As a child the feeling of safety counteracts fear. If there is no feeling of safety, anxiety – the mother of all emotional pain – takes hold. Anxiety is rooted in the feeling of being alone in the face of danger. Because the feeling is unbearable, defenses soon arise to reestablish safety where the attachment relationship was unable to do so.
Children, being wonderfully creative, are capable of conjuring unlimited ways to maintain the attachment bonds that fend off anxiety. As we grow older theses clever coping strategies become internalized. In other words, they become unconscious blueprints of being.
Some ways of being are healthy and adaptive, while others keep us from fully experiencing life as we’d like to. Without full access to our emotional world, the internal compass used to navigate through the murky waters of relationships becomes compromised.
Many children had the big task of having to manage intense feelings without a map of how to make it back to the caregiver. Bumping into unforeseen life obstacles, children invariably suffer what are called “attachment injuries”.
The therapeutic work of attachment provides a second chance to heal these wounds. It only takes one relationship with an understanding other to transform the impact of trauma. From there, awareness generates change. Therapy is about taking that healing journey together.
Attachment Style Questionnaire
Understanding your attachment style can be beneficial for personal work. If your interested to know more about your attachment style a quick questionnaire is available on-line for free. It’s not a formal assessment, though it should provide you with a good sense of what is likely your attachment style.