Attachment-Based Therapy

Attachment-Based Therapy

Humans are a social species, and connection with others is arguably our most important basic need. Exploring how we attach (or don’t attach) to others can illuminate much about the dynamics of our lives, positive and negative. 

Attachment-Based Therapy Therapy in Metairie, LA

Attachment-Based Therapy

Psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, with her famous “strange situation” study in the 1970’s, were the pioneers of attachment theory. Their work revealed the profound significance of early (at around 12 to 18 months of age) experiences with caregivers and how those experiences influence the dynamics of other relationships later in life.

Attachment-Based Therapy in Metairie, LA

More About Attachment-Based Therapy

Three major styles of attachment were identified, with a fourth later added by researchers Main and Solomon in 1986:

1. Secure attachment, demonstrated by the ability of a child to successfully seek out and receive nurturing and reassurance from his/her caregiver.

2. Ambivalent/anxious attachment, characterized by heightened anxiety and distress even in the presence of a caregiver due to the child’s lack of trust that the caregiver can adequately meet his/her needs as a result of poor parental availability.

3. Avoidant attachment, likely the result of abusive or negligent parenting, manifests in a notable indifference of a child to the presence of a caregiver, with the child also showing no preference between a caregiver and a complete stranger.

4. Disorganized attachment, which includes a confusing mix of behaviors in the child, likely reflecting an inconsistent, unpredictable parenting style serving as a source of both comfort and fear.

Research suggests that the quality of parental/caregiver relationships in early childhood has significant influence on relationships later in life, for better or for worse. ** 

Attachment-based therapy provides a helpful lens through which to view your current relationships, particularly if they are consistently unsatisfactory. It is when these subconscious patterns are made conscious that the work can then be done to change them.

Quite fortunately, as humans we are extremely resilient and mutable, which can serve as a true source of hope that things in our lives can improve. Please reach out to us so we can assist you.

** Young ES, Simpson JA, Griskevicius V, Huelsnitz CO, Fleck C. Childhood attachment and adult personality: A life history perspective. Self and Identity. 2019;18:1:22–38. doi:10.1080/15298868.2017.1353540

We offer compassionate care, meeting each client exactly where he/she is, while simultaneously providing direct feedback and encouraging results-focused, action-oriented, meaningful change to leave clients feeling empowered, confident, and more certain in their day-to-day life experiences and relationships. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions and answers we receive regarding Attachment-Based Therapy. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us by calling (504) 315‑2420.

You know what kind of tree you are dealing with by the type of fruit it produces. We will help you examine your current experiences and try to connect dots to your past, in the hope that those insights will give you the ability to make whatever changes seem necessary to improve your life circumstances. 

Attachment-based psychotherapy is an approach to therapy that focuses on the impact of early relationships and attachment patterns on an individual’s emotional and relational well-being. It recognizes the significance of secure and healthy attachments in childhood and how they shape an individual’s ability to form and maintain relationships throughout their life. The therapist works with clients to explore and heal attachment-related issues, promote self-awareness, and develop healthier patterns of relating to oneself and others.

Attachment-based psychotherapy differs from other therapy approaches in its specific emphasis on understanding and addressing attachment patterns and their impact on psychological functioning. It recognizes that early attachment experiences can influence an individual’s beliefs about themselves and others, their capacity for emotional regulation, and their ability to trust and form secure relationships. By focusing on repairing and strengthening attachment bonds, this approach aims to facilitate healing and promote healthier relational dynamics.

Attachment-based psychotherapy can be beneficial for individuals of all ages and stages of life who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships, struggling with self-esteem or self-worth, or have a history of attachment-related traumas or losses. It can be particularly helpful for individuals with a history of disrupted or insecure attachments, such as those who experienced neglect, abuse, or inconsistent caregiving in childhood. Additionally, couples or families facing relational challenges can also benefit from attachment-based couples therapy or family therapy, which focuses on strengthening attachment bonds within these relationships.