Attachment theory has identified adults with a secure attachment style as more resilient to stress and trauma than insecurely attached adults. The secure adult tends to have supportive relationships which buffer him from stress (Bowlby, 1988), and he is able to reflect upon his inner state and process emotions without becoming overwhelmed (Fonagy, 2000; van der Kolk 1996). In infancy secure attachment is related to the capacity to be soothed and comforted by the caregiver. The caregivers of secure infants are observed to be emotionally attuned, responsive and nurturing (Solomon & George, 1999). Schore (1996) explains that mothers of secure babies synchronize with the infant. The mother's organized brain synchronizes or harmonizes with the baby's disorganized brain, attuning to its feelings and needs, helping it calm when distressed and stay regulated when it is happy and excited. As a result, the infant's brain develops optimal circuitry for emotion regulation, and also learns through experience to trust and be comforted and to comfort himself. His basic sense of safety and trust gives him confidence as he begins leaving his parent's side and exploring the world.






Debra Wesselmann

Original Work Citation

Wesselmann, D. (2003, May). Plenary. Presentation at the 4th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Rome, Italy



“Plenary,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 10, 2020,

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