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Ivana Hardy MBACP
Knowing your Attachment Style
Can Help You
If you are struggling with patterns of chaotic relationships, therapy can help you relate in healthy ways, to achieve greater connection.
Attachment patterns developed in the first two years of life, can be observed decades later, in our interactions with others. How our parents attune to us, mirror our feelings, validate our needs, shapes our neural pathways, and our
capacity to regulate feelings.
Children have little choice but to base their understanding and strategies of dealing with their reality on what they experience at home. By identifying your
attachment pattern, it can help you relate in healthier ways, that better serve you.
Knowing how your attachment style impacts your relationships, can help .....
Secure attachment patterns have experienced being nurtured and attuned to, providing a reliable and supportive base, helping regulate the nervous system. Growing up felt safe, and as adults they choose people who have successful relationships.
Anxious attachment styles experienced patterns of inconsistent parenting, where environments may have been in a state of hyperarousal or high conflict, irritated and anxious. Experiencing the world as unsafe, children aren’t given the chance to self-regulate in healthy ways, and in turn, they attach to anxious adults, needing continual reassurance.
Fearful of being abandoned, often they seek out people who they are least likely to achieve that security with, and for anxious styles, developing and moving forward, means not acting out of fear and communicating directly.
Avoidant attachment styles, have experienced parents who were unreliable and self-involved, in a state of hypoarousal, and depend on no-one but oneself. Growing up relationships didn't feel safe. Usually feeling numb and emotionally shut down, they don’t expect to get their needs meet and so, don’t need.
Having fears of engulfment and being uncomfortable with intimacy means keeping partners at a safe distance. For avoidant styles, this means walls need to come down, to be able to meet their partner, when needed.
By slowing down the interactional process, the possibility for validation and understanding opens up. Having the chance to observe one's feelings while remaining calm, allows feeling and thinking centers to collaborate.
The therapeutic process involves making early implicit memories explicit,
by helping individuals become more aware of their experience, and in turn, helping them learn how to emotionally regulate between chaotic and rigid patterns or low and high emotional states.
Working with a counsellor can help partners to effectively and successfully use one another for regulation. Conflict offers an opening to work through, to restore communication.
The avoidance of conflict can fuel self-sabotaging patterns, and with partners, arguments are less about what, than the two emerging patterns engaging in attempts to achieve greater intimacy.
When you experience being validated by your partner, when this happens without expectation of an outcome or direction, it can transform relationships. Effective communication means no blame, yelling, telling the other what to do, and no talking another out of their experience.
As long as communication is based on emotional intensity or detachment, the potential for connection is missed. Having the self-awareness to notice the subtle difference, to recognise your own triggers and feelings of overwhelm, can help you understand and inform more self-compassionate ways of being.
The awareness of these skills isn't meant to resolve relationship difficulties, rather than you become empowered through a deeper understanding.
Responding in any relationship, carries a responsibility to the other, and not for. With response & ability, your ability to respond is limitless.
Mind & Body
Taking an empowered stance toward our own mind, our sensations, feelings and reactions in the moment, requires attention to our own experience.
We are most able to develop and understand ourselves when we come into direct contact with our experience. Tracking subtleties of our breath and our emotional experience can provide us with a deepening sense of self.
To regulate the nervous system and self-soothe, using resources such as listening to internal responses, mindful noticing, creative drawing, goal setting, breathing techniques, journaling or a simple walking and breathing practice, can provide you with more space and freedom.
Breathing is the simplest and most profound thing we do, and thinking of the body as being akin to a memory, where attachment blueprints make it difficult to connect with others. Having a mindful breathing practice can bring about a soothing and calming effect.
By bringing attention back to your bodily sensations and your breathing, simply noticing where we feel tension and unease in our bodies, can open up pathways for beginning anew.