An Intersubjective Approach to Working with Dysfunctional Anger and Attachment Trauma: A Case Study
Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Peter Buirski, Ph.D.
Second Committee Member
Hale Martin, Ph.D.
Third Committee Member
Jennifer Cornish, Ph.D., ABPP
Intersubjective, Trauma, Dysfunctional anger
Copyright held by the author. Permanently suppressed.
John Bowlby (1973) posited the idea that internal attachment working models inform an individual’s experience of anger. Bowlby stated that anger was a “functional protest” to others’ adverse attachment behavior. He also outlined the difference between functional anger and dysfunctional anger. A functional response to anger promotes attachment bonds while a dysfunctional response is often disruptive to the attachment structure. Dysfunctional responses may include overt aggression, internalization of anger, destructive behavior, tantrums, or any negative response that threatens the attachment bond. The purpose of this paper is to examine the etiology of dysfunctional anger within attachment relationships, and the impact of such an experience on one’s organizing principles in adulthood. Using an Intersubjective Systems Theory (IST) framework, this paper will present a case study that illustrates the transformation of one individual’s experience of anger. The case study will focus solely on internalized anger and will use this term interchangeably with dysfunctional anger.
Badwan, Maya, "An Intersubjective Approach to Working with Dysfunctional Anger and Attachment Trauma: A Case Study" (2020). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 401.