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 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

All of our counselors focus in attachment theory. Not only is the relationship in counseling important but the relationships to those around us. Oftentimes issues arise when our caregivers weren't there for us and caused issues that still plague people as adults. Let's heal together!

— The Attached Counseling Collective, Licensed Professional Counselor in Marietta, GA

Attachment theory is one of the bedrocks upon which I have built my own approach and skill set. Just as we can be grievously injured in relationship, we can grow and heal in one too. I know that our earliest experiences are the legs upon which our more mature lives stand on and sometimes we need a helping hand to explore areas of life that remain untested or parts of ourselves that we’d prefer not to know about.

— Brett Hammond, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Louisville, KY

Attachment theory is like your relationship GPS, exploring how early connections shape your bonds today. It's our roadmap to navigate the twists and turns of your relationship journey. Reparenting the inner child allows us to rewrite this roadmap to create more secure connections moving forward.

— Julie Grande-Strathdee, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

I became enamored with Attachment Theory in graduate school including joining a group of psychologists studying Daniel Siegel's book The Developing Mind (one of the earliest books on interpersonal neurobiology). Afterwards I sought out trainings from Daniel Siegel as well as others like Carol George and Diana Fosha for years. Attachment theory is the foundation of my approach to therapy, particularly the centrality of safety in relationships in order to explore, expand, and face challenges.

— Mackenzie Steiner, Psychologist in Austin, TX

The attachment work I do is deep and transformative and sometimes escapes words. I have received specialized Somatic training with Kathy Kain and Stephen J. Terrell which approaches attachment theory work from the bottom up versus the top down. This means bringing my attention to healing the early age physiology first before approaching the adult cognitive brain, which comes second. I also include consciousness and intention around my own attachment style when working on this deep level with clients.

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

Attachment therapy aims to help individuals who have issues with relationships stemming from childhood experiences such as neglect, abuse, or trauma. These experiences can affect a person's ability to form healthy and secure connections in adulthood, leading to problems like anxiety, depression, and difficulty in forming and maintaining close relationships. The goal is to help individuals develop a more secure attachment style, leading to better relationships and overall emotional well-being.

— Relationship Anxiety Help, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in online therapy for relationship anxiety,

If traumatic early experiences or growing up with caregivers who weren't physically or emotionally available to you are issues that are impacting you and your relationships, together we'll create a place of security where we can explore your childhood and the values and experiences that have made you who you are. I'll incorporate a strengths based approach to make the most of your resilience while also helping you see how you can rewrite the future when it comes to your own relationships.

— Jillian Zamora, Associate Clinical Social Worker

Attachment Theory is about discovering that how a person was cared for & related to in their early years still effects them today especially in close relationships. When we were young we learned if the world was safe or not. To make us feel safe we isolated or became people pleasers. These patterns continue on into adulthood & can be very disruptive in all relationships. There are ways to feel emotionally safe so you can thrive.

— Kathleen Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Everyone needs healthy attachment bonds. Attachment is a deep human, and even mammalian need. We literally need to be securely attached to others in order to feel safe, supported and live a fulfilling life. Our survival actually depended on it in human history. Most relationship challenges arise from the fact that people feel their safe and secure attachment to a loved one is threatened. This activates survival alarms in the brain. Healthy attachment is vital in relationships.

— Annette Barnett, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Saratoga, 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 , CA

Attachment theory is my main theoretical orientation and informs most of the work I do. I believe that we are all wired for connection and need it for survival - as a result, our relationships are essential, yet we often have relational wounds that can make it hard for us to connect, all the way down to the nervous system level. As such, it is central to our well-being to be able to explore and understand our patterns and learn to attend to those deep needs.

— Jackie Turner, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Portland, OR

Many people's ways to express connection and love are heavily influenced by the way they have grown up by caregivers. Even as an adult, there are ways to heal the child inside that never fully got the love they needed. I can help identify what needs the client has in order to strive for a more secure attachment with others in their present life.

— Samantha Schumann, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

There are 3 basics types of attachment: secure, anxious, and avoidant. Depending on your attachment style, you may find challenges in relationships or difficulty forming connections. Attachment theory is rooted in science and offers a helpful perspective for anyone struggling with dating or in current relationships.

— Jack Szary, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Attachment-Based Family works by rebuilding trust within the parent-child relationship—providing a solid foundation that promotes authentic connection and enhances teen mental health. This type of family counseling provides a clear path to achieving what both parents and children want most: closer, more meaningful relationships with one another. As a result, teens feel safe turning to their parents for support—and that leads to improvements in teen mental health and reductions in suicide risk.

— Newport Academy, Mental Health Counselor in Atlanta, GA

I read about attachment theory and this immediately changed the game for me. I routinely use this to help you understand and validate your patterns in relationships. We can explore early family dynamics and learn how these have shaped your adult behaviors. I also love incorporating Schema Therapy.

— Kate Sayers, Licensed Professional Counselor in Milwaukee, WI

I believe our earliest experiences and relationships create the framework for how we relate to ourselves and others in adulthood. Understanding and repairing these dynamics can help us recognize and step outside of unconscious behavior patterns that keep us stuck or prevent us from growing and changing.

— Renee Floer, Licensed Professional Counselor in South Carolina, SC