WHAT IS ATTACHMENT?
Does this sound familiar? “Something is wrong and I’m not exactly sure what,” “My life is basically okay but I’m still unhappy,” “I feel stuck and I don’t know why.”
If you feel like you are getting stuck in problematic patterns of thinking and feeling, attachment therapy might be right for you. Attachment is how you learn to relate to yourself and others from a very young age. Everyone can benefit from this kind of therapy because everyone has attachment wounds. A natural part of being a human is that caregivers struggle to meet all of our needs.
If you come from a chaotic childhood home, you might have spent years dealing with feeling unsafe or uncared for. Perhaps you find that this translates into unstable or chronically problematic relationships.
Even if you come from a relatively stable household, you might find that there are subtle patterns in your work, relationships, and life that make you unhappy.
Some common patterns that might tell you that attachment therapy is right for you are if you tend to:
- Take on everything at work and have trouble getting help when you need it
- Chose partners that are emotionally distant or neglectful
- Feel like you are always performing and have trouble feeling genuinely connected to others
- Have a hard time feeling your emotions and feel threatened by vulnerability
- Feel angry under the surface but struggle to show it
- Wish that you had a better sense of your boundaries
- Feel chronically un-included and misunderstood
- Struggle to ask directly for what you need
Attachment wounds happen to everyone and they can show up in partner relationships, work responsibilities, and how you think about yourself. For many people, attachment wounds are so subtle that you don’t even know they’re there. Sometimes, it takes a major life shift or feeling fed up with a chronic sense of “something’s not right” to identify that there’s a problem.
ATTACHMENT WOUNDS CREATE DEEP BELIEFS
Attachment wounds are like raindrops on rock. If something painful happens a few times, it leaves no impression. But attachment wounds usually happen thousands of times and leave us with deeply held beliefs about ourselves and how the world works. Some examples of these beliefs include:
- It’s not safe to be vulnerable
- Other people won’t really be able to help me so I have to do everything myself
- I have to perform to be noticed or loved
- It’s not okay to be angry
- I’m not allowed to make mistakes
- I can never rest, I have to always be doing
- I will never be accepted
- I can’t have my own thoughts and feelings, I have to do what other people want
If any of these beliefs sound familiar, attachment therapy might be right for you.
"BUT I HAVE A GOOD FAMILY"
Even the best parents are still human. Humans have blind spots that can impact their children. It’s important to emphasize that your parents probably did the very best they could and to simultaneously acknowledge that your pain is real. Using this gentle, non-blaming approach we can get to the root of your painful life patterns, heal loneliness and shame, and allow you to live a life that has more comfort, connection, and freedom.
Many people realize that they need help healing their early attachment wounds because they start noticing problems in their romantic relationships. For some, it seems like the same problems keep popping up again and again. You might have heard your partners say one of the following:
- “It’s like I never know what you’re thinking or feeling”
- “You’re a workaholic and I always feel like I come second to whatever project you have”
- “It feels like you depend on me for everything and if I back off a little, you fall apart"
- “I feel like I’m walking on eggshells and I’m always afraid to upset you”
Or you might have noticed that you feel:
- Chronically rejected by partners and afraid of being abandoned
- Like it’s all on you and you have to do all the heavy lifting in the relationship
- Distant from your partner even though you care about them, like it’s hard to let them in
- Like it’s hard to communicate your true feelings
Attachment therapy can get to the root of these problems and heal the pain that you have been carrying around. I can teach you new ways to deal with old problems and allow you to feel like you are in charge of your emotions and your life again. You can feel less lonely and more connected.
HOW ATTACHMENT THERAPY HELPS
Attachment therapy has two parts. First, we collaboratively create coping skills that you can use in your daily life to cope with stress and problematic patterns. This can include:
- Helping you create and hold healthy boundaries
- Feeling more stable in your emotions
- Asking for what you need
- Feeling less stretched-thin and stressed out
Attachment therapy teaches you to feel more in control of your life and emotions. If you’ve worked on these skills before, but it doesn’t “stick” or you feel like it doesn’t go deep enough, attachment therapy might be right for you.
The second part of attachment therapy involves accessing the parts of you that have held onto hurt and to provide healing to those parts. Using cutting-edge mindfulness techniques, we can heal old wounds and provide care that you needed long ago. Backed by neuroscience, this work can actually change how your brain talks to itself and can reduce patterns of negative thought and emotion while helping you feel more connected and loved.