Sunday, September 21, 2014

Attachment style

Attachment is a major, but a still controversial concept to understand our mentality.

Many psychologists agree with the hypothesis that we establish our own style of attachment during our childhood. We have a great opportunity to learn about the mutual relationship from our parents, siblings, and friends and teachers. Stable and reliable relationships with them in early life stage make us self-confident and independent. In contrast, failure in the development of attachment can cause some emotional difficulties. In many cases, they appear in the late adolescent or early adulthood. Trouble in attachment is hypothesized as one of the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder.

This thought above is delivered from numerous clinical experience and observation. However, this kind of concept is not free from the change of social culture and lifestyle. Nowadays, many couples choose divorce, with ease compared to the past. The divorce rate is up to one-third even in Japan. Single Mother is frequent in the US. In such social circumstance, are many children suffering from attachment difficulties? Is the situation the same if the divorce reaches the majority?

By the way, attachment style can be categorized in with methods. This is an example to analyze your attachment style developed by R. Chris Fraley. You can try the test for free with several minutes. Note you have to input your information such as age and nationality in advance.

Attachment Styles and Close Relationships

In this method, attachment style is assessed using two axes; anxiety and avoidance, in close relationship. Anxious people tend to worry about whether their partners are truly concerned with them. They are fearful to be rejected. On the other hand, avoidant people hesitate to open their mind to others, even closed.

According to this questionnaire, my attachment style is located in the center of the graph. I am not so anxious or avoidant either. A good result, isn't it?

However, as no examinations are perfect, this questionnaire is a little questionable. First, avoidant people are usually anxious. Rather, to deal with their anxiety people tend to behave avoidant. An extreme example of this coping pattern is Avoidant Personality Disorder, who are quite reluctant to make mutual relationships with others because they are anxious about being rejected by others. Second, I felt that attitude and behaviors to closed ones are different from them to other people. I love my family truly, but I would not like to be a family with everyone, not to mention about it.

Of course you can alter your attachment style, at least many therapist believe you can. However, it is not easy because attachment style is one of basis of you in many occasions in which you should make a decision. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy are utilized to solve the problems among human relationship.

PsychCentral: How to Change Your Attachment Style

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