The Science of Attachment with Bethany Saltman – Episode #89 

The Science of Attachment with Bethany Saltman - Episode #89 


Today Dr. Dan welcomes author Bethany Saltman to discuss her new book STRANGE SITUATION: A Mother’s Journey into the Science of AttachmentHer fascinating discussion with Dr. Dan about parenting, attachment, love, and the current pandemic is riveting and revealing.

 In her 2016 New York Magazine feature that went viral, writer Bethany Saltman asked: “Can Attachment Theory Explain All Our Relationships?”.  She wrote about how surprised she was by her anger and frustration as a new mother, and her desire to find out what attachment (or a lack of secure attachment) might have to do with it all, ultimately discovering that attachment isn’t a checklist of behaviors developed by physical closeness but the product of secure relationships from one’s own past. While attachment science describes how we relate to others, it also shows us how truly entwined the success of our relationships is with our deepest sense of who we are. 

Bethany’s book STRANGE SITUATION grew out of this article;  the book is a memoir hinging on science, biography, psychology and spiritual practice, and an indirect look at parenting, and how we are all interconnected by the feelings of attachment, but not by what experts and others typically suggest, or by co-sleeping or  baby slings but instead. 

Dr. Dan and Bethany unravel what attachment is and how it happens. The good news:  the actual science of attachment makes it clear: every single one of us is attached, though some more securely than others. Dr. Dan and Bethany agree that who we are — and our own self-awareness — is enough for attachment.  

 “At the heart of the attachment system is a primitive kind of call and response that keeps the species alive.” And that’s what we all do—keep our kids alive, even those of us who work outside the home and supplement with formula.  Bethany’s book shifts paradigms by demonstrating that from an attachment point of view, self-awareness is other-awareness. Self-care is childcare and therefore we’re all attachment parents. There’s no other kind.

Dr. Dan and Bethany also explain and explore:

  • Being “Attachment Aware”
  • Shame and Guilt
  • Self-Care
  • Adult Attachment 
  • Experts (Mary Aisnworth)
  • Myths (Dr. Sears)
  • Delight as the “North Star”
  • Bethany’s Parent Footprint Moment

In addition to being an author, Bethany Saltman is also an award-winning editor, mindfulness mentor, and researcher. Her work has appeared in magazines including the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Parents, and many others. Bethany graduated from Antioch College where she was one of the architects of the nation’s first Affirmative Consent Policy. She went on to receive her M.F.A in poetry from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Allen Ginsberg. A longtime Zen student, Bethany is devoted to the fine art and game-changing effects of paying attention. She lives in a small town in the Catskills with her family.

For more information:  visit https://www.bethanysaltman.com/ 


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