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Attachment Styles

Explore the intricacies of attachment theory and its pivotal role in human bonding. As envisioned by Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby, this theory highlights the formative impact of early relationships on our emotional landscape. Step into the realm of healing guided by our trauma therapists, equipped with extensive experience, trustworthiness, and a toolkit that includes CBT, REBT, and EMDR.

What is Attachment Theory?

Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby developed attachment theory to explain human bonding. Ainsworth and Bowlby believed that the attachment between mother and baby heavily influences the child’s emotional and mental development. They explained that mental disorders could be traced back to separation, inconsistent, or harsh treatment from the mother.

Children grow up healthy and thrive when they experience love, nurturance, security, responsive interaction, and encouragement for exploration. Without these crucial aspects of child and mother attachment, the development of the child can have severe and long-lasting consequences.

Types of Attachment Styles

What’s a Secure Attachment Style?

A secure attachment style results from a healthy attachment between the mother and baby. Researchers believe for a child to grow up with a secure attachment style, the baby requires physical contact with the mother. A mother’s response to the baby’s cries creates a healthy secure attachment. A baby who feels safe, supported, and encouraged to explore leads to an adult with a secure attachment. Individuals with attentive mothers can grow up mentally healthy and develop secure relationships with others in adulthood.

What’s an Avoidant Attachment Style?

People with an avoidant attachment style try to minimize closeness and emotional intimacy with others. These people learned early on in life that trying to become close to others leads to disappointment or regret. These are usually people who had avoidant mothers as babies. When the baby would cry, the mother would fail to soothe the baby. The baby learned that depending on or trying to be close to others is unsafe because it leads to being let down.

Embrace Healing The Power of Trust in Therapeutic Relationships

“In my experience, the most effective aspect of therapy is the therapeutic relationship. Establishing trust between a client and clinician is the first step to healing.”

What’s an Anxious Attachment Style?

While avoidant attachment describes someone who rejects intimacy, those with anxious attachment styles have a heightened need for it. This need comes from a fear of rejection from others. This may lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity. Babies who receive inconsistent support and physical contact with their mothers develop this attachment style. When the mother is not consistent, the baby grows up to not trust others. While they crave connection to others, they also fear losing it and may act in ways that jeopardize their relationships.

What’s a Disorganized Attachment Style?

People with disorganized attachment styles are said to have a combination of avoidant and anxious behaviors. These people want intimate relationships, but when people get too close they tend to sabotage these relationships. They may have conflicting behaviors which may confuse their loved ones. These babies are usually the children of parents with trauma. The mom provides inconsistent responses to the baby’s cries. At times, the caregiver could have been frightening, intimidating, disoriented, and even abusive or neglectful.

How Do Attachment Styles Affect Adult Relationships?

Attachment theory states that our attachment style, which is formed during the first few years of life affects our relationships significantly.

Here is how each attachment style manifests itself in relationships:

It is important to note that attachment styles are not set in stone. You can heal your attachment and learn to develop a secure attachment with the help of trauma therapy.

How Do I Know My Attachment Style?

You can see which attachment style you most relate to. However, it is important to avoid self-diagnosing and instead reach out to a licensed counselor to discuss your attachment style.

How to Approach Attachment Styles in Therapy?

You can simply tell your therapist you want to work on your attachment style. Your therapist will guide you through the process. You will talk about your relationships with your parents, and those in your adult life.

An experienced and attuned counselor may notice problems with attachment style. They will guide you through the necessary work to heal your relationships.

What Are the Benefits of Attachment Therapy?

Attachment therapy can improve your relationships with others, whether romantic, with family, or at work.

The benefits of attachment therapy include:

Your therapist will tailor your attachment therapy specifically to your needs and situation. Look for someone who specializes in attachment styles and trauma therapy.

Which Psychotherapy Techniques Are Used in Attachment Therapy?

Some therapy interventions commonly used at the Trauma Therapy Center for attachment therapy include:

Clients who have the support of their families are the most successful in therapy. If you are a family member of someone who is interested in attachment therapy consider participating if they invite you.

What to Look For in an Attachment-Based Therapist?

Here are some things to look for in an attachment-based therapist:

Unlock the potential for profound change as you engage in attachment therapy led by our skilled West Palm Beach trauma therapists. Through evidence-based trauma therapy interventions, you can transform your attachment style and rewrite your emotional narrative. Begin your healing journey today and embrace a future filled with healthier relationships and inner harmony.

Page Modified on Jan 10, 2024 by Liz Chelak (Trauma Therapist)

The information on this website is to provide a general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect a definitive treatment advice. It is important to consult a best in class trauma counselor in WPB regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your local trauma therapist, to schedule a assessment.