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Attachment Theory

The basic tenets of attachment theory were laid in the 1940s-1970s by John Bowlby and his co-researchers James Robertson and Mary Ainsworth. Recent neuropsychological research methods have allowed the postulated mechanisms to be substantiated and further developed not only on the basis of behavioral observations, but also with imaging techniques. Attachment theory has since become the dominant approach to understanding early social development. It formed the basis for new therapeutic approaches, flows into existing ones, and is used to design prevention concepts. We hope to contribute to its further dissemination and use with the bonding board.

The benefit of the bonding board

The bonding board is a resource for diagnostics, counseling and therapy in connection with attachment, behavior and relationship issues.

Different behavioral processes and relationship situations can be represented and analyzed with a focus on the dimensions of emotionality and closeness, which are central in the context of relationships. The game board and the stylized figures allow involved persons to represent their own behaviors in a mixture of identification and distance with structuring help.

With the parallel representation of relational partners, it is also implicitly clear that behaviors do not depend only on one person, but are a result of action and reaction. This in turn promotes the attitude that change can be initiated bilaterally or multilaterally .

The board is suitable as an exploration tool, as a basis for structured diagnostic interviews, for counseling, further education and coaching. It was developed in the context of developmental psychology and pedagogy. However, since the basic features of human attachment behavior continue into adulthood, it is likely to be applicable not only there, but also when dealing with adult attachment issues or adult relationships, whether between parents and teachers, in couple relationships, friendship relationships, or in the context of leadership issues.


The bonding board can be explained to young and old within two minutes. Here we provide a text that can be read to clients. It can be freely adapted depending on the client group. ExplanationBondingboard, PDF, 1 page.
A similar text was used for the tutorial video explaining the bonding board to visitors, adults and children, in the screening app. The bonding board briefly explained, video, 2:19 min.

The bonding board is easy to integrate into your own work. The following paper outlines a step-by-step approach: Getting Started Attachment-Oriented Work, PDF, 1 page.

An overview of the attachment theory and the use of the bonding board is provided in our user manual. Download excerpt PDF, 18 pages. (An entire download is included with the purchase of a Bonding Board box or WebBoard time credits).

Further publications: Media