Dr Karen Faisandier

Born and bred in New Zealand, Karen is a mother of two, and Director of an integrative psychology practice based in Wellington city. While she is a conventionally trained clinical psychologist specialising in addiction and sexuality, her interest in nutrition in health care led her into the study of nutritional and environmental medicine and its application to psychology. She is passionate about forging an integrated and ancestral approach to adult psychological assessment and therapy. This involves the combination of traditional, nutritional, nutraceutical, and ancestrally oriented lifestyle interventions, assisting people to understand, prevent, and recover from psychological distress.

PRESENTATION: The Pitfalls of Disconnection: How your Relationships Affect your Physical and Mental Health.

Attachment theory is the quintessential ancestral health theory as it determines human survival through connection with others. A secure attachment wires the brain for connection and optimal outcomes in health, mental health, relationships, and sexual development. Yet many individuals will develop an adaptive but insecure attachment style in infancy or childhood, which is associated with various forms of disconnection, and suboptimal or maladaptive outcomes as it persists into adulthood. Secure attachment involves crucial processes that lay down a central nervous system that is equipped for psychological adaptation to stress and health consequences, via the bi-directional gut-brain-axis. The pitfalls of disconnection will be discussed within the context of 21st century living and current physical and mental health challenges.


  • Explain attachment theory and human survival.
  • Contrast secure versus insecure attachment in adults.
  • Discuss the extra health challenges of the insecurely attached in our modern time.
  • Propose a rationale for why insecure attachment needs to have a greater focus in healthcare.
  • Attachment-based methods to improve health through connection.