How can attachment therapy help you | better help (2023)

Attachment styles identify the ways in which people might interact or behave in their relationships. These styles are often formed when we are babies based on the way our caregivers interact with us. Let's look at attachment styles to see how they work and how they can affect how we interact with others as adults.

theoretical link

This gave rise to the idea of ​​fastening styles.theoretical link, to diehad its beginningon the experiments of psychologist John Bowlby in the 1940s. Bowlby later worked with Mary D. Salter Ainsworth to expand and refine the theory. Attachment theory is based on the idea that humans evolved to form meaningful bonds with other humans, most clearly with their parents or guardians during infancy and early childhood, and that these bonds evolved because they are essential for our survival. as species became necessary.

The quality of the bond between parents or guardians and children is believed to affect how people relate to others and their own children as adults. This means that our relationships and interactions with our first primary caregivers can have a big impact on how we perceive things like comfort, security, affection and happiness in an adult relationship.

Ainsworth and his colleagues saw certain patterns in the way people connect and came up with the idea ofattachment stylesexplain the various healthy and unhealthy ways in which people connect, or in some cases fail to connect, with each other.

How can attachment therapy help you | better help (1)

How attachment styles arise

Attachment styles are usually formed during our first year of life and are based on our relationships with our first caregivers. These early experiences of receiving affection and love and whether and how well our needs are met form the basis of our attachment style, first in childhood and later in childhood and adulthood.

I amambivalent attachment, the caregiver is often inconsistent in caring for the baby, sometimes sensitive and withdrawn. This can lead the child to become anxious in future relationships or to develop an anxious-avoidant, anxious-resistant, or other anxious attachment style. Children with an anxious or ambivalent attachment style may be suspicious of strangers and distressed by the caregiver's absence, but may not be comforted by the caregiver's return.

a child with aanxious-avoidant attachmentYou may have a caregiver who is careless or dismissive and distant in your care. This can lead to the child becoming emotionally distant, struggling with emotional intimacy, showing signs of attachment-related anxiety, or developing a dismissive and avoidant attachment style in adulthood.

unstructuredor fearful-avoidant attachment usually occurs when a child lives in an unstable environment. Children with disorganized attachment may have abusive parents, making children feel insecure about how they will be treated and whether their needs will be met, leading to ambivalent reactions towards caregivers.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, callNational Domestic Violence Hotlineat 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for help, information and resources.

Adult attachment styles

The attachment style we develop in childhood can affect how we relate to each other as adults. Just as there are different types of baby accessories, there are fouradult attachment styles:

  • worried anxious attachment
  • dismissive-avoidant attachment
  • anxious-avoidant attachment

These attachment styles determine how individuals conduct various aspects of their adult relationships, including managing intimacy, communicating needs and emotions, responding to conflict, and managing expectations.

worried anxious attachment

A person with anxious attachment, also known as ambivalent attachment, often feels insecure about their relationship because of a deep fear of abandonment or a feeling of incompleteness without their partner. They may exhibit clingy or needy behavior and need constant validation or reassurance. They may be worried about their partner leaving them and may have a negative self-image.

dismissive-avoidant attachment

Avoidant-avoidant attachment often seems to indicate a fear of intimacy in intimate relationships. People with this attachment style may have trouble maintaining closeness with others, forming close relationships, or trusting others. They may be emotionally unavailable in their intimate relationships, or they may prefer to remain independent and not rely on others to meet their needs.

anxious-avoidant attachment

People with an anxious-avoidant or disorganized attachment style may exhibit a combination of anxious and avoidant attachment styles. An anxious and avoidant person may yearn for an intimate relationship, but at the same time experience intimacy and fear of being hurt or rejected, and have all of these feelings toward their intimate partner at the same time. An anxious and avoidant person may avoid intimacy entirely, and their relationships are often marked by mood swings and turmoil, as they often alternate between wanting to be with their partner, fear of abandonment, and feeling trapped in the relationship, it can change.

Attachment styles are subject to changeAlthough attachment styles first develop in childhood, relationships between adults can influence and even change a person's adult attachment style.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, callNational Domestic Violence Hotlineat 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for help, information and resources.

How can attachment therapy help you | better help (2)

One way to get a picture of your own attachment style is to look back at your childhood and your relationships with those you care about. Were your caregivers loving and anticipating your needs? Have your supervisors shown little emotion? Were your caregivers neglectful or abusive? You can also reflect on and identify patterns in your intimate relationships as an adult, choice of intimate partners, or ability to maintain long-term relationships for clues about how you connect with others.

work on self esteem

Low self-esteem and insecurity.are common features of all insecure attachment styles.

Recognize your needs and set boundaries

However, chances are a partner won't know your needs unless you tell him or her. Once you've identified your needs, it's important to respect them and express them with confidence.

be self-reflective

Changing your attachment style can take time and effort. It can be helpful to be self-reflective, working on strategies that can help you become aware of any negative patterns you may have.DailyIt can be a useful tool for recording your thoughts and emotions and can help you identify certain patterns to understand where they come from and how to change them. It can also be helpful to be aware of your role in your relationship and how your behaviors may affect your partner, as taking responsibility for your own attitudes and behaviors is part of developing a healthier dynamic in your relationship and within yourself.

seek therapy

If you are experiencing difficulties in your intimate relationships, with your friends, family or at work that may be related to your attachment style, therapy can be a powerful tool to help you overcome any challenges that may be holding you back. 🇧🇷 A professional therapist can help you become aware of your attachment style and identify past traumas that may have contributed to it.

It's important to remember that changing your attachment style can take time, patience, and effort.Studies have also shown thatthat online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face sessions. In some cases,terapia onlineIt can also be less expensive than traditional face-to-face appointments.

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An important aspect of being human is how we relate to each other. How we attach to our caregivers as babies can affect how we form adult attachments, and therefore our own personal attachment styles can influence the quality of our adult relationships. However, attachment styles are not immutable. We can work on creating a healthier attachment style for ourselves by changing some of our attitudes and behaviors, and we can also enlist the help of a licensed therapist to guide us in the way we relate to other people, to change.

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