Author:
Rosie Waters
Attachment Focused Therapist

What are they?

Which Style am I?

Why is it so Important?

Ever wondered why some people are insecure and anxious in relationships, whilst others are distant, cold and withdrawn?

It could be down to Attachment Styles.

Attachment, or forming close bonds to, a select few individuals, is an innate biological need. It starts in the womb and ends when we die. However, as humans, we vary in HOW we form these bonds.

Broadly speaking, in adult attachment, there are 3 main attachment styles.

To simplify this huge topic, I have discussed attachment styles as very definite categories. In reality, it is much more nuanced.

SECURE
People who have this style are often warm and loving. They are comfortable with emotional intimacy, deal with conflict in healthy ways, without retreating or becoming destabilised. They can enjoy activities away from the relationship, feeling confident and secure in the knowledge their loved one is there for them.

ANXIOUS
Individuals with this style crave emotional intimacy and are preoccupied with their relationships. They worry and fret over what their loved, or desired one, is doing, who they are with etc. Anxious individuals are often prone to jealousy and can become very angry and demanding in relationships. People with this style easily become overwhelmed and find it difficult to regulate and soothe strong emotions, often needing the presence of their loved one to calm down. Anxiously attached people are afraid of being rejected, abandoned and separated from their loved one.

AVOIDANT
People with this style of attaching see emotional intimacy as a loss of their independence. They will generally keep loved ones at a safe emotional distance. People with this style are often very self-reliant and give off the sense that they ‘don’t need anyone’. They struggle greatly with trust, finding it difficult to believe anyone could be dependable. They will often be unwilling or unable, to talk about their feelings, being somewhat cut off from them. Avoidantly attached people are often afraid of being rejected, but equally as afraid of being engulfed or intruded upon by another.

WHAT NOW?
So, you may have identified which style you might be.

HOW IS THIS USEFUL?
By understanding why we behave as we do in close relationships, as well as what our unique needs and vulnerabilities are, and how the different attachment styles can clash and cause conflict, the world of relationships becomes clearer. With this understanding comes the opportunity for learning new strategies to improve those relationships that are important to us.

Therapy can provide a safe and confidential space to explore these patterns of relating in more detail.

If you are interested in further reading, the book “Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller is an interesting read.

If you have any questions or need any information then please get in touch on 01635 791 301 or visit the contact us page.

Warm wishes,

The Total Health Team

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