Attachment Theory

Attachment theory, first developed by John Bowlby, is a psychology concept focused on the importance of attachment in relation to personal development. According to Bowlby’s theory, attachment is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that begins at birth and continues through the first years of life. Fundamental to attachment theory is the belief that a child's relationship with the primary caregiver (usually the mother), affects their attachment style for the rest of their life. Unresolved or insecure attachment issues experienced in early childhood can have a negative impact on relationships into adulthood. A therapist who specializes in attachment theory can help.  Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today!

Meet the specialists

This is a theory I am learning more and more about. I am supervised by someone who is an attachment therapist. Our earliest attachments inform the rest of our relationships as we repeat past mistakes or intentionally change our way of thinking in order to form more secure attachments. I like understanding a client's attachment style in order to help them improve their relationship dynamics.

— Marisa Zavala, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Anaheim Hills, CA
 

I have training in development and attachment theory and my dissertation was on the role of attachment style and clinician self efficacy and empathy. I have also received training in Theraplay. As an adoptee and adoptive parent, i draw heavily from attachment theory in my own life and am particularly drawn to the work of John Bowlby. Attachment theory impact social psychology, evolutionary psychology and clinical psychology.

— Gina/GinaMarie Dattilo, Psychologist in Exton, PA

Attachment Theory is about discovering that how a person was cared for & related to in their early years still effects them today especially in close relationships. When we were young we learned if the world was safe or not. To make us feel safe we isolated or became people pleasers. These patterns continue on into adulthood & can be very disruptive in all relationships. There are ways to feel emotionally safe so you can thrive.

— Kathleen Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I have been trained as a Foundational Level Theraplay practitioner which is a modality that focuses on attachment and aims on forming stronger relationships within the family unit.

— Christine M. Valentin, Clinical Social Worker in Middlesex, NJ

Attachment Theory is about discovering that how a person was cared for & related to in their early years still effects them today especially in close relationships. When we were young we learned if the world was safe or not. To make us feel safe we isolated or became people pleasers. These patterns continue on into adulthood & can be very disruptive in all relationships. There are ways to feel emotionally safe so you can thrive.

— Kathleen Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Attachment informs our relationships. Our orientation to relationships informs our anxieties and family conflict. Our bonds inform our grief. An understanding of attachment is essential to our work in grief, conflict, and anxiety.

— Helen Dempsey-Henofer, Clinical Social Worker in Charlottesville, VA

Attachment Theory is at the heart of interpersonal functioning. In my three years of psychotherapeutic practice, I have implemented this theory in conceptualizing and planning treatment for clients.

— Madeline Turner, Counselor in Austin, TX
 

I love Attachment Theory! It is almost always a part of my work with any person, couple or family. I believe that we feel and function our best when we have secure relationships with the people and institutions around us. When we don’t feel secure, life is harder. I work to identify how to have healthy, secure attachments and work on grieving when that isn’t possible.

— Sarah Bonilla, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Redlands, CA

I have taken specific somatic attachment based therapies and regularly receive ongoing consultation.

— Jessica Dyer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA
 

Many of us have not received the love, comfort, and understanding that we need. This often occurred early in life, and that has set us up for pain in the ways we try to relate to others and get our needs met in relationship. You may have heard of the "anxious attachment style" or the "avoidant attachment style." My interest in working with you would be to create a safe place to be authentically you, no matter what. I do this by listening to you as deeply as I can, tending to you, being with you.

— Lisa Wenninger, Counselor in teletherapy only, CA

Over the past several years, I have found that exploring the theory of Attachment with some of my clients can help us understand the relational dynamics through our ongoing relationships such as; family, life-long friends, and thier romantic relationships, to name a few. Attachment theory can be very insightful, as it helps us see how we relate to the world and how we perceive other people in our lives.

— Uriah Cty M.A., LMFT # 121606, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

Once again, I have attended many training in attachment and believe the foundation of the work is rooted in our early childhood attachments and caregivers.

— Sarah Kourouma, Clinical Social Worker in , TX

The template for how we experience being in relationships is formed in our earliest interactions with primary caretakers. This template guides much of what we expect to happen in our current relationships. The good news is that this template can be gently explored and changed. With my support and direction, you can work in mindfulness to study the subtle urges to move toward or away from the people you care about and learn how to set appropriate boundaries and take appropriate emotional risks.

— Melissa Yeary, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I provide Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), the gold standard treatment for child disruptive behaviors. PCIT was developed through UC Davis Children’s Hospital and has been shown by 40 years of research and 100’s of studies to effective for children as young as 12 months and as old as 10 years. A recent study has even shown PCIT to be more effective for disruptive behavior than stimulant medication.

— DC Hamilton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Claremont, CA

As an attachment therapist, I am well versed in the needs of babies and children and the ways these create trauma and future problems as adults. If our parents did not teach our brains how to regulate our emotions, we do not magically gain these skills later, and often experience trauma or anxiety as a result. In couples & parenting work I help couples/parents recognize and unlearn the attachment styles they learned as children showing up in their relationship to be effective partners & parents.

— Linnea Logas, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Minneapolis, MN