Change Your Attachment Style to Have a Better Life

attachment style

What if we could identify the filter that shapes our perception of the world and change it so as to have a better life?  We are born into the social context of our families and quickly need to /develop strategies to get our needs met by our caretakers. Depending on our early emotional environment, we make the best adaptation to get our needs met by the potential caretakers we have available to us, usually our parents or other relatives. We are incredibly adaptive creatures, which is quite possibly our most unique feature as humans. Our early interactions create internal working models of how our future relationships will transpire and of how we will go about getting our needs met. Research has demonstrated that these childhood relationships shape our perceptions of others and our understanding of their minds and motives.  These internal working models also influence the ways others are likely to treat us and perceive us. They impact our ability to self-regulate and tolerate our emotions and the level of distress we experience.  They contribute to the development of personality disorders and, to a lesser extent, to mental illness in general.

How does this veil through which we experience the world and the world experiences us impact our thoughts, feelings, and behavior?  What is the language of this filter?  I believe it is the “critical inner voice.”  “What’s wrong with me?” is perhaps the most common question I hear patients and friends utter when pondering the mystery of their own behavior patterns. “What scares me away from getting close to someone who really loves me?” “What draws me to desperately long for that person who continually rejects me?” The answers to these questions can frequently be found in a complex combination of unique human experiences, but one factor is a universally accurate determinant of the make up of our adult struggles. Our earliest attachments significantly contribute to the puzzle of how we relate to others in our lives.

The adaptations we make to the interactive relationship between ourselves and our early caretakers impact every area of our lives as adults, from how we parent to how we treat our partner. The particular attachment style we develop strongly colors the lens through which we view the world. It often operates as a subconscious force that can leave us reliving rather than living our lives, recreating in one form or another feelings from our earliest social relationships in our current lives.However, we are not trapped by or locked into our attachment style. Research has demonstrated that these patterns are malleable and can be altered in the context of reparative relationships. We can alter patterns that were at one time the best possible adaptions to our social world, and instead, live our lives based on pursuing our adult goals and desires in a flexible manner. When we stop reliving our past, we adapt to our current life circumstances and create satisfying loving relationships with our partners, our children and our friends.

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We can start by exploring: what is our attachment style? How was it formed and in what ways is it impacting our lives? We can get to know our “critical inner voice,” an internal coach that monitors this filter through which we see the world. Our critical inner voice is the language of these internal working models of relationships and our social world. It encourages us to recreate our early lives through our behavior, both by evoking responses from others and projecting our past on to people in our present lives. Once we have identified this enemy within, we can know what to challenge. It will then be possible to change behaviors and shift the patterns that have kept us stuck in the past, and free ourselves to live fully in the present.

Securely attached individuals grow up feeling safe, seen, secure and soothed. They see their caretakers as a secure base from which they can venture out to explore independently but whom they can always return to for safety or nurturance. Think about a baby crawling around on his own, enjoying the adventure of new discoveries. When something startles him, he can return to his parent for comfort. However, once soothed, he feels comfortable to again go out on his own. People with this type of attachment orientation are adaptive and flexible. They tend to have an easy time in social relationships. In school, they receive more positive reactions from both teachers and peers alike.

A secure attachment is the ideal type of attachment that we would like to form, as adults, with our children, our close friends or our romantic partner. When we have a secure attachment style, we have faith that we can get our needs met by others and we are able to be giving toward others.  We can appropriately depend on others and rely on ourselves. We are capable of and drawn to feeling trust and closeness, but we can also feel secure within ourselves separate from others.

Insecurely attached individuals did not feel security in their early relationships and developed different adaptations to attempt to get their needs met. In one style, called anxious attachment in children and ambivalent or preoccupied attachment in adults, the individual learned that to get his or her needs met by staying focused on the caregiver and remaining in their proximity; eventually they will meet the child’s needs.

Preoccupied individuals have a more frantic, less confident approach to getting their needs met by others. They tend to act clingy or needy, because their needs were inconsistently met as children. They may have had a parent who sometimes met their needs, but at other times acted out of their own needs or was intrusive with the child. These unresolved issues from childhood play out in their present day relationships, making them feel anxious and insecure, even when there is no need to feel this way. Think about the person who is constantly jealous or overly worried about his partner’s whereabouts, or the person who never believes her spouse really loves her and constantly seeks reassurance. Another way a person might recreate this pattern in their adult relationships is to unconsciously be drawn to partners who are inconsistently available, thus recreating the feeling of their early environment. In essence, they can maintain their defended posture; they may feel miserable but in an old familiar way.

An individual with a dismissing attachment style has the opposite way of relating. They have learned early on that the best way to get their needs met is to act like they don’t have any. As adults, they often act pseudo-independent, taking care of themselves and acting like they don’t need anything from others.  They rarely have many memories of their childhood, or they will write off whatever took place in their childhood as not mattering. These people often resist seeking out connection or closeness and avoid feeling dependent on others.

So, once we identify our attachment style, what can we do about it? There are a few primary ways to alter your attachment style. One is by getting into a long-term relationship with someone with a healthier attachment style than your own. The second is by making sense of your past through the process of writing a coherent narrative. Writing a coherent narrative help you understand how your childhood experiences are still affecting you in your life today. In my online course with Dr. Dan Siegel, we walk you through the process of creating a coherent narrative to help you to build healthier, more secure attachments and strengthen your own personal sense of emotional resilience.When you create a coherent narrative, you actually rewire your brain to cultivate more security within yourself and your relationships.

The third way to alter your attachment style is by entering into psychotherapy. Therapy helps, because good therapy itself offers a secure attachment. In the therapeutic relationship, you ideally feel both safe and seen. In addition, therapy can help a person identify the filter they see the world through, challenge their critical inner voices and the defenses they formed to deal with emotional pain in their earliest relationships.

For example, if you have a preoccupied attachment style, you can learn to identify and get a hold of your insecurities and moments of anxiety. You can become aware of the critical inner voices that are fueling these feelings and come to recognize the internal working models that are informing your perception of the situation. You can learn techniques to calm down within yourself rather than acting out toward your partner and potentially hurting the relationship. You can start to develop a new image of yourself and trust in others.

Furthermore, psychotherapy helps you to do the most valuable thing you can do when it comes to living life free of the more negative impositions of your history; it enables you to create a coherent narrative, so that you can both understand your past and evolve in the present. This process involves both making sense of your story and feeling the full pain of your childhood. Only then, can you truly start to change the lens through which you see the world or the model for how you relate. Instead of unconsciously replicating your childhood, reformulating similar attachments to those you had as a kid, you can reshape your relationships to be what you want them to be. A healthy, secure relationship will further reshape your attachment model, as you have the lived experience of relating to a trusting, caring, attuned partner. You can begin to see the world in a more realistic light, rather than taking on the point of view of your critical inner voice. You can form healthier relationships and live the life you imagined, not the one prescribed to you from your past.

To learn more about how to write a coherent narrative and develop an earned secure attachment, join Dr. Lisa Firestone and Dr. Daniel Siegel for the online course “Making Sense of Your Life: Understanding Your Past to Liberate Your Present and Empower Your Future.”

attachment style

About the Author

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. Dr. Lisa Firestone is the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association. An accomplished and much requested lecturer, Dr. Firestone speaks at national and international conferences in the areas of couple relations, parenting, and suicide and violence prevention. Dr. Firestone has published numerous professional articles, and most recently was the co-author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships (APA Books, 2006), Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice (New Harbinger, 2002), Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy (APA Books, 2003) and The Self Under Siege (Routledge, 2012). Follow Dr. Firestone on Twitter or Google.

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Hello my name maria my ex husband and I have been divorced for a 12months in June but separated for 2 years I loved husband I will always will I have forgave him but will never forget living with him in the beginning was ok but
Things got sour he started controlling hated my daughter he stole from me and then on the top of it slept with another
Woman I was so hurt by it and up till even though I. Trieng to get on with my life dated other guys they don’t last it’s
Trust value now I’ve lost my self esteem I have a few health issues now. The big question I want to ask that he
Lives near me not far and I see him quite often and I see him with a lady my hart aches and I feel so sick in the
Stomach that I feel like vomiting every time I see him with his flossy then for a couple of days I feel depressed
Why do I feel like that can you please tell me I was a good wife to him loved him I was loyal to him just want for you to answer my question so I gave better understanding regards maria


You are just feeding a circle/system of abuse. It might hurt but you are better off now than with your former partner.
It seems like you gave too much into this past relationship. Love YOURSELF a bit more, at this moment you are your number one priority. It is to ok to be a bit selfish and it feels like it is a good time to love yourself and nurture yourself.
I wish you the best.



I found that by giving to others in my dark moments it helps lift my spirits. I give smile, greetings like “I hope you have a great day” or helping lift uplift someone’s spirits at work helps.

Danita Bond

I have known for a while that i have an anxious attachment style/ and i really would like to become secure attached.
Iam unable to get support from my partner because of distance and complications. But even if i were not with someone i really want to become secure attached.
I find that i have too sides sometimes im extremely chilled and in the moment i love when iam like that then i get anxious and feel like the inner child of me cries and it is very emotionally draining.

Id like to not rely on someone a partner to help me be secure …id like to do it on my own ..ive been seeing a counsellor for afew years and it has helped me over come some issues and understand myself better…. i read that phycotherapy would be another option to help me become secure attached..are there any other things i can do to change my attachment style on my own?


I’m just wondering if it is possible that your attachment style can change in the middle of your life? With my last partner I was very secure and we had no problems, except that he worked too much but he died in front of me while I was trying my best to save his life. Since then I have become the preoccupied person who is extremely needy and when I don’t get what I need he’d better watch out. I hate who I’ve become and my fiance is starting to feel really frustrated with me.

Forever Preoccupied

I am 100% preoccupied attachment style, I had a childhood with horrible emotional abuse. I have been trying my HARDEST to stop being so needy/jealous/non trusting… but it is SO hard. I keep reading how ‘yes you CAN change your attachment style’ but it just feels like for ME….changing is impossible and will never happen… it doesn’t feel like the anxious fear I get is a ‘choice’ that I can change…it is such a deep rooted instinct. I am currently seeing a counselor, (have seen so many different ones throughout my life). And I always feel great coming out of my appointments, like I can take on the world! But first time a trigger happens…I lose ALL ‘coping skills…cognitive ideas…breathing techniques..etc etc’ and immediately go into panic anxiety fearfulness… so tired of living like this 🙁


I am EXACTLY like this too. What kinds of therapies have you completed? A lot of the borderline symptoms seem to be the same as these, and I was diagnosed borderline, but when I read the descriptions of having the attachment disorder, it fits me like a glove. Lots of the borderline symptoms are strange to me, so I don’t think I really have that. It’s just that any shrink who sees a woman who cuts, they slap the borderline label on you.
Also- check out endorphin deficiency syndrome and treating that with low dose naltrexone. That’s not 100 percent of your problems, but it’s likely that since you were abused, your brain has developed differently and I suspect that with a shrunken cortical layer and hippocampus, etc, it’s very possible that abused people also have endorphin deficiency, which may be why so many abuse victims become addicted. Food for thought. Good luck, sweetheart.


I’ve been married for 12 years and my Wife got together at a very young age, we have 3 children together, I’ve always been insecur and jealous, it is now that I understand I have a preoccupied attachment, I get this from the day my father left at a very young age, my wife is very secure and sociable witch in my mind has always meant she was not interested in me, I want to salvage my relationship I will start seeing a therapist I want to know what else I can do to continue to improve my situation I don’t know if you can help me with this but it would be greatly appreciated

Ruth d

I sabotaged my 6 year relationship with the love of my life. I’m s over. I’m 54 and sick of my problem. Finally realized it late in life now after two failed relationships. How can I g t an appointment with dr. Firestone?


Dr. Firestone has a private practice in Santa Barbara and also sees patients over Skype. You can find information on how to reach her at her webiste:


I hadnt realized that i had an anxious preoccupie attachment disorder until yesterday when mu significant other said that i needed to “chill” out. We want to work through this and i think this article really helped us

Ce'Jade Myers

Hi!! It’s kinda funny to me because I just found out I have an anxious attachment by googling is it normal to feel insecure during a relationship this explains all my relationship in the past. But, I’m kind of scared to tell my mom about this and that I need therapy. I’m only 16 !!!


Start therapy now while your brain is still developing. It’s more plastic now than it will be later in life and you don’t want to be insecure all your life. It ruins so much. If you’re afraid to ask your mom, talk to the school counselor or just start emailing counselors in your area. Tell them your situation and maybe they can refer you to some free counseling somewhere in your area. It can be hard to find help sometimes, but keep trying. Eventually someone will know where to refer you. It’s been scientifically proven that abuse can cause a kind of brain damage, but that damage is far easier to fix when you’re young since your brain is still developing. Good luck sweetheart. I’m sure if you’re resourceful enough to find this page, then you will be able to get help for yourself.


My attachment style was ambivalent and my wife had an anxious attachment style. We both went to individual therapy, specifically for those attachment issues. Let me say, that feeling securely attached to her and all my relationships is life altering. No one recognizes her or I because we are nearly different people. I was always closed and emotionally guarded, which was subconsciously reinforced-I had no idea my lenses were so colored to see negativity in the world. She was emotionally diffused, never centered. We have learned how to fall in love, trust, and be vulnerable, which created the condition for being each other’s “first” emotional love. Positivity infects our every meeting, love making is fire (biting my lip just thinking about it), the relationship takes far less energy to maintain, we pursue individual interests, give each other the space/autonomy to feel free. The emotional capacity for the relationship, or the ability to do the emotional heavy lifting, is now grounded on a bedrock of trust and vulnerability. The old doubts and insecurities plaguing our outlooks are gone (at least for me) I should ask her about her experience. (I was always closed to the emotional sides of social world. Now that I’ve “plugged in” emotionally, I balance my sensitivity and masculinity with a powerful sense of “this is who and what I am” my confidence and ambition are strong, as is the burning desire to create a secure and loving space for my wife, the one person in this world I mentally, spiritually, physically crave to be around.

If you have an attachment concern, you might be scared, fearful, or other, but know the “grass is much greener” in tbe other side. Oh, something exciting…when we look back at our families and their emotional assumptions, coloring their worldviews, I and her no longer feel familiar with it. It’s like reminiscing about an emotionally alien landscape. The familial dysfunctions affecting our families’ strained relationships-the lack of emotional boundaries, intrusive/insecure behaviors-are thankfully not something we do anymore. The most amazing change is that we don’t “try” to be in a relationship before it took so much energy to be kind, uncontrolling, and “stay together”. The quality of the old relationship style is very poor compared to now. The vulnerability and love pull us together; she says, “I inspire her” which makes my libido crave her for the next four hours. (Sex/lovemaking is amazing now!) I don’t objectify her anymore, truth be told her physical shape is perfect-however it may change. So go see a therapist; it could be the best thing you ever did.


So happy to see two people like me and my partner have worked through this. I hope we can too. As the preoccupied one, I’m obsessing about how to get better.



The changes you describe in your relationship sound amazing. And the emotional growth that you both have experienced. Can you say more about how you changed. How long were you in therapy? How long have you been married ? The story of your marriage is inspiring ! thank you.


Let me say somethings about how I changed and therapy together since both are too integral to separate. This is long, but I’m so happy with how everything has happened, I really want to share it all. My total time in therapy, according to my therapist has not been typical, people usually go for a bit longer.

I started in 2014 after I got back from my honey moon. I started was because something was very wrong that I was so angry and so hateful towards my wife and her “infringing on my autonomy.” What had always bothered me, but had reached a fever pitch on my honeymoon was something I would do called “flipping”. It’s a word devised by my wife to refer to the sudden mood shifts from happy and loving to hateful and loathing that could happen over a few hours, all relative to if I felt too intimate or sensed any rejection. Normally these cycles would happen to me gradually, spread out over many days and transition largely unnoticed.

On the honeymoon we were together for a full 30 days in close proximity, and I was loosing my emotional and mental stability because of it. I knew something was very wrong because I was out of control. My moods were vacillating between love and hate more and more because I didn’t have the ability to find space. Normally if there was anything emotional slight or great, I would retreat to isolation and manage my emotions in solitude. I had lost the ability to exercise my normal coping strategy. Insane for comfort from rage and anger felt for my wife, I spent most of my time researching therapy options because something was wrong with me. I remember sitting in the hotel room and imaging that whatever it was that was the source of my problems, it was very deep seated because it took enormous pressure barely notice to tip of the submerged iceberg. The metaphor would prove accurate over the next year of therapy. What I learned while reading was that after seeing a therapist for enough time our minds automatically project onto the therapist an emotional, relational context that we bring to the sessions. Whatever pathological emotional assumptions my mind was making, it would do the same thing with a professional that could help me. My goal was clear. If I could meet with a therapist and start feeling angry or weird toward them, the way I did with my wife and every other relationship I had, then I might be able to fix my pathology with their help. I started seeing a therapist for four or five months before I started to feel weird and controlling. One night, I remember it well, I woke up around 2:00am fantasizing about manipulating and controlling my therapist for her “intruding in my space.” I felt very angry with her and if felt the same way I felt towards my wife. That sounds crazy. I couldn’t reconcile the apparent contradiction. My therapist and I didn’t spend enough time time together for me to rationally understand what my emotions were doing. Why should I care about my therapist to want to control her behavior. There was no reason at all except that it’s what I did, it’s what I’ve alway done, and would continue to do if I didn’t work really hard to change it. I watched my emotions affecting my rational mind in session: anything to create space between the therapist and I. My avoidant predilections were so, so deeply engrained. For instance, I tried to question the therapeutic interaction: after all I was paying for a service and that meant the interaction was inauthentic, or so I tried to tell myself. If I could morally judge therapy or the therapist less than adequate, it might justify leaving. The key feature was how subtle it starts. There’s a whisper of “what if”. What if she’s only telling me things I want to hear, what if this conversation is monetarily based, or what if her appearance of caring is a lie. The persistent questioning about “what if” logically entailed that after I starting from generalizing, I would infer seeming and act on it out of fear and insecurity. But the whole thing was the same. Watching my cognitive emotional machinery do the same song and dance meant I was completely wrong. (I want to say something about how difficult it was just getting to this point. I COULD NOT have done it or managed the rest of the way without my therapist. Our minds are amazing at avoiding critical analysis. When it comes to questing the very basic emotional assumptions we place onto the world, those things we take for granted and trust, its unnerving to think we’ve (I’ve) been doing it so wrong my entire life. The kind and patient guidance my therapist offered was a second voice, gently leading me.) I worked from a place of total ignorance from then on out. My mind was not to be trusted and I was there to learn. Whatever my therapist said was honored and adhered to without protest. I was there to learn how to do relationship. In that sense it was emotional schooling like college is cognitive schooling. My biggest lesson was trust and vulnerability. I, if it was going to work had to be honest. I told my therapist things about myself that no one knows: shameful things, dishonorable things, sad and painful things. After a couple months of being totally open I had no secrets left, no places to hide, no rationalizations I could employ. One day I left a session early because I felt so embarrassed and so exposed, ashamed. I never had that experience before because I was alway emotionally withdrawn. Gradually every session forced new emotional lessons because there was no possibility for me to hide. After a total of 7 months the “flipping,” mentioned before, stopped. My emotional ability to cut others out desisted, but, but, but, now I was exposed to things I never felt. The best analogy I can think of is in the superman movies after Zod takes off his protective mask, the sounds of earth are deafening and painful to him. The volume on my emotions was turned all the way up. No longer shielded, I was forced to feel, emote and care. I became more of a human being: I could feel which meant I could be hurt and I could not shut people out without feeling profoundly sad. I found that I needed other people. That was the strangest part at first. Before I didn’t need anyone really, now craved social interactions because I became sad and despondent without it. The epiphany was “Oh, that’s why people socialize.” The final challenge was dealing with my wife. As an anxiously attached person, it was not possible for her to trust that I was different. I was, for the first time in our history, reaching out to her for my emotional needs that she couldn’t reciprocate. The implications were staggering. Never had we actually connected beyond our codependency. I was very sad and lonely during this time because not only did I need to feel the love and caring of my wife, but she couldn’t give it even if she wanted to. Her own insecurities blinded her the was mine blinded me, generally speaking. She began seeing a therapist soon after I stated loving her. As much as I loved her, I had very serious thoughts about what our relationship would look like had she not decided to see a therapist. It would not have been a means to emotional flourishing and probably would have not lasted. But she stated trying and that’s all i needed. My pain and loneliness would be temporary and the person I loved so much would be with me for the rest our lives. My wife, as an anxiously attached person, enmeshed her identity with her partner’s. She was ALL about the relationship and to the detriment of her own needs. After I started loving her and stopped trying to control her, the movement and flow of our relationship changed. Without the force of control over her emotional needs for the sake of my needs, she was free to feel. The relationship, as it existed prior, broke and she fell out of the pathological version of love we persisted under for many years. She kicked me out of the house, at the time the pain and anguish was deep, but I later learned why. Going back to how her identity enmeshed with her partner, I had to leave so she could individuate herself, for the first time in her life. Before that time, and unknown to me, she had no sense of emotional individuality, the relationship defined her world, imbued her a sense of purpose, and defined who she was. As I came to learn in therapy: a healthy secure relationship has two components: A sense of “I” and a sense of “us”. My selfish former self was only and “I” and my wife was only an “us”. I learned about “us” by living with her and learning to trust and be vulnerable. She had to figure out on her “I” own who she was, what her purpose was, and who she was relative to the relationship. During this time it was a slow process of getting to know each other again, for the first time really. We learned about each other the way young teens first feel out a first love. It kind of sounds poetic, but please we were as emotionally developed as children for a long time. Sometimes we emotionally fall down, but we’re alway learning and improving, constantly trusting and honoring.

Oh, one more thing. I used to be very controlling with money. I micromanaged my wife and worried about her “messing up.” I never wanted to ever support her, ever. That was before. Now I want to support her if she wants it, I feel proud at the idea and more devoted to her. She honors me through the act of trust involved by permitting herself to depend on me like that. I want to protect her, I want her safe and happy, etc. all that from someone who never gave a crap about anyone.

Visiting our families is a mind blow. Having metaphorical new eyes to witness out old emotional stomping grounds, it’s no surprise about why we came to be who we are. Our families have anxious and avoidant written across all of the relationships, current and past failed marriages. No marriage in my family has ever lasted. Divorce was a fact of life. The possibility that a relationship ever work was mythology. My father is the anxious and my mother was the avoidant. It’s sad because I want to share my new experiences with them. Now i smile and laugh, compared to being an emotional robot, cold and calculating, my Dad and sister don’t trust me sometimes. It’s strange that I bring all these new emotions out in them because of how I emote. My intentions are questioned and some of what I say is taken with suspicion. Before I would’ve been argumentative and controlling toward them. Now I hug and it works much better. Somethings they can relate to, but most of it is too close to home and they become defensive. I just don’t talk about those things that might make them uncomfortable, it’s more respectful of their emotional autonomy and my sense of happiness. Even though my family isn’t perfect, I still love them and find them perfect for me.


Will this is one of the most helpful comments–even moreso than the articles. But it makes me sad (give me time) that any of us have any of these issues, and that with understanding (early on in life, certainly earlier than 48) we’d have and cause much less pain. Alas, this is a defining part of being human. Throw another person in the mix and wow. Dynamic. This is me. These were my relationships, with their own nuances. This is my family, with alcohol and judgment thrown in. We know how to show up in a loving way at times, but the undercurrent is this. “Our families have anxious and avoidant written across all of the relationships, current and past failed marriages.”

I need to explore this more, perhaps with help, but somehow I stumbled on this site, this article, and this comment, and I am grateful. You should share your story–it will help people. Thank you.


Hi Will
Thank you for sharing your amazing transition from Avoidant to Secure attachment with your wife. I am avoidant and only recognised it when another relationship ended in a very dramatic and painful way. The other person is preoccupied so exactly as your wife.
My partner was distressed as i was by my flipping as you describe in a very short space of time. I felt so hostile towards him at times it upset me as i felt out of control. Hes gone and never wants to have contact with me. Can you tell me what type of therapy did you have? Thank you Bernie


Thank you so much for sharing, Will. It’s hard to come by such an eloquent, honest, first-person account of how therapy has helped someone. So helpful.


Will, that was amazing. I’m the ‘before’ you, and it’s great to hear that a person can their life around so dramatically, and in such a (relatively) short time.

Erica Walsh

Thats such an honest reply Will. I am a therapist but am considering taking the Penny Parkes Course which involves attachment issues to a large extent. I have felt very ambivalent even since the interview and I realise this is me directing old ways of being/thinking toward the therapy. Not yet toward the therapist because the relationship is not yet developed. I talked to a friend who said she also felt this way when taking the course. I guess it is normal and natural to revert back to ‘type’ when feeling threatened emotionally and that is part of the transference. But it can be extremely uncomfortable when working through it. Glad you did and I for one am going to attempt the same.



Do you have any recommendations for psychotherapists that deal with these attachment issues in Colorado, or a portal to recommend that has legitimate therapists? My story is similar to Will’s story (in certain ways, with even more baggage). I would greatly appreciate a tried and true therapist. I am only 21, and my inability to have relationships with human beings has become absolutely disappointing and disgusting. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated, unless you do Skype sessions. Please contact me when you get a chance– I would love to be able to help myself.



Thank you so much for sharing, at 40 and many failed relationships only just worked out I have a pre occupied attachment model. I spend unecessary time thinking why did my partner not text me (once I’ve dealt with overcoming this) it’ll be something else. It’s truly horrible to live like this. These thoughts and feelings make me me feel disempowered, amongst many other emotions. Can anyone recommend a course or therapist in london? I’ve tried therapy for a few years and dont think it’s the right one. Thank you

Lesley Earl

the trauma was 5 families 3 different names and 1 failed adoption (8 months old went into failure to thrive).All within the first 18 months of life.
Second adoption at 22 months.
At 60… learned this was Trauma.
Started Trauma therapy at 62 and discovered my attachment style is secure/dismissive. When I learned this I started to laugh hysterically as I flashed with the memories of all the people within my life that I had dismissed.
Currently (and not funny) I realize I need to grieve all that I have lost…and the predominant feeling is anger/rage


Thank you so much for writing this article ! I really appreciate the option you mentioned about creating a narrative to help better understand what we lacked in our childhood and be able to consciously connect it to how we view ourselves now and how we react in relationships. I often find that I do a lot of connecting the dots and becoming consciously aware of what’s going on internally and how that’s negatively or positively affecting some aspect of my behavior, beliefs, reality and attracting certain types of experiences into my life. I think that is why I resonate so well with the narrative method you mentioned and I’m very grateful and excited to delve into that. A lot of articles often only mention psychotherapy which can sometimes, I feel make people feel that they are helpless or cannot help themselves in this area. I am a firm believer that we can always help ourselves in some way as long as we’re focusing on the issue and overcoming it.
Thank you for this insightful, helpful and motivating article !


A healthy, secure relationship will further reshape your attachment model, as you have the lived experience of relating to a trusting, caring, attuned partner. You can begin to see the world in a more realistic light, rather than taking on the point of view of your critical inner voice. You can form healthier relationships and live the life you imagined, not the one prescribed to you from your past.
I feel like this is too good to be true…first how do I find someone secure? In a world where insecure attachments and narcissism are prevalent, also if i’m anxiously attached people might reject me for that even tho i’m trying to change it but left feeling pretty hopeless about creating and maintaining healthy relationships. I haven’t been able to up to now and i’m 33 and about to go through another breakup as i’ve found and avoidantly attached person and we just keep setting each other off!

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