Attachment Based Therapy
Attachment Based Therapy is a therapy modality that uses the principles of attachment theory to help clients move toward a secure attachment style. Attachment theory posits that the way a newborn infant interacts with the adults who raise them often influences how that person grows up to have close relationships with others. There are four primary attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized. When clients are able to form a secure attachment, they may feel confident in their relationships, become open to developing intimate connections with others, and communicate in a healthy way with those that they love.
What is Attachment Based Therapy?
Attachment Based Therapy relies on the concept that humans develop relationship frameworks from their early childhood, and what they learn from their parents or caregivers imprints on them. Unhealthy or insecure attachment styles may lead to difficulty in relationships down the line. While we cannot control how we were raised, we are not stuck in our attachment styles and Attachment Based Therapists can help us move forward in healthy, fulfilling ways.
What happens in an Attachment Based Therapy session?
In Attachment Based Therapy sessions, clients may be encouraged to reflect back on their childhoods. Therapists might ask about childhood memories – the good and the bad. Clients will talk about the ways they were raised and therapists may observe patterns.
Clients will also talk about their current relationship issues. They might experience challenging relationship dynamics, nasty fights, or issues committing to or being vulnerable in a relationship. Attachment therapists will encourage clients to draw connections between their current relationship patterns and what they’ve learned about themselves from their look back into their history.
When ready, therapists will begin to teach clients secure attachment skills. This might include:
- Doing away with cognitive distortions
- Learning how to communicate effectively
- Practicing relaxation or coping strategies for time of stress, like during a fight
- Learning how to set boundaries
- Validating themselves and growing self-trust
The goal of Attachment Based Therapy is to draw clients away from their previous insecure relationship tendencies and to develop an insightful, appropriate approach to current relationships.
What can Attachment Based Therapy help with?
Attachment Based Therapy helps with relationship conflicts. The type of relationship, however, can vary – family relationships, romantic relationships, sexual relationships, even friendships.
Attachment Based Therapy not only helps clients to better understand their relationship patterns, but teaches clients how to reflect on their:
It’s vital for trained, licensed therapists to provide Attachment Based Therapy. Attachment Based Therapists have the expertise needed to help clients not only learn about themselves but perfect secure attachment skills so they can move forward in their relationships.