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As a couples therapist, I often end up helping clients become aware of their attachment styles and the impact attachment styles have on relationships. Attachment styles are how you ‘attach’ to people in intimate relationships, and John Bowlby’s work on attachment theory identified 4 adult styles which are: anxious (preoccupied), avoidant (dismissive), disorganized (fearful-avoidant), and secure. Attachment styles develop early in life and often remain stable over time, but with the help of secure attachments to romantic partner(s), and/or therapy, attachment styles can change for the better. In this series of posts, we’ll briefly explore each attachment style and then explore ways to foster a secure attachment style.
We all know it is human nature to seek relationships, to seek love, support, and comfort from others. This need to belong and the desire for closeness and intimacy often drives important decisions in life. But have you often found yourself repeating the same negative patterns in your romantic relationship even with different partners? Do you get too clingy or jealous? Do you always seem to be more involved than your partner? Do you want to be with someone, but as soon as things get emotionally intimate, you back off?
It may be helpful to know what type of attachment style you have and no, not everyone fits into an attachment style 100%. The goal is to be securely attached to your partner and in our next post, we’ll explore the Anxious/Preoccupied attachment style.
Kevin Lee, PsyD