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    Attachment styles are how we operate in relationships based on our past experiences.  According to Attachment Theory, there are four attachment styles:



    What do these mean?  How do attachment styles form?  Can we change our attachment style?  Read on.


    So here are the basics of the four attachment styles.  Try to guess which style you fall under:


    • Secure – It’s not hard for you to get close with others.  You can set healthy boundaries, use assertive communication skills, and give and receive love appropriately.  You’re aware of your needs and can verbalize them to someone else, and you can become close without becoming dependent.  This is the one we want to shoot for – the other three are known as insecure attachment styles.  The way this attachment style is formed is by having a caregiver who is aware of and tends to your needs in childhood.


    • Anxious – You might need constant validation and tend to be clingy in your relationships.  Anxiety spikes when your partner doesn’t text back quickly enough.  The key phrase to describe this attachment style: abandonment issues.  This attachment style is formed when our caregivers are inconsistent – there sometimes and distant at others.


    • Avoidant – You’re afraid to get close with others, so you avoid people altogether and aim to be completely independent.  It’s hard for you to get close to others due to lack of trust based on painful past experiences.  This attachment style formed when our caregivers are dismissive and distant.


    • Fearful-Avoidant – You desperately want to be in a relationship, but you don’t trust anyone.  Therefore, you might have a tendency to dip in and out of unhealthy relationships.  This attachment style forms when our caregivers are neglectful and/or abusive.


    So the final question is: can we change our attachment styles?  The short answer is, yes.  With some self-awareness, elbow grease, and counseling.  The things which happen to us in childhood are what forms our perception of the world later on, so what happens in our pasts are what we come to expect as adults.  If you want to change your attachment style, the first step is awareness about the one you operate by.  The second step is challenging core negative beliefs about ourselves and the world around us (key counseling word: cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT).  If you want to change, then you can, and if you don’t you won’t, simply put.  So which attachment style do you identify with?  What are your strengths in your relationships?  Your growth areas?  Food for thought.


    As always, have a lovely Mindfulness Monday, hope you make some time for some self-care and self-reflection today, tata for now.


    Kristyn Macala, MSEd, LPCC, CCTP, CSOTP

    The Trauma Therapy Company
    (P) 330.397.9878
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      August 11, 2023 at 3:18 am -

      I really enjoy the blog. Much obliged.

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