Attachment styles

The way you connect with others is influenced by how you interacted with your parents or other caregivers in your early years. Your earliest relationships set the tone for how you will build your own romantic relationships, friendships, and even professional relationships.

Gaining a deeper insight into your own attachment style enables you to understand yourself better and gain insights into how you engage with the significant individuals in your life. People with insecure attachment styles may encounter difficulties with trust, vulnerability, and effective communication within relationships.

Secure and insecure attachment styles

Babies rely on caregivers for both their physical necessities like food, shelter, and clothing, as well as their emotional requirements, such as affection, stimulation, and comfort. When parents or main caregivers consistently fulfill these requirements, infants form a secure attachment style that serves as a foundation for positive adult relationships. In cases where these needs are unmet, a child might develop an insecure attachment style instead.

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Overly dependent on validation. May feel insecure, clingy, or jealous.
May struggle to express their emotions or needs.
Comfortable communicating needs and with closeness.
Strong desire for intimacy and afraid of being vulnerable.
Hover over 🛈 to get more information about each type of attachment style

What does the phrase “attachment style” mean?

The term “attachment style” refers to patterns of behavior and thought that are developed in early childhood and affect how individuals form and maintain relationships throughout their lives. Furthermore, attachment styles influence how people perceive, approach, and manage their relationships throughout their lives, impacting factors such as trust, intimacy, communication, and emotional expression. 

Anxious attachment style

Individuals with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style usually show an excessive reliance on their partner to validate their self-worth and may experience feelings of insecurity and anxiety when their partner is not available. They frequently seek ongoing reassurance and might display clinginess or jealousy within their relationships. This attachment style often involves a heightened sensitivity to perceived fluctuations in their partner's attention and emotions, leading to a cycle of seeking closeness and reassurance, but also fearing rejection or abandonment.

Avoidant-fearful attachment style

Individuals exhibiting a fearful-avoidant attachment style might possess a significant longing for intimacy and connection, yet simultaneously feel afraid about becoming overly close or displaying vulnerability with their partner. They could grapple with conflicting emotions and encounter difficulties in establishing trust within their relationships.

Avoidant-dismissive attachment style

Individuals characterized by an avoidant-dismissive attachment style tend to value independence and self-sufficiency above intimacy and connection within relationships. They may come across as emotionally distant or detached in their relationships and may struggle to express their emotions or needs to their partner.

Secure attachment style

People with a secure attachment style tend to feel comfortable with intimacy and are able to balance their need for independence with their need for connection. They engage in open and sincere communication with their partner, and are generally trusting and supportive in their relationships.

How can therapy help with attachment issues?

Therapy can play a pivotal role in addressing and reshaping attachment styles. Through open discussions and targeted interventions in a supportive environment, therapy can help you explore how your early life experiences and relationships have influenced your current attachment behaviors and emotions.

If you have an anxious attachment style, therapy can help identify and manage underlying fears, develop healthier ways of seeking reassurance, and enhance self-esteem to reduce dependence on external validation. Similarly, if you exhibit an avoidant-fearful attachment style, you can benefit from therapy by unpacking the origins of emotional distance, fostering vulnerability and intimacy, and acquiring effective strategies to engage in more fulfilling relationships.

Your therapist can assist you in developing new skills for communication, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution, all of which are crucial for building secure and fulfilling relationships. Over time, therapy can lead to significant improvements in attachment styles, fostering more adaptive and satisfying ways of connecting with loved ones and enhancing overall psychological well-being.

Looking for help?

If you think that your relationship difficulties can be traced back to your Attachment Style, reach out to Basanti Counseling for professional help. Effective treatment is available for anxiety, depressiontrauma, and more in Ontario.

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