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PsychEd: educational psychiatry podcast

45 EpisodesProduced by PsychEdWebsite

This podcast is written and produced by psychiatry residents at the University of Toronto and is aimed at medical students and residents. Listeners will learn about fundamental and more advanced topics in psychiatry as our resident team explore these topics with world-class psychiatrists at U of T a… read more


PsychEd Episode 25: Understanding Attachment with Dr. Diane Philipp

Welcome to PsychEd, the psychiatry podcast for medical learners, by medical learners.

In this episode, we explore Attachment Theory, a key foundational framework in psychiatry which concerns relationships and the ways in which infants seek proximity to caregivers in development.

Our guest expert is Dr. Diane Philipp, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Sick kids Center for Community Mental Health in Toronto and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She has developed a family therapy method called Reflective Family Play, a model of therapy which aims to improve parent-child dynamics, and more specifically attachment. She currently practices reflective family play and also teaches this method locally and internationally.

Produced and Hosted by Dr. Chase Thompson (PGY2) and Dr. Lucy Chen (PGY5)

Audio Editing by Dr. Alex Raben (PGY5)

The learning objectives for this episode are as follows: 

  1.     Define attachment theory
  2.     Review the history of attachment theory and how the field developed
  3.     Briefly review the evolutionary basis, and functional role of attachment in infants
  4.     Briefly review the neurobiological perspectives of attachment
  5.     Outline and describe different types of attachment and attachment disorders
  6.     Learn how infant attachment is assessed in contemporary psychiatry/psychology
  7.     Learn how attachment disorders impact adult relationships and child rearing

Some sources for further reading:

Ainsworth, Mary S. “Infant-mother attachment” American psychologist 34.10 (1979): 932

Bowlby, J. "Lecture 2: The origins of attachment theory." A secure base (1988): 20-38.

Cicchetti, Dante, Fred A. Rogosch, and Sheree L. Toth. "Fostering secure attachment in infants in maltreating families through preventive interventions." Development and psychopathology 18.3 (2006): 623-649.

Cohen, Nancy J., et al. "Watch, wait, and wonder: Testing the effectiveness of a new approach to mother–infant psychotherapy." Infant Mental Health Journal: Official Publication of The World Association for Infant Mental Health 20.4 (1999): 429-451.

Collins, Nancy L. "Working models of attachment: Implications for explanation, emotion, and behavior." Journal of personality and social psychology 71.4 (1996): 810.

Feeney, Judith A., and Patricia Noller. "Attachment style as a predictor of adult romantic relationships." Journal of personality and Social Psychology 58.2 (1990): 281.

George, Carol, Nancy Kaplan, and Mary Main. "Adult attachment interview." (1996). 

Insel, Thomas R., and Larry J. Young. “The neurobiology of attachment.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2.2 (2001):129

Main, Mary. "Introduction to the special section on attachment and psychopathology: 2. Overview of the field of attachment." Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 64.2 (1996): 237.

Simpson, Jeffry A., et al. "Attachment and the experience and expression of emotions in romantic relationships: A developmental perspective." Journal of personality and social psychology 92.2 (2007): 355.

Sroufe, L. Alan, et al. "Implications of attachment theory for developmental psychopathology." Development and psychopathology 11.1 (1999): 1-13.

CPA Note: The views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.


For more PsychEd, follow us on Twitter (@psychedpodcast) and Facebook. You can provide feedback by email at For more information visit our website:


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