Mervin Smucker. Attachment Theory and Imagery Rescripting & Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT).

In attachment theory, psychotherapy is conceptualized as a process of re-appraising and re-working inadequate, maladaptive, outdated schematic models of the self and primary attachment figures.  A core therapeutic task is thought to be the development of a “secure base”, from which individuals may begin the difficult task of examining, challenging, and modifying their internal working models.

Similarly, a primary task of the IRRT therapist’s work with individuals suffering from PTSD is to provide a “secure base” or “safety zone” that functions as a therapeutic anchor, within which the individual’s distressing traumatic material can be accessed, confronted, and processed.  This procedure may be viewed as akin to Wolpe’s systematic desensitization treatment that facilitates patient shifts from a state of relaxation to exposure to phobic stimuli, followed by a return to the relaxed state, and so on.

Mervin Smucker Ph.D.