Attachment Styles Therapist

Terrified at the thought of having a personality disorder? It does feel scary to be told that there is something fundamentally wrong with your personality as a whole. That’s why I find it useful to identify and work with your attachment style as the focus.

Working with your attachment style is a lot less threatening and a lot more actionable than diagnosing you with a personality disorder that makes you doubt yourself even more than you already do.

Think of it as venn diagrams. If you have an insecure attachment style, it’s not necessary that you have a personality disorder; but if you have a personality disorder, your attachment style could definitely use some work.

What is an attachment style?

It is the quality of our bond to our primary caregiver (usually the mother) that forms between the ages of 0-1.5 years. If we feel safe and secure in this attachment, we are able to distinguish between our feelings and those of people around us. We know not to take everything personally, we know our boundaries and are able to use our words to assert them.

Instead, if we have a preoccupied anxious attachment style, we go through life feeling like we’re always in the wrong, never good enough, and other people’s feelings are our responsibility. This makes us panicky about being abandoned and leads to clinging behaviour that drives people away, hence creating a painful self-fulfilling prophecy.

Someone with a fearful avoidant attachment style will want to experience emotional intimacy, but feel as though they will be consumed if they get close to someone else. This will result in a pattern of approach-avoidance, or push-pull as they alternately get close to and run away from another person.

Lastly, a dismissive avoidant attachment style will show up as withdrawing from intimacy altogether, thinking you don’t need it and are better off without it. This kind of attachment style can keep you from seeking and experiencing real closeness altogether.

Types of Attachment Styles

Anxious attachment

If you're preoccupied with a fear of abandonment and end up pushing people away when you need them the most, read on!

Avoidant attachment

If you think you'd like emotional intimacy but find closeness suffocating, leaving you half-in and half-out, read on!

How I can help

In therapy, we will work together to identify your attachment style, your triggers for fight, flight or freeze behaviour, and how you can self-soothe when you feel yourself getting triggered. We will also work on your communication skills, so you can use your words instead of acting-out and getting carried away into repetitive patterns of self-sabotaging behaviour that make healthy relationships impossible for you.