VIDEO: Dr. Allan Schore on Resilience and the Balance of Rupture and Repair

Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s interview with Dr. Allan Schore.


Dr. Allan Schore describes the balance of rupture and repair as the foundation for resilience. 

Dr. Allan Schore: In the normal developmental work, we now know that the mother is attuned maybe 30% of the time with infants, you know, the first 2, 3 or 4 months.  So the idea that the mother is always attuned and never stresses the baby is the narcissistic fantasy.  The key there is not so much the mis-attunement as the caregiver then being able to pick up the cues coming back to her so that the baby is now further dis-regulated and its her resilience not to alter her behavior and no to repair the rupture , so to speak, that is really a key.

Now that really is key because in the end, it turns out that the ability to repair ruptures are what allows for the tolerance of negative affect.  And actually, we now are pretty sure that trust is not there in the child because it’s heaped upon the baby by the positive mother, (rather) it’s there because they go through stressors and there is a rupture, there is the repair.  So that means in this type of work, there will be many, many instances of repair.

Hopefully, at the beginning on low levels, not massive repairs.  If there were, there was massive mis-attunement going on there, but many.  Therefore, what that means is that these mis-attunements are not technical mistakes.  As the person is now building more structure and is now able to go more deeply into themselves into places that they have never gone before, into affects that they have never tolerated before because they were overwhelming, etc.

The rupture and repair is very much a part of it and, let me just highlight what you said there.  Here’s another example whereby a developmental principle, which comes out of attachment and developmental psychology, has direct relevance, you know, to how the inter-relationships between two human beings – the therapist and the patient – alters the internal psychic world of the patient.

About the Author

Allan Schore, Ph.D.

Dr. Allan Schore is on the clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development. He is author of four seminal volumes,Affect Regulation and the Origin of the SelfAffect Dysregulation and Disorders of the SelfAffect Regulation and the Repair of the Self, and The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy, as well as numerous articles and chapters. His Regulation Theory, grounded in developmental neuroscience and developmental psychoanalysis, focuses on the origin, psychopathogenesis, and psychotherapeutic treatment of the early forming subjective implicit self.

His contributions appear in multiple disciplines, including developmental neuroscience, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, attachment theory, trauma studies, behavioral biology, clinical psychology, and clinical social work. His groundbreaking integration of neuroscience with attachment theory has lead to his description as "the American Bowlby," with emotional development as "the world’s leading authority on how our right hemisphere regulates emotion and processes our sense of self," and with psychoanalysis as "the world's leading expert in neuropsychoanalysis."

The American Psychoanalytic Association has described Dr. Schore as "a monumental figure in psychoanalytic and neuropsychoanalytic studies."

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