Attachment theory is a psychological theory that examines the way someone bonds with the people in their life. Looking at the way we forge relationships with others helps us understand the emotional connections we do or don’t make with people. Attachment theory states that the emotional bonds you create with caregivers during infancy go on to define relationships throughout the rest of your life. Gain a deeper understanding of what attachment theory is and how it relates to you with these interesting facts about attachment theory.
There Are Several Different Attachment Styles
People either have a secure attachment style—that is, they are secure and confident in their relationships—or an insecure attachment style. Insecure attachment can be further divided into avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized attachment styles. Avoidant attachment revolves around dismissive tendencies and strictly independent behavior. Ambivalent attachment indicates a need for constant validation and attention. Disorganized attachment styles indicate extreme inconsistency in relationship behaviors.
You Can Have More Than One Attachment Style
While each attachment style has a clear definition, there are no strict categories. In fact, one of the most fascinating aspects of attachment theory is the way attachment styles fluctuate and change over time. Many people relate to more than one style of attachment. Understanding where each type of attachment stems from and how it influences your own relationships allows you to navigate attachment challenges and create stronger relationships with others.
Therapy Helps Build Secure Attachments
While insecure attachment begins in childhood, it can affect relationships, emotional processes, and behaviors all throughout adulthood. Avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized attachment styles make it hard to trust or depend on others—even those you love. That’s why many people with insecure attachment styles work with therapists to address the thoughts, feelings, and experiences at the core of their attachment issues.
Therapists and other mental health professionals understand the ways attachment affects mental health and mental health treatments. A therapist can help you work through attachment issues and forge stronger, healthier, and happier relationships with the people in your life.