Beyond Fight, Flight or Freeze: Threat of Abandonment and Its Developmental Consequences: A 30-Year Longitudinal Perspective
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Archive : Beyond Fight, Flight or Freeze: Threat of Abandonment and Its Developmental Consequences: A 30-Year Longitudinal Perspective Digital Download
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Dr. Karlen Lyons-Ruth
1 hour and 39 minutes
Video and audio
May 28, 2021
Type of Media:
Seminar on the Internet
Our nervous system has a well-organized stress response system with two developmentalally sensitive phases – the fear of abandonment and the dread of assault. Our 30-year longitudinal study highlighted the effects of caregiver distancing behaviors on human neural system development, as well as the long-term effects of early disturbed attachment on adulthood.
Fear of Abandonment and Fear of Attack are two stress response systems that are believed to be present in human development, with differing developmental sensitive periods.
These systems encourage two opposing but complementary adaptive responses: fight, flight, or freeze against call and contact-seek.
The caregiver’s withdrawing actions are connected with the activation of the fear of abandonment and subsequent role uncertainty in respect to the caregiver.
Attachment problems, particularly caregiver withdrawal, are linked to long-term abnormalities in amygdala and hippocampus development.
Early attachment disruption and subsequent childhood abuse must be considered independently in complicated trauma therapy techniques.
Karlen Lyons-Ruth, PhD is a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, a clinical supervisor for the Cambridge Health Alliance Psychology and Psychiatry training programs, and a core faculty member for the MGH/McLean, Children’s Hospital, and Cambridge Health Alliance fellows’ first-year Child Psychiatry Seminar. She graduated with honors from Duke University and earned a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Harvard University. She did a clinical internship at McLean Hospital and worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine before coming to Harvard Medical School.
Disclosures for Speakers:
Karlen Lyons-Ruth has a professorship at Harvard Medical School. She works as a staff and supervising psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance. She has no relevant financial links with groups that are ineligible.
Non-financial: Karlen Lyons-Ruth is an American Psychological Association fellow. She is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Research in Child Development, the Massachusetts Psychological Association, the International Society for Infant Studies, and the Society for Research in Child Development. Dr. Lyons-Ruth is on the Infant-Parent Training Institute’s advisory board.
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