What's LOVE Got to do with it?
Love, Creativity and Mental Health
The psychology of Love, attachment and
the use of Creativity. (Key Note Lecture)
By Divine Charura
(Psychotherapist and Lecturer)
Annual Conference of Psychological
Therapies: Leeds Metropolitan University
2011
How we will look at Love?
Attachment & Love styles.
 Impact of Love on the Family
system.
 Impact of love on the
brain/mental health and issues
in Therapy.
 Impact of creativity.
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Quotes on Love
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Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly
desired." - Mark Twain
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Love is patient , love is Kind… God is Love
(Bible)
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If there had been no love.The world would
have not existed. (Traditional Dalmatian song)
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All you need is love.
John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Love exists in many cultures, faiths,
Philosophies and religions.
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Many studies have concluded that Love
exists in every culture.
Is there anyone who has never heard
of the word or the concept of Love?
Research Studies highlighting
importance of Love and attachment.
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Early 1900's, Of 10,272 children admitted to
the Dublin Foundling home during a single 25
year period, only 45 survived (Joseph 1999).
R.A. Spitz, (1952) studied institutionalised
Children- display low intelligence, extreme
passivity, attention deficits.
Romanian orphans–“virtual black-hole“
orbitofrontal cortex (Chugani et al 2001).
Love Conceptualized as an Attachment
Process throughout life.
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The concept of "attachment",
referring to a continuous tie to a
specific person that the child turns
to when feeling vulnerable and in
need of protection (Bowlby 1951)
In Adults - throughout life may
manifest as separation anxiety, grief
experiences and mourning.
Emotional development Attachment
and Development of Love
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Margaret Ainsworth's (1963) "Strange
Situation" study.
Margaret Ainsworth's & John Bowlby (1991) A neglectful, stressed or inconsistent parent
gave the kind of care which tended to lead to
anxious, insecure or avoidant children.
Further studies showed prediction attachment
pattern of children aged 5 and 8.
Why Love matters: Parent-Child
Attachment Perspective - Sue Gerhardt
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Earliest relationship shapes the
baby's nervous system, with lasting
consequences (2004).
Development of the brain can affect
future emotional well being.
Distress at 4 months old: behaviour
at 1 and 5 years old predicted.
Attachment theories- Melanie Klein
Love, Guilt, and Reparation (1921-1945)
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"... The power of love - which is the
manifestation of the forces which
tend to preserve life - is there in the
baby as well as the destructive
impulses, ……..“
Love is central to child development.
Theories of
Love as attachment

Secure attachment
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Anxious Ambivalent
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Avoidant attachment
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Attachment theory has been criticised for
nature of experiments and by feminists.
Focus is on what then are an alternative
theories of Love?
Love Styles- Greek Philosophy and
Colours of Love (J.A Lee 1973)
Agápe - Brotherly love
 Éros - Passionate love, with sensual desire
 Philía - Love between family
 Storgē- Friendship
 Ludus- Game playing love ( Playful
o
Interactions: Uncommitted Love)
 Mania – (Eros + Ludos) Jealousy &
Dependency
 Pragma – (Storge + Ludos) Realistic and
practical Love
Robert Sternberg’s duplex theory of love
(1986).
Liking
Intimacy
Romantic Love
Passion + Intimacy
Companionate
Intimacy + commitment
CONSUMMATE
LOVE
INTIMACY – PASSION
- COMMITMENT
Infatuation
Passion
Fatuous Love
Passion + Commitment
Empty Love
Commitment
Do we learn about Love in our primary
family system?
I propose that concepts of Love
Begins in the family.
 What is a family?
 AFT takes 'family' to mean any
group of people who define
themselves as such, who care
about and care for each other
(AFT 2011).
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Difference and Diversity in family
processes and Love
The Jones Family
Jane
47
Sue
50
James
56
Malcom
16
Paris
7
In my family I learnt that I should Love
you with my whole heart…..
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……………Well actually I Love you
with my whole Brain…….and all the
chemicals in it make me love you
more……OR hate you.
Its all to do with Brain Biology.
Impact on the Brain
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Differences in brainstem and limbic
forebrain
If reared in an abnormal, deprived
environment, the limbic system
nuclei will atrophy, or neural
pathways will develop abnormally.
Brain Neurochemistry
Cortisol, Love and the brain
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Cortisol is a Hormone produced in the
hypothalamus responsible for
homeostasis, emotion & motor
function.
Regulation of Cortisol is experience
dependent.
Too much is linked to depression and
fearfulness; too little to emotional
detachment and aggression.
What's Love got to do with it?
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Our own personal lives
Children
Death bereavement and loss
Couples, families or individuals we
meet everyday in therapy
Psychological adjustment: M. health
What's Love got to do with it?
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Conditions of worth and conditional
positive regard- Carl Rogers 1959
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Conditional positive regard.
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Alienated from our true selves.
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Incongruence between the perceived
self and ideal self: maladjustment.
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Our ‘Work’ and Love? i.e Therapy,
Chaplaincy, Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis and Love
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“At base Psychoanalysis is , a
cure through Love” (Letter to Jung
, 6 December 1906).
“Our treatments are treatments
of Love”–Viennese psychoanalytic
Society on psychoanalytic treatment.
Love Creativity?
Research shows that in all
therapeutic relationships what is
helpful is
 “ The relationship” = Love?
(Haugh and Paul 2008)
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Only one way to Love: Creativity
Forms of creativity
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Exploring a narrative
Biographical work (photos, letters..)
Invocatory work- using an object to
represent meaning.
Radical group work
Art, dance, music
Complementary therapy
In whatever we do we can be creative
Impact of Creativity on Continual
development of The Limbic System
Left side of the
brain is active
in language and
processes in a
logical and
sequential
order.
The right side
is more visual
and processes
intuitively,
holistically,
and randomly
Love and Creativity stimulates both sides
Formation of New Nerves.
Better mental health?
To love and be creative or not to Love
that’s the question?
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Attachment & Love styles
Impact of Love on the Family system
Impact of love on the brain and mental
health and issues in Therapy.
Impact of creativity
Above all I wish you true Love:
Thank you
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Love - Leeds Beckett University