Attachment Theory in Love & Relationships

Attachment theory is the best way to understand love and romantic relationships. “Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950′s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways: Anxious — people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partners ability to love them back; Avoidant — people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness; Secure — people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving. Also central to the science of attachment is the discovery that our need to be in close relationships is embedded in our genes; so contrary to what many relationship experts today may tell us about the importance of remaining emotionally self-sufficient, attachment research shows us that our need for a secure bond with our partner (or a caregiver) is essential.” This is from the book, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love , by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. I like this book because it makes attachment theory and it how it affects all of us fairly easy to understand.

I see attachment issues most clearly manifest in my work with couples at the Center. Through the process of therapy I help couples see their attachment styles and hopefully more securely attach to one another. They often come to me because their issues have manifested sexually . Through our work together, their sexual issues often become the door through which we walk to a more secure attachment. The work is so powerful because an individual, through becoming more securely attached, can move from one style to another. An anxious or avoidant person can become securely attached and thrive in their relationship and in their life. I find that to be a very profound process to be a part of.

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