24 Jun 2020

Attachment in a time of C-19 how is the lockdown impacting relationships? An interview with Anne Power

Anne Power has qualifications from The Bowlby Centre, Westminster Pastoral Foundation, Tavistock Relationships and Relate. She has taught on supervision and therapy trainings at The Bowlby Centre, WPF and at Regents University London and has a private practice in central London for both couples and individuals. Her book, Forced Endings in Psychotherapy, explores the process of closing a practice for retirement or other reasons.

She will be with Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training online CPD on Friday 14th August to deliver her workshop: Attachment in the time of C-19 how is the lockdown affecting relationships? 

What have your experience of the C-19 pandemic been and working online?

I’ve had to eat my words. I have always looked askance at online work and up to now had resisted working online beyond a bit of supervision. I took the view that it must be a poor substitute and it would surely be better for a client to find a local therapist. I certainly think online work has some drawbacks and I definitely find it more tiring but I think it is not a bad substitute and I feel very fortunate to be able to carry on my work.


How do you feel it might have impacted some relationships during lockdown?

This I think is very much down to our attachment styles and those of the people with whom we live. I think some people with preoccupied patterns have enjoyed having their partner stuck at home with them and for them the coming out of lockdown can feel daunting. I think it’s interesting that in many families with young adult children there have been girlfriends or boyfriends staying for the entire period and it seems as though this functions rather as it can when we have an outsider to the family joining us for Christmas. It can be a simple and agreeable way to help us all behave well. When a family is banged up together with no outside influences, this is when we are most likely to regress and become mired in habitual roles.


What are your feelings about ZOOM dating during this time?

I think, like so much of the lockdown, this has unfolded in a very unequal way. Some people seem almost to have had a dating-fest whilst others have given up hope and felt completely disheartened. In part this may reflect attachment patterns but perhaps most of all it reflects people’s purpose in dating. If people are dating as entertainment and for the fun of flirting in a new medium, they have probably been very active online and enjoyed it. If people are seeking a life partner they may be less impressed by the opportunity that lockdown presented and some may now feel despair that their chances of finding a mate are slipping away.


What are your hopes for the event?

More than anything I’d like us to achieve an interesting, engaging event. I think that online presentations can sometimes have excellent content but be very unappealing overall. I’ve always felt that at CPD events the thing that ‘makes’ it is the varied experience that participants bring – the reflections and questions about our own practice which we share and around which the content of the day can be hung. 

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Socially isolated people across Merton are depending on us for immediate and practical support with food deliveries, telephone befriending and much more. In what is a difficult time for everyone, help us support vulnerable people who are likely to feel the impact most.