April 25, 2023
Events | Mental Health
‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
— Katy Perry, Hot ‘n Cold
Katy’s struggle with her inconsistent partner, while a catchy tune, is an all-too-common problem in the dating world, and a perfect example of a partner with an Insecure Attachment Style. Katy’s partner is unable to communicate their needs clearly, leaving Katy spinning.
Wait… what are attachment styles?
Attachment Theory (developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth) is based on the idea that we are born needing others. Babies depend on their caregivers for security and love in order to survive, and generally, if their needs are met, develop secure attachments. Securely attached people are able to determine their values, voice their needs in a relationship, and regulate their emotions during conflict. They can trust others and reciprocate love to their partners.
So, what happens when a baby and caregiver do not develop a secure attachment in those first few years? Can attachment styles change along our lifespan?
Researchers say that insecure attachments from an early age can negatively impact an individual’s ability to find and maintain a healthy partnership. More recent research suggests that harmful romantic relationships as an adult can shift a previously secure attached person to an insecure pattern (Levine and Heller, 2021). The types of insecure patterns for adults are Anxious-preoccupied, Dismissive-avoidant, Fearful-avoidant, and Disorganized.
How do I know what style I have? Is there any hope if I’m insecurely attached?
There are many validated Attachment Style Quizzes available (links below), and yes, Secure Attachment can be grown through personal work and exploration! In our “How to Rock Your Relationships” course, we will take a deep dive into your personal attachment style and how it has impacted your dating life. We will work through the negative patterns that have held you back from the connection all humans deserve.
New beginnings start with knowing how we create the trap that we are caught in, how we have deprived ourselves of the love we need. Strong bonds grow from resolving to halt the cycles of disconnection, the dances of distress.
— Dr. Sue Johnson, leading researcher on Adult Attachment.
Let’s break down your traps and start a new beginning together!
THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP.
This blog was originally published on 22 October 2021
Learn How to Rock Relationships
Starts June 1st
In this 6-part workshop series led by Claire Price, CHC, you will gain the tools you need to look for someone with compatible values, without abandoning yourself in the process. We will encourage you to create a fulfilling life on your own before inviting someone else in, and empower you to know your worth when you do. Amy Jackson, LCSW-MPH will help you identify your specific attachment style and what that means for getting back into the dating pool. Finally you will learn resiliency and how to be ‘unbothered’, which will prove to be one of your greatest strengths!
Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson