Attachment-Based Treatment for Chronic Mental Illness

Main Article Content

Martin Fields, MD


Brain-to-brain communication between a therapist and the patient can resolve severe mental illness. This report demonstrates a model for accomplishing this.


Attachment is a primary factor in mental health rehabilitation programs. However, despite elucidating the underlying neurobiological basis regarding attachment, this knowledge is yet to be applied successfully to mental health or psychotherapy-based treatments. This paper examines the neurobiological basis of the most fundamental attachment process, the Basic Bond, and demonstrates how mother-infant brain-to-brain synchronizations may lead to its successful implementation in patients with chronic mental illness.

The purpose of theta wave brain-to-brain communication is to augment the hippocampal CA2 region’s theta wave formation in infants. This communication increases theta wave activations, resulting in the transformation of meaningless electrical energy patterns into organized patterns. Furthermore, an infant associates its mother’s meaningful organization of its theta brainwave patterns with safety. Consequently, the feeling of safety is then associated with the mother’s presence, which is the underlying basis of mother-infant attachments. Inducing this phenomenon during therapy sessions is achieved to such a degree as to prove the brain-to-brain communications between patient and therapist. Consequently, the patients experience novel and logical meaning in the world around them.

Evidence suggests that patients with severe mental illness may have a defect in the basic bond formation process; however, in many instances this can be converted to a successful bond through psychotherapy. The patient can thus experience safety through a brain-to-brain communication with the therapist. Accomplishing this entails the modification of the ordinary psychotherapy situation from one that does not accommodate brain-to-brain communication to one that does. The basic process of altering psychotherapy to accommodate theta wave-based brain-to-brain communication requires a much less ‘structured’ setting than usual, and one that fits the communication needs of a patient.

Article Details