What are three ways John Bowlby's theory about attachment behavior and grief complements and/or contradicts Freud's grief-work theory?

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Posted on (Answer #1)

Bowlby found that attachment to the infant's mother was integral for mental stability and a feeling of safety and comfort in the infant (the language has since been modified to "primary caretakers" though Bowlby posited a single attachment and that specifically to the mother). Grief might come through any separation from the mother that interrupted the attachment, an interruption the infant would see as loss equivalent to death. This broke with Freud's grief-work theory in that Freud posited an instinct that drives humans (of any age) toward withdrawal, destruction and death; he posited that acts of love would counter this withdrawal and death instinct.


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