When children are born they develop an “attachment bond” with their primary caregiver/s. This bond shapes the brain of the infant, influencing self-esteem, expectations of others, and the general ability to participate in successful relationships. Because of the deep and long lasting effects of the attachment bond, learning about the characteristics of our early attachment bond/s can help us to have healthier adult relationships. The attachment bond, since it is formed during infancy, is based on a lot of nonverbal communication. The formation of this initial bond creates the foundation for subsequent nonverbal and verbal communication in future relationships.

Attachment Styles: Insecure or Secure

When primary caregivers are emotionally attuned to their children, children develop a secure attachment style. As adults they typically are empathic and compassionate adults, able to attune emotionally well to their adult partners.

When primary caregivers are less able to attend to their children emotionally, their children are more likely to develop an insecure attachment style. As adults, these children have greater challenges in primary relationships. Depending on the way in which they were parented, adult attachment styles can be avoidant or anxious. In extreme childhood circumstances, children grow up to have a chaotic or disorganized attachment style with primary partners.

Attachment and Emotionally Focused Therapy

Learning about the various kinds of attachment styles is part of every EFT therapist’s training. This is because attachment styles often play into the kinds of interaction patterns couples in distress fall into. For example, a partner with an anxious style often pursues and overwhelms a partner who is more avoidant. And a person with an avoidant or distant interaction style often triggers their partner to pursue for connection. Over time, without repair, these anxious-avoidant or pursue-distance styles of interaction can become quite entrenched and rigid.


Read the full article here: Attachment and Adult Relationships