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Attachment and Identity


Ian Hay

 MPsych.Ed, BA (Psych), Dip.Ed,

PNC, GNC Regd Nurse, Regd Psychologist,

President of Mental Health Association (QLD) Inc



Adoption necessarily involves separation. The age of separation is significant at any time of the lifecycle but is particularly important around the time of attachment. Attachment involves a process of wanting to be near to. It is this first relationship that many believe to set the stage for all future relationships. When this initial or primary relationship is disturbed there are a number of pathological outcomes that may result. A second theme of this presentation involves the establishment of identity. Identity is a construct built around emotional development. Once again identity is another developmental outcome that can give rise to problems involving a capacity to work and love. While a seemingly simple notion identity involves the knowing of the person we once were, the person we are now, the person we are becoming and the person we will eventually be. It is posited that if the very first step in identity, that is knowing who we were, particularly in relation to our genetic origins cannot be missed and at the same time permit the remaining elements of identity to be fulfilled.



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 Papers presented at the 2nd  National Conference on the Mental Health Aspects of Persons

Affected by Family Separation

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