Secure attachment, answers these questions in the affirmative; “Do I matter to you? Will you be there for me if I fall? Will you hold my hand if I'm sick?" According to Dr. Sue Johnson, secure attachment is a natural element in healthy relationships.
Think of happy children. They have secure attachment to their parent(s).
However, without secure attachment in our intimate relationships, the alarm system in our brain continuously goes off, causing us to feel “in danger.” This alarm signals the rest of the body to be on high alert, to fight or flight. Our response to this internal warning may be to become demanding and clingy or withdrawn and detached from our significant relationships. However, at the core we're yelling, "I need you, please be with me" or "I’m going to protect myself and I won’t let you hurt me."
Lack of “secure attachment” can be the cause of many presenting issues that walk through my therapy practice doors. It drive people to marriage & relationship counseling and individual therapy. But, it’s often disguised as something else: anxiety, worry, fighting or depression.
Often when couples and individuals come to therapy, they ignore their normal human need to be emotionally close, as this might somehow define them as co-dependent, needy or weak. Instead they focus on the actions or re-actions that present from their insecure attachments ie. anger, fighting, bad communication, anxiety or depression.
Once we understand the importance of our attachments, we can begin to make significant changes in our life and relationships.