John Bowlby: recent publications

The Unpredictable Nature of Having a Disorganized Attachment Style

Have you ever heard of attachment style? Do you know what your attachment style is? It can be an extremely useful lens through which we interpret our feelings and behaviors in relationship to others. Mine is “disorganized” and let me tell you, it can get in the way of fomenting strong connections with others, which can really hamper one’s ability to heal from trauma. Having done some work in this arena and psycho education on attachment theory, I thought it may be helpful information to others to start thinking about their own attachment style and to read about what it looks like in terms of my own lived experience.

What is Attachment Theory?

Attachment Theory is a psychological and evolutionary framework originally proposed by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby in the mid-20th century. The central tenet is that a child must develop a secure emotional bond with a primary caregiver, which will insure that child’s survival by providing comfort and protection. This responsive (enough) caregiver thereby creates a secure base from which a child can go on to explore the world. Put simply, an attuned parent who reliably reacts to the needs of a child will create a foundational sense of security, from which that child can grow into a healthy and emotionally resilient adult.

The four primary attachment styles are:

Secure: This represents an ideal child/parent attachment based in the stability of the responsive caregiver creating a resilient, trusting child able to rely on others.

Ambivalent: When a child cannot rely on a parent they may become distressed and therefore can be somewhat clingy toward their caregivers for fear that they won’t return.

Avoidant: These children have learned that relying on a caregiver can be

liking relationship child

John Bowlby

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