As we see in the first article, adult anxietydisorders all come from children and adolescent anxiety disorders. Clinicallysignificant separation anxiety disorder in childhood leads to adult panicdisorder and other anxiety disorders. As psychologist, we know that separation anxietyexists and we’ve even discussed Mary Ainsworth but we don’t fully take intoaccount just how significant separation anxiety is.
According to Milrod (2017),the prevailing pathophysiological model of anxiety disorders, which emphasizesextinction deficits of fear-conditioned responses, does not fully consider therole of separation anxiety. Attachments in childhood tend to have greaterconsequences than we know and may cripple the adult’s ability to experiencepositive relationships in their lifetime. In early childhood, specifically ages5 and below, they tend to development attachments to their parents, otherrelatives and sometimes teachers.
When this age group becomes separated fromthese figures and it produces anxiety at this point, there is no cause forconcern in this regard, this can be considered normal. However, as the childgrows and further advances themselves, if these attachment tendencies persist,there may be a need for psychological interference. I havelearnt from this article that sometimes when we see clients with particular self-perceptionsabout themselves can be linked to separation anxiety. Adults, inured to their anxiety, often do not identifyseparation anxiety as problematic, but those who develop anxiety and mooddisorders respond more poorly to both pharmacological and psychotherapeuticinterventions.
An important factor within therapy and the therapeutic allianceshould be how we model it. When we as psychologist focus more on relationships,our patients with less accepting feelings toward therapy and suffering from separationanxiety may be able to benefit more. This allows the therapist to use theirrelationship to bring about important factors that may have been missed in theparent child relationship.