Attachment theory is supported by a substantial body of research that illustrates how we grow, develop and change within the context of relationships. In this theory the word attachment denotes an emotional bond to another person. John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist (1907-1990) pioneered studies and research on Attachment that continue to this day proving that the earliest bonds formed between infants and their caregivers have a tremendous impact which continues throughout life. This can be seen from an evolutionary perspective, whereby universal inborn traits and tendencies serve to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child’s chances of survival. In addition to biological survival there are also important social and emotional functions which attachment serves. We now know that a secure attachment relationship between an infant and caregiver results in a healthy foundation of trust, safety, comfort and love that allows an infant to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally.
Attachment theory was expanded upon in the 1980’s to include adult relationships. Over 25 years of research on how adult bonds are formed and maintained is the foundation for Emotionally Focused Therapy (“EFT”). My ongoing EFT training and study, helps me to work with couples and families who are stuck or in distress to learn how to move through these difficulties and cultivate more loving, connected, safe relationships. Finally, it makes sense how and why couples and families get stuck in repetitive, negative interactions. As a therapist, it is a great relief to see that there is a solid and viable map, based on decades of research and practice, to help move couples and families out of stuck or destructive places towards a healthful, secure and loving connection.