top of page

Attachment Issues

Attachment styles.

Difficulties in forming healthy Attachments with significant others are usually caused by childhood experiences, whether they are trauma based, or simply inconsistent parenting or childhood emotional neglect. As a consequence of such early experiences, patterns of behaviour are created that make it difficult to have healthy and satisfying relationships with other people as an adult. 

Psychotherapy can assist you to understand and adapt your Attachment Style to improve the quality of your relationships and self-esteem.

People who have a Secure Attachment Style are able to cultivate long term relationships that are characterised by trust and emotional intimacy.  They are also comfortable within themselves, enjoying a healthy level of self esteem.

Insecure attachment.

Adults with an insecure attachment style may be anxious or avoidant about relationships, or may show inconsistency in their responses.

 

Signs of attachment issues in adults can include problems forming lasting emotional bonds, having difficulties with establishing or maintaining boundaries, or experiencing repeating cycles of conflict or loneliness.

 

Adults with attachment issues might struggle to trust others, need constant reassurance, or push their partners away due to a fear of getting hurt.

Insecure Attachment

 is often divided into three main Types:

Anxious (Ambivalent),

Avoidant and

Disorganised. 

Anxious Attachment

People with an anxious attachment style experience low self-esteem, a strong fear of rejection and worry that their partner does not reciprocate their feelings.  

 

This attachment style can arise due to misattunement and inconsistancy in parenting.  The signs can be clinginess in relationships, insecurity, feeling unworthy of love and emotional dependency.

Image by Prateek Gautam
Image by Sasha  Freemind

Avoidant Attachment

 

An avoidant attachment style leads to difficulties in experiencing deep intimacy in relationships. Unlike people with anxious attachment, such individuals seem to not invest a lot of emotion in their relationships and don’t experience distress when a relationship ends in the way other people do.

 

They will generally find ways to avoid intimacy, for example by making excuses about being too busy, or by not sharing their feelings or innermost thoughts with their partners.

Disorganized Attachment

 

Those with a disorganized attachment style experience a combination of both anxious and avoidant characteristics in their approach to relationships.

While they have a strong need for closeness and intimacy with others, they also have strong defenses against being vulnerable and wish to keep people at a distance. 

This can manifest as taking action to establish a loving connection and then suddenly behaving in ways that push the other person away, though this may not be intentional.

Image by Matt Nelson
Image by Bart LaRue

Changing your Attachment Style

 

Attachment styles can change. To heal disorders of attachment, we need to develop our understanding of how our early experiences taught us to view ourselves, as well as how to relate to others.

 

It is important to remember that past experiences do not have to control your future, with a growth in understanding, processing the grief of unmet needs, and the support to try a new approach towards relationships, you can break free from even long-term patterns.

Check out these pages to learn more about therapeutic approaches that can assist you to improve your attachment style:

 

bottom of page