Adult Attachment Issues/Relational Care We are created for connection. From the moment we draw our first breath, our biological responses are searching for safety and connection. The first relationships we form are from our parents or initial caregivers, and siblings. These are the first experiences for how we learn to relate to others and form our early attachment bonds. The relational cues we learn in childhood become a pattern for relating to others in adulthood. So, if we have any form of dysfunction in our childhood (from family, school, friendships), it is important to make secure emotional repairs for better relationships in adulthood.
There are four attachment styles for relating to others, ourselves, experiences, and they also influence how we relate to God. Ideally, we want to work on attachment repairs so we can function in “secure” relationship; however, we are never able to be fully 100% Secure for the entirety of life. We live in the fallen and broken world, and as a result we develop ways for surviving and adapting in times of hurt or conflict that often come from our Insecure attachments.
The Four Attachment Styles Secure Some characteristics of Secure attachment are flexibility, emotionally attune, present and supportive, autonomous and interdependent in relationship (healthy sense of boundaries between self and others), relaxed, trusting and trustworthy, and resilient.
Avoidant (Dismissive) Some characteristics of Avoidant attachment are lack of belonging, feeling alone or isolated, difficulty with eye contact, difficulty trusting others, overly self-reliant, dismissive of personal needs, and self-determined.
Ambivalent (Anxious) Some characteristics of Ambivalent attachment are overly sensitive, controlling, abandonment anxiety (fear of being alone), hyper-focusing on relationships, need for reassurance, and a desire for others to help one emotionally regulate.
Disorganized (Fearful Avoidant) Some characteristics of Disorganized attachment are overly focused on real or perceived threats for personal safety (physical and/or emotional threats), a rigid or controlling sense of relationship expectations, feelings of failure, confusion, emotionally numbing/freezing, and lack of impulse control.
Attachment Treatment If you are experiencing attachment struggles, or are interested in exploring any unhealed emotional wounds, I would be honored to help you work toward more Secure attachment patterns. Depending on the depth of the relational wounds, EMDR, Boundary work, and Narrative Therapy are excellent modalities for working with attachment issues.