During the month of January, our counselor staff is reading and reviewing the book "Attached. How the science of adult attachment can help you find- and keep- love" by Dr Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. MA. Knowing and understanding your "Attachment Style" is an extremely important step in developing a healthy relationship. Let's dive into the concept of Attachment Styles...
John Bowlby’s work on attachment theory dates back to the 1950’s. His research recognized the human need to belong and connect to others that begins in infancy with parent/child relationships and continues into adulthood when seeking and finding a mate. Based on his theory, four adult attachment styles were identified:
1) ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back
2) AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
3) ANXIOUS/AVOIDANT (sometimes called Disorganized) people show a combination of the Anxious AND Avoidant styles.
4) SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving
Our attachment style emerges during childhood from the interactions from our primary caregivers, most of the time, our parents. Depending on the quality and quantity of the interactions in these relationships, our style will become one of the 4 listed above. The more breaches in safety and love within the primary relationships, generally the more insecure the attachment becomes. Enter teen dating and adult relationships... we bring our style into our desire to connect with others and so does our chosen partner. Different styles, different mish mash of issues. SO what's the point? Identifying your own style allows you the insight into your own behaviors and helps you to understand the needs and healing that may be required to move into a secure attachment style.
Research shows that all people fall into these categories where just over 50% are secure, around 20% are anxious, 25% are Avoidant, and the remaining 5% are Anxious/Avoidant combination.
Secure attachment style is the healthiest of styles. It doesn't mean that you won't have any issues in relationships, it simply means that you understand the dynamics of the ups and downs of a relationship and how to manage the negatives or pain in a healthier way.
Here are the signs of a secure attachment style:
ability to regulate your emotions
easily trusting others
effective communication skills
ability to seek emotional support
comfortable being alone
comfortable in close relationships
ability to self-reflect in partnerships
being easy to connect with
ability to manage conflict well
ability to be emotionally available
What to know your style? Take the Quiz to find out!
Now that you know your style and what to look for in a partner, a healthy relationship is possible! Need some guidance in identifying, understanding your style or help in moving towards a secure style? The Vine Wellness Group has a variety of specialized therapists that work within attachment style theories to help you and your partner heal and grow.
San Antonio + Spring Branch/Bulverde