Attachment-Based Therapy involves learning how our early attachment experiences with our primary caregivers (such as parents or adoptive parents) influence our current patterns of emotions, communications and relationships. This approach is based on Attachment Theory, developed by British Psychologist John Bowlby. Our earliest relationships have an effect on the relationship we have with ourselves, and our relationships we have with others. Without secure relationships in our early life, we may struggle with intense emotions or have difficulties connecting with others, leading to anxiety or depression.
This form of therapy can be helpful for those who find themselves getting into repeated difficulties with the people in their lives, or anyone who would like to have a deeper understanding of themselves.
Attachment-Based Therapy is not just about talking about the past. Once these ‘attachment or relational’ patterns have been identified, this therapy is mainly present-focused, where we would collaboratively notice when these patterns emerge, and identify the obstacles that get in the way of how we want to be. It involves taking practical steps towards improving the relationship we have with ourselves and others. This therapy provides a safe setting where we can be supported to communicate any feelings, thoughts, or experiences that we may not have been able to talk about before. Moving towards greater openness and closeness.
The most important element of therapy is building a trusting and supportive therapeutic relationship. The therapy relationship is often a mirror to attachment patterns in other significant relationships, both past and present. Noticing the patterns that may emerge within the therapy relationship enables people to build their awareness of themselves and of their relationships with others. It is through this understanding that we can move closer to the knowing what we want to change.