IPFP for Attachment Repair

The Foundation for Attachment Repair: The 3 Pillars

The Ideal Parent Figures (IPF) Protocol (aka: IPF Meditation) is one of the 3 pillars of attachment repair, used to heal attachment wounds — as described by Harvard psychologists David S. Elliott and Daniel P. Brown in the textbook  Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair.

Pillar 1 employs a conversational guided meditation — a back-and-forth collaboration between the participant and therapist — as the participant deeply relaxes, imagining themselves as a young child having vivid, nurturing experiences with ideal parent figures that embody the ten ingredients of attachment security, and respond according to the participants attachment needs.

Pillar 2 develops the participants Metacognition or Mentalizing capacity (similar to Vipassana Meditation), and Pillar 3 provides a practical understanding of the nature of collaborative and secure relationships. The three approaches weave together in each session, with an early emphasis on collaboration.

Early research shows a shift into attachment security after 35-50 hours of IPF Meditation with a provider who shares session recordings for between-visit listening. Attachment Security was measured using the AAI (Adult Attachment Inventory).

Therapeutic models are considered effective with a treatment effect size of 0.8. The treatment effect size of IPF guided-meditation is 6.23 (Cohen).

The Three Pillars Model

Comprehensive education on the model that heals anxious-proccupied, dismissing, and disorganized attachment is available within the 2016 textbook by Daniel P. Brown and David S. Elliott, Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair (752 pages)


IPFP Meditation

Imagine feeling yourself as a young child and engaging with ideal parent figures (IPFs) who are securely attached.



Enhance Metacognition and Mentalizing. (Similar to Mindfulness Meditation.) 



Focus on collaborative verbal and non-verbal communication to promote secure attachment.

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Ideal Parent Figure Protocol (IPFP) Meditation Outcomes

More Effective

Therapeutic models are considered effective when they have a treatment effect size of 0.8. The treatment effect size of IPF guided-meditation is 6.23 (Cohen).

Avoids Trauma Processing

The 3 Pillars Model sometimes resolves trauma without processing it — a gift because “trauma processing” can re-traumatize those with disorganized attachment.

Resolves Insecurity

Along with supporting a move into secure attachment (as measured by the AAI), the model can be used prior to trauma processing to resolve attachment insecurity.

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