Bonding Psychotherapy

Bonding Psychotherapy was developed in the 1960s and 70s by the American Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst Dr. Daniel Casriel (d. 1983). It is an experiential learning process based on mobilizing and expressing deep feelings, developing positive attitudes toward self and others, and on learning and practicing new behaviors.

A central observation of Dr. Casriel is the importance of a biologically anchored basic human need for emotional and physical closeness to others. Casriel labeled this basic need as the need for “bonding”. The theory of Bonding Psychotherapy has recently been further developed by Dr. Konrad Stauss based on an integration of attachment theory, the theory of consistency (Grawe), modern neurological research, and the process experiential methods of Greenberg and Elliot. Casriel’s basic need for bonding was enlarged to include further psychosocial basic needs: attachment, autonomy, self-esteem, identity, physiological comfort and pleasure, and meaning and spirituality.

An Introduction to Bonding Psychotherapy (pdf, 105,2 KB)
Bonding Psychotherapy: Clinical Definition (pdf, 63,8 KB)


Psychotherapists are required to engage in extensive personal psychotherapy during their training which is up to seven years duration. Psychotherapists usually have a first degree followed by a professional, highly specialised, theoretical and clinical training which includes research methodology and continuous professional development. The EAP promotes the recognition of common standards of training throughout Europe, and will ensure their mobility across member states.