John Bowlby


Tirril Harris

Tirril Harris divides her time between clinical work in private practice with adults and research in Social Psychiatry with George Brown, based at the Socio-medical Research Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, University of London. The Brown-Harris model of depression, which has emerged from this colleague-ship of some thirty years, succeeds in blending ideas from both medical sociology and psychoanalytic thought and in collecting data to verify these insights about the mutual influence between outer and inner worlds.

This research team was responsible for developing the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) to embody John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth's categorisation of secure and insecure attachment patterns, the latter predicting depressive onset in prospective follow-up, along with recent severe life events, low self-esteem, childhood adversity and chronic sublinical symptoms.

She was a member of John Bowlby’s research group and has found that his Attachment Theory has been the key link between the two strands of her work, clinical and research. She is a member of the London Centre for Psychotherapy and is also a member of the Research Faculty Committee of the UKCP, particularly active in the Practitioner Research Network which is investigating Daniel Stern's idea of Moments of Meeting as a crucial ingredient in psychotherapy effectiveness, the famous “something more than interpretation” which Attachment Theory also puts on the map with its concept of sensitive responsiveness.

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