EMU Attachment Conference

Unprecedented Conference on ‘Attachment’ Coming to EMU

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.

Conference is first of its kind

Annmarie Early, PhD, director EMU's MA in Counseling program
Annmarie Early, PhD, director of EMU’s MA in counseling program
Tara Kishbaugh, PhD, EMU associate professor of chemistry
Tara Kishbaugh, PhD, EMU associate professor of chemistry
Christian Early, PhD, EMU associate professor of philosophy and theology
Christian Early, PhD, EMU associate professor of philosophy and theology

“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.

Necessity of attachment in life

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.”

Attachment Conference Speakers

Confirmed conference speakers include highly sought after experts who are bestselling authors in their fields. They include:

EMU Attachment Conference Speaker Sue Johnson, EdDSue Johnson, EdD

Sue Johnson, EdD: Professor of clinical psychology at The University of Ottawa, director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute Inc., and the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Dr. Johnson has published numerous books, chapters and articles in the field of relationships and therapy. Her most recent book is written for the general public and is entitled “Hold Me Tight – Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.”

EMU Attachment Conference Speaker James Coan, PhDJames Coan, PhD

James Coan, PhD: Assistant professor of psychology, member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Virginia, co-editor of Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment

EMU Attachment Conference Speaker Daniel J. Siegel, MDDaniel J. Siegel, MD

Daniel J. Siegel, MD: Clinical professor of psychiatry, UCLA’s Center for Culture, Brain, and Development; co-director, Mindful Awareness Research Center and co-author of the bestseller, “Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive.”

EMU Attachment Conference Speaker John Paul Lederach, PhDJohn Paul Lederach, PhD

John Paul Lederach, PhD: Professor of international peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and author of numerous books, including “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace.”

EMU Attachment Conference Speaker Nancey Murphy, PhDNancey Murphy, PhD

Nancey Murphy, PhD: Professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif., and author of “Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?”

Pre-conference training with Sue Johnson

Dr. Susan Johnson, EdD A pre-conference training, “Creating Connection in Couple Therapy: The New Science of Love and Bonding” will be offered March 31 by the originator of Emotion Focused Therapy, Dr. Susan Johnson, EdD. Dr. Johnson’s 2004 book (2nd Ed).

The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Creating Connection is the basic text on this form of therapy and her more popular book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love is used for enrichment and insight into the dance of attachment.

The training is open to mental health professionals, pastors and interested community members who want a formal introduction to Emotion Focused Therapy by the originator of this approach.

It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Martin Chapel of Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Signature sponsorship

RMH Behavioral Health is the signature sponsor for the event. EMU is grateful for the collaboration with this local partner. Learn more…

Conference schedule and costs

More information about the conference schedule and costs, as well as online registration and blog postings by presenters, is available at www.emu.edu/attachment.

Inquiries can also be sent to conference coordinator Cheryl Doss at attachment@emu.edu or phone 540-432-4400.

Supporters who made the conference possible

The conference is funded by a grant from Metanexus Global Network Initiative to the Shenandoah Anabaptist Science Society (SASS).

SASS is an inter-disciplinary, area-wide organization which creates space for dialogue and promotes education on issues at the intersection of science and religion.

SASS (www.emu.edu/sass) is housed at EMU and open to all interested persons.