A shift in narratives: From ‘attachment’ to ‘belonging’ in therapeutic work with adoptive families. A single case study

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This study analyses a one-year family therapy with an adopted adolescent, with regards to its outcome and process. Method: This study will use Stratton's attribution scheme with Stratton's attribution scheme processes regarding attachment, bonding, and mutual belonging. An analysis of the inference styles (monadic, dyadic, triadic) used by the family during the conversation will also be provided, in order to highlight inference schemes recurring in family discourse and their change throughout the course of therapy.The study will provide a systematic view on how the introduction, by the therapist team, of triadic, relational hypotheses based on present narratives and interactions can promote a semantic shift from the concept of 'attachment' to the alternative concept of 'belonging'. Aim of the study: Aim of the study is to highlight advantages of adopting a socio-constructionist approach when dealing with the problem represented by mutual belonging in adoptive families. From a socio-constructionist perspective, creation of emotional and affective bonding within a family is a conversational process, subject to continuous changes and revolutions throughout the individual and family history. Focusing on resources and ongoing relationships, rather than damage and early trauma, a socio-constructionist approach may represent a powerful resource in strengthening emotional ties within the current family. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)\nAbstract (French)\nCette etude analyse une annee de therapie familiale menee avec une famille ayant adopte un adolescent. Ce travail utilise le schema de Stratton (2003a; 2003b) pour explorer les processus d'attribution de la famille en ce qui concerne l'attachement, le lien et l'appartenance mutuelle. Un systeme de codes pour les attributions causales est egalement utilise pour souligner les schemas d'inference recurrents dans le discours familial et leur changement au cours de la therapie. Cette etude fournira donc une vision systematique de la facon dont l'equipe therapeutique, en introduisant des hypotheses triadiques et relationnelles basees sur les recits et interactions du moment, peut promouvoir un glissement semantique du concept
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-42
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2017


  • Family therapy
  • Adoption attachment
  • Milan approach
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Systemic psychotherapy


Dive into the research topics of 'A shift in narratives: From ‘attachment’ to ‘belonging’ in therapeutic work with adoptive families. A single case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this