

Christian Early, PhD, associate professor of philosophy and theology, first had the idea for EMU to host such a conference.

“Attachment theory gives us a specific handle on the development of our sense of self, the dynamics of love, and the hope for repair after rupture,” he notes.

“This conference provides an open space – stretching from neuroscience to spirituality – to talk about what it means to be human.”