Attachment Theory

 

Ever wonder why you have such a hard time finding successful relationships, or why you tend to run the other way when someone gets too close to you?

Or maybe you keep attracting the wrong kind of person who is afraid of commitment and lacks emotional stability?

We all have our relationship patterns that we wish we could change.

Although you may chalk it up to having bad luck or just feel like all the “good ones are taken,” there’s an actual theory that can explain your relationship patterns and why you keep finding yourself stuck in the same relational patterns you can’t seem to shake. 

It’s called, “Attachment Theory.”

Attachment theory is the concept that our attachment style with our primary caregivers directly affects our relationships throughout our entire lives.

That means that our parents behaviors, anxieties, and relationship issues start to affect us before we even begin to speak.

Yikes. 

Through these early interactions, we develop “working models” for how relationships are and how to act within them.

These working models shape the way we see relationships, creating certain assumptions and blindspots that can begin to cause problems if left unchecked. 

Luckily, we are here to tell you that your attachment style is not a lifelong sentence.

Our trained therapists are here to help you break free of the past so you can establish healthy relationships in your future.

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The Four Major Adult Attachment Styles

Let’s take a look at the four adult attachment styles:

  • Avoidant Attachment: People with avoidant attachment are highly independent and feel uncomfortable getting close to anyone. They don’t feel like they need to rely on their significant other, and believe their partner shouldn’t rely on them. That’s why an avoidant person may seem emotionally unavailable. 
  • Anxious Attachment: Those with anxious attachment crave constant intimacy, and can often push people away by demanding too much. They tend to be insecure in their relationship and fear that their partner will leave them. 
  • Fearful-Avoidant Attachment: A combination of the two attachment styles, fearful-avoidant people long for intimacy but also fear getting too close to people. They thus feel conflicted about intimacy and may experience a great deal of push-pull in their relationships.  
  • Secure Attachment: Secure attachment is the gold standard of attachment. Secure people are comfortable with intimacy and vulnerability. They trust their partners and tend not to fear rejection or abandonment. This attachment style signals that their needs were consistently met as a child in a balanced way, while also allowing autonomy. Secure attachment allows for both space and closeness in equal measure, promoting both intimacy and individuation. 

Those with avoidant, anxious, and fearful attachments will often struggle with relationships.

Those with secure attachments are typically more self-confident, independent, successful at work, and enjoy stable, healthy relationships in life.

There’s even a science to what type of person you attract, and how compatible your relationship will be depending on both you and your significant other’s attachment styles.

For example, if you’re fearful-avoidant, you often attract partners that are avoidant. You tend to find people with secure attachment a little boring.

Conversely, if you identify with secure attachment, you will most likely gravitate toward someone who is also secure and can meet you on the same level.

But it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault if you struggle with unhealthy attachment styles. 

Because you’re not responsible for internalizing the dynamics that were modeled for you as a child––that’s a developmental inevitability.

Your insecure attachment style does not define you and can be changed if you’re willing to do the work to shift the way you relate to yourself and others.

Our attachment-based experiential, somatic, and psychodynamic therapy modalities will help you begin to develop greater emotional awareness surrounding attachment issues so that you can begin to develop more meaningful, stable relationships with others and a greater sense of self-confidence and vitality as an individual. 

At My LA Therapy, we integrate a variety of research-proven techniques to help heal insecure attachment and create a customized approach for your individual needs and situation.

Research-based, personalized therapy.

At My LA Therapy, our warm and experienced therapists specialize in anxiety, depression, trauma, & relationships.

 

Our Therapy Methods for Unhealthy Attachment Style

Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize the anxiety in your life, identify and change underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and provide you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

To experience true and lasting joy in our life, we must face and conquer our pain by healing our underlying trauma and confronting our fears. 

See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process. 

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing unhealthy attachment styles.

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 

Want to talk?

At My LA Therapy, our highly-vetted Attachment Therapists experts are selected not only for their clinical acumen but for who they are.

 

Resources

  1. Healthline
 

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