Attachment Explained

What is attachment and how does it work in us? It appears to be an innate process, present for our lifetime; we are biologically pre-programmed to form attachments to others. It is also universal across cultures; strengthening the theory that attachment is evolutionary and helps us to survive. John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, defined attachment as “a lasting, psychological connectedness between human beings.” 

But what does it mean to have a secure attachment? When an infant begins to feel securely attached to someone, it allows them to begin exploring their world and establishing their sense of self. Secure attachment equals a safe base. Establishing a safe base requires the elements of stability, consistency, attunement and responsiveness. If an infant feels cared for, they begin to form secure bonds to their caregiver(s) which allows them to feel accepted and safe. Although the attachment system remains with us for our lifetime, it is within the first five years that our attachment style is formed dependent on our caregivers and their ability to connect with us.

Tomorrow we will look more closely at the elements of establishing a secure attachment.

Photo credit: http://Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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