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Understanding Attachment Theory

What are attachment bonds? 

Attachment bonds are the types of connections that tend to be established in close relationships throughout our lives. These bonds are most evident and important in relationships with caregivers, family, close friends, and romantic partners. In other words, these bonds are not present in all relationships; rather, they typically develop in relationships we depend on, or that fulfill our basic needs. For this reason, when one of these relationships lacks a secure attachment bond, many difficulties can arise. 

This concept is what inspired psychologists to collaborate and develop ‘Attachment Theory.’ The theory posits that the need for bonds with other humans is an innate quality. So much so that when these bonds are not secure, social, emotional, and cognitive problems are likely to develop. Furthermore, Attachment Theory posits that when these issues are not addressed in childhood, they can translate into relationships in adulthood. Together, psychologists have discovered four common “attachment styles” in different populations throughout all stages of life:

  • Secure Attachment

  • Avoidant Attachment

  • Anxious Attachment

  • Disorganized Attachment

It is important to recognize what attachment style(s) characterizes yourself or your relationships. By doing so you can begin to uncover where problems or disagreements may stem from, how best to handle these, and how to better communicate in the future. 

Would you like to discover your attachment style and its associated characteristics?


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