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  • Allison "Alli" Garner, LMHC

What are Attachment Styles?

Updated: Mar 1

Most recently, the term “Attachment Style” has been flooding social media as the new way to define yourself in a relationship. Many people have seen Tiktok’s or Instagram posts with people proclaiming  “I’m anxiously attached”, or “How to communicate with an avoidant partner.” But what do these terms actually mean? 

In the beginning, attachment styles were initially labeled via attachment theory-a psychological framework for understanding behavior in humans. Through experiments, scientists were able to observe young babies with their caregivers and label their behavior as “secure”, “anxious”, or “avoidant.” As science progressed, these labels evolved towards defining adult behavior in both romantic and platonic relationships. 

As humans, our attachment styles are a blend of both our individual emotional temperament, and also the influence of our parental home (ie: nature and nurture). These attachment styles will influence the way we communicate with others, influence the amount of physical affection we crave, and also the way we give and receive feedback. 

In our therapeutic practice, our clients will often discuss the struggles they have with communicating with their partners. As a clinician, I will often turn to attachment styles as a way for clients to begin “decoding” the way they need to connect. When a client fundamentally understands themselves, they can then begin to utilize the information they have to advocate for their needs. 

Over the course of the next 4 weeks, this blog series will provide an introduction on exactly how attachment styles influence our relationships and how they are defined. 

If you are interested in further information on this topic, I highly recommend  “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Keep And Find Love” by Amir Levine.

This book not only contains a self assessment, but also does an amazing job of taking attachment theory science and translating it into language that the average individual can understand.

Additionally, if you'd like to work with a counselor on better understanding your attachment style, please call Boca Behavioral Health at 561-961-9077.

Alli is currently accepting a limited number of new clients, and she'd love to help!

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