Attachment Styles

Attachment Theory identifies several attachment styles that describe how individuals relate to others based on their early experiences with caregivers. These styles include:

  • Secure Attachment: Characterized by a healthy balance of intimacy and independence. Securely attached individuals feel comfortable with closeness and are able to depend on others while also being self-sufficient.
  • Anxious Attachment: Marked by a high need for approval and closeness, often accompanied by fear of abandonment. Anxiously attached individuals may become overly dependent on their partners and experience intense worry about their relationships.
  • Avoidant Attachment: Involves a preference for emotional distance and self-reliance. Avoidantly attached individuals may struggle with intimacy and have difficulty trusting others.
  • Disorganized Attachment: Reflects a lack of consistent attachment behaviour, often resulting from traumatic or unpredictable caregiving. Individuals with disorganized attachment may exhibit a mix of anxious and avoidant behaviours.

Internal Working Models

These are the mental representations that individuals form about themselves and others based on their early attachment experiences. Internal working models influence how people perceive and respond to relationships throughout their lives. A secure internal working model, for example, leads to positive expectations and healthy relational behaviours, while insecure models can result in difficulties in trust and intimacy.

Understanding these fundamental concepts of Attachment Theory provides valuable insights into the emotional dynamics of relationships. By recognizing and addressing attachment styles, individuals and couples can work towards healthier, more secure connections.