Psychology Essay Example: Attachment and Systems Perspective on Loss

Published: 2022-04-08
Psychology Essay Example: Attachment and Systems Perspective on Loss
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 424 words
4 min read

Often, individuals experience loss and grief on losing someone or something they care about such as the death of the loved one, loss of a pet, loss of a relationship, loss of a job, changes in their normal ways of lives or a general loss of important possessions. During these times, individuals are affected in various ways and may react differently depending on the magnitude of the effect of their loss. The reactions resulting from the loss experiences can be classified under attachment or systems perspectives.

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The attachment perspective on loss focuses on understanding the regulation of emotion as well as its adjustment (Mikulincer, 2008). By nature, human beings are born with the innate psychological system, which is the attachment behaviour system which propels them into seeking proximity in their times of need. Thus, according to the attachment theory, losses often provoke functional as well as dysfunctional emotional reactions in an individual (Thomson, 2010). These functional and dysfunctional reactions are often associated with the hyperactivation, the anxious attachment, and the deactivation, avoidance attachment. The attachment theory views casualties in losses as linear.

On the other hand, unlike the attachment perspective, the systems perspective focuses on the on the protection as well as the concomitant sense of security of an individual. The system perspective is vital to the understanding of the effects of the loss throughout the system of the loved ones as well as its consequences both immediate and long-term (Walsh & McGoldrick, 1998). Unlike attachment theory, the system theory views the casualties in a more circular, shared, and repetitive experience between the members (Clinton, Hart & Ohlschlager, 2010). The functionality of an individual's system invoked from the system perspective when an individual encounters a loss of attachment figure often makes it difficult for individuals to come to terms with and such losses. Thus, a loss for one person influences the other. On such occasions, the system invokes the attachment systems which propels an individual to reestablish his or her proximity to the attachment figure.


Clinton, T. E., Hart, A. D., & Ohlschlager, G. W. (2010). Caring for people God's way: Personal and emotional issues, addictions, grief, and trauma. LaVergne, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.

Mikulincer, Mario. (2008). An attachment perspective on disordered grief reactions and the process of grief resolution. Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement. 11. 34-37.

Thomson, P. (2010). Loss and disorganization from an attachment perspective. Death Studies, 34(10), 893-914.

Walsh, F., & McGoldrick, M. (1998). A family systems perspective on loss, recovery and resilience. In Working with the Dying and Bereaved (pp. 1-26). Palgrave, London.

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