The Adult Attachment Picture Projective System: what it tells us about bereavement and why that matters

Dr Jennifer Clegg

This workshop examines the complex bereavements that can develop when people with intellectual disabilities were insecurely attached to the person who died, and shows why the simple application of normalisation (the person should attend the funeral) is not enough. It introduces the Adult Attachment Picture Projective System (AAP) as an instrument for both research and clinical intervention, and summarises the pathological mourning displayed by many adults with intellectual disabilities referred to clinical services.


Dr Jennifer Clegg is Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University, Australia, & Honorary Associate Professor, University of Nottingham UK. She has been a long-term member and sometime office-holder of both the BPS History and Philosophy of Psychology Section, and of IASSIDD’s Ethics SIRG which she currently co-chairs. Until 2015 she also worked as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist supporting adults with ID who were acutely distressed or disturbed. Publications include empirical research into child-adult transition, and conceptual research concerning attachment, history, and ethics of practice. She is Editor of the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

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