Attachment Theory

Attachment theory, first developed by John Bowlby, is a psychology concept focused on the importance of attachment in relation to personal development. According to Bowlby’s theory, attachment is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that begins at birth and continues through the first years of life. Fundamental to attachment theory is the belief that a child's relationship with the primary caregiver (usually the mother), affects their attachment style for the rest of their life. Unresolved or insecure attachment issues experienced in early childhood can have a negative impact on relationships into adulthood. A therapist who specializes in attachment theory can help.  Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today!

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I think that emotional attachment can play an important role in our relationships throughout our lives and can help to understand some of the dynamics we have. I am rostered in Child-Parent Psychotherapy through the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program - therapy that offers support for children who have experienced trauma and difficult circumstances that is based in attachment theory but also integrates psychodynamic, developmental, trauma, social learning, and cognitive behavioral theories.

— Shohreh Schmuecker, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Lafayette, CA

Attachment Theory is my approach to Couples treatment, I have studied this approach intensively. This approach digs deep into an individual's childhood background to find out how their earlier interactions with primary care givers have shaped their lives and can be manifesting in their current relationships. This theory is very effective in understanding how the individual response in relationships in regards to how they relate to their partner.

— Renisher Roberts, Psychotherapist in ,
 

To put it simply, this means I recognize & help you see the patterns you play out again & again in relationships. The feelings that come up when you try to get close hold the clues to the puzzle you’ve been trying to solve. I’ll help you uncover how early relationships influence your present day life. When you understand the origins, you can begin to free yourself up to create new ways of relating. We will figure out the reasons you are scared to get close, even though you want to so badly.

— Kirstin Carl, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Encino, CA

I utilize attachment theory to help us understand our positive and negative interpretations of life experiences. "Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969)." We will look at your childhood attachments and how the influence your life, your child's life, your partner's life now.

— Ashlei Lien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Inglewood, CA
 

I have trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as well as studied other sources of attachment theory, and ways that this shows up in our individual patterns as well as relationship dynamics.

— Grace Ballard, Sex Therapist

I utilize attachment theory in examination of any attachment or relational wounds and how they impact your relationship to others.

— Notae Eddo, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor
 

I have received formal training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and continue to receive ongoing training and supervision in this model. EFT is an evidence-based model rooted in attachment theory that is proven to help couples and individuals navigate distress and foster long-lasting connection and change.

— Maureen Backman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pacifica, CA

My approach to psychotherapy is relationship-based, attachment focused, and compassionate. Research shows the most powerful aspect of the healing process is the relationship that develops between you and your therapist. My goal is for us to address your challenges through open and trusting dialogue. My therapy is humanistic and integrative.

— Amanda Mead, Psychologist
 

Our early relationships give us a sense of whether or not we are safe and welcomed in the world. Whether or not we are worthy of being treated with kindness, love, and respect. Attachment-informed trauma therapy can help to repair the psychological wounds from childhood, providing relief from cycles of shame, blame, guilt, doubt, and emotional overwhelm. Outcomes of healing these early wounds can include improved health, relationships, and boundaries, and reduced anxiety, stress, and depression.

— Kim Torrence, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rockville, MD

Attachment Theory has a time and place- if we are talking about your development as a child and the relationships you have formed-- yes! Let's talk about it! I like to include this when it makes sense-- I'm not going to shove it down your throat. Sometimes, it's important to think about your attachment to caregivers growing up and how this may now effect your relationships. Let's explore this together!

— Elaina Vig, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Saint Louis Park, MN
 

How we felt with our original caregivers can become a blueprint for relationships in our adult lives. Struggling in relationships with others is a common reason why people come to therapy. But the good news is that how we exist with others is a learned behavior--which means it can also be unlearned. Let's partner together to understand your attachment traumas and styles, and from there do work that both honors where you've been and makes room for where you want to go.

— Shae Loucks, Psychotherapist

I am trained in Somatic Attachment Therapy interventions, which are focused on supporting you building a more secure attachment to yourself (which can support management of anxiety and depression) and others (which supports cultivation of deeper and more fulfilling relationships). We will assess different attachment patterns you may have with different people in your life, and use techniques based in embodied exploration to better attune to your inner experiences.

— Elizabeth Hawkins, Sex Therapist
 

Working with attachment theory means I pay close attention to how a person shows up in relationships which includes strangers.

— Vanessa Tate, Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

As a therapist, I use attachment based approaches to help clients understand the way they relate to others in their lives. This can help them give choice to resolve disabling conflicts or assist them in working to create peaceful and positive settlement of emotional struggles.

— Artur Lebiedzinski, Psychotherapist in New York, NY
 

The basis of all of my therapy is rooted in attachment. First, in the therapy space it is critical that I facilitate and foster a safe, supportive environment so that we can explore personal attachment style and relationship history through an attachment lens. I believe that in order to have healthy relationships with ourselves and others, that can start in the therapy space by creating a healthy therapeutic relationship.

— Natalie Chen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sunnyvale, CA

Understanding attachment theory and add in the PloyVagal theory you get a sense of greater ways to regulate yourself in and out of your relationships. The pattern you learned in the styles of attachment in your multigenerational linage can play a large part in the way your body responds to conflict and connection. Over time we get to explore and heal these old patterns to bring on more thrive in your life.

— Karen Lucas, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

Understanding attachment theory and add in the PloyVagal theory you get a sense of greater ways to regulate yourself in and out of your relationships. The patterns you learned in the styles of attachment in your multigenerational linage can play a large part in the way your body responds to conflict and connection. Over time we get to explore and heal these old patterns to bring on more thrive in your life.

— Karen Lucas, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA