What’s the deal with attachment?

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Attachment, Counselling

I like to practice from an attachment lens, because the focus is on relationships. As humans, we are relational beings. We do best when we have healthy, safe and secure relationships…whether we are babies, children, adults or seniors. We need relationships!! We need to know we have people in our lives who love us, accept us and have our backs and we need to be this for ourselves as well.

Our attachment style gets formed as infants. If we were fortunate enough to grow up in a family where we got enough love to feel safe and secure most of the time, we probably know how to love and be loved and have a secure attachment style. Research says about 50% of people fall in this category. This doesn’t mean relationships won’t be challenging at times, it just means they have a strong blueprint for being in relationship.

The other 50% may have anxious, avoidant or disorganized attachment styles, which means relationships can get really tricky and there’s probably some underlying patterns at play that get in our way. These attachment styles serve a purpose and generally were a way for us to survive within relationships that did not offer us enough safety and security. I believe we do the best we can with what we know and that goes for our parents too. Our attachment styles get wired into our brains and operate on an unconscious level much of the time. If we feel safe and secure most of the time, we’ll manage life pretty well. If we don’t feel safe and secure, we will operate out of stress and survival mode.

Check out this video to learn more: The Attachment Theory: How Childhood Affects Life

Don’t worry, this is not the bad news it may sound like if you didn’t grow up with secure attachments. We can move from insecure attachment to secure attachment through our relationships with others and with ourselves. Our brains can rewire and adapt…this is growth and resilience. And we can do this at any age!!

Some examples of how we can improve our relationships with others and ourselves through an attachment lens:

  • We can come to understand the impacts of our childhood and early experiences on who we are today and do our own work to have awareness and build our relationships skills.
  • We can heal inter-generational trauma.
  • We can increase our own emotional regulation and help others to co-regulate.
  • We can have compassion and understanding for ourselves and others.
  • We can increase our relationship satisfaction with our partners, children and others, including ourselves.

We can create a new relationship blueprint through understanding, awareness, emotional regulation, self-compassion and practicing new skills. It’s never too late! Contact me today to get started.

 

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