What's the Big Deal? | Attachment Styles

You’ve likely heard the word, “attachment,” when it comes to relationships. 

You may be wondering what it is and why it is important to learn about your attachment style.

Our attachment styles are created in infancy, by the way our caregivers respond (or do not respond) to our needs and the level of emotional warmth we receive. Our attachment styles stick with us and can largely impact our relationships later in life. 

There are 4 main attachment styles: 

  1. Secure attachment: People with secure attachment tend to have positive views of themselves and others. They feel comfortable with intimacy and can depend on others.
  2. Anxious-preoccupied attachment: Those with anxious-preoccupied attachment are often overly dependent on their partners for reassurance and often fear abandonment.
  3. Avoidant-dismissive attachment: Individuals with avoidant-dismissive attachment are emotionally distant, self-sufficient, and prefer independence over intimacy.
  4. Fearful-avoidant attachment: People with fearful-avoidant attachment tend to struggle with both themselves and their relationships. Usually, they want to be close to their partner but are afraid of being rejected, hurt or abandoned.

If a child receives responsive, consistent care, they are more likely to develop a secure attachment style. As adults, those with a secure attachment will likely have more fulfilling and stable relationships, as they are able to trust and rely on their partners.

On the other hand, if a child receives inconsistent or inadequate care, they may develop an insecure attachment style, which can manifest in different ways. Those with an anxious attachment may crave intimacy and reassurance but struggle with insecurity and jealousy. Those with an avoidant attachment may value independence and self-sufficiency but struggle with intimacy and vulnerability.

Overall, our early attachment styles can impact how we approach relationships, communicate, and form connections with others. It is possible to change attachment styles with self-reflection and therapy, but it takes time and effort.

If you would like to explore your attachment style further, contact us for an appointment!

About Hillary Wright

Hillary Wright is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 10 years of clinical experience, working with a variety of people coping with trauma, loss, anxiety, depression, and relational concerns. She loves working with couples and individuals!

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