top of page


Attachment is an evolutionary model that explains how humans develop and function in relationships across the lifespan. Attachment science is one of the most researched areas in psychology. 

Essentially, our Attachment Style is formed in response to the emotional quality of the relationship provided to us by our primary caregivers. Early attachment experiences organize the internal worlds of us all. 

Not only do our attachment experiences shape how we are in relationships, they also extend to how we treat ourselves- this includes our ability to notice when we are suffering and also our response to our emotional needs (or we may have learned to be insensitive to our emotional needs).

Although our early attachment experiences do not necessarily have to define us, they set us up with a ‘template for relating’ to Self and Others, which ultimately becomes either an asset or risk factor in terms of our resilience to stress. We now know from decades of research that early attachment experiences heavily influence an adult’s susceptibility to mental health difficulties.

Attachment styles are ADAPTIVE behaviours from an earlier stage of  life based on our upbringing. Although these behaviours may no longer serve us, they may be carried forward into adulthood. In other words, a child who is taught that relationships are untrustworthy or even frightening naturally learns to have SELF-PROTECTIVE behaviours in all of their relationships. This is not our fault – and it is completely understandable from a survival instinct perspective.

If you learned in childhood that relationships are conditional, shaming, unstable, threatening, withdrawing or rejecting, it may cause you to be uncertain about relationships and this may lead to behaviors typical of the three non-secure attachment styles (anxious, avoidant, or disorganized behaviors). This is not your fault. These emotional reactions and their resulting protective behaviors are an understandable adaptive response to feeling insecure (or unsafe) in an important relationship during a critical stage of our development.

bottom of page