Most people with anxiety are keenly aware that certain relationships can either reduce or drastically increase anxiety, but do you know why? Most people react from their gut, either withdrawing or frantically seeking a relationship; both often spiral into dysfunctional patterns. With some discernment, you can learn to use anxiety as a diagnostic clue to help you navigate relationships, increase healthy connections, and leave dysfunctional ones.
If you have not heard of Attachment Theory, it is the scientific map of how we bond with others to increase our chances of survival! As mammals, we quite literally depend on emotional bonds with others to survive. Scientific studies have continued to underscore that the warmth and quality of our connections is the number one factor predictive of our life quality, longevity, and is even a huge factor in financial stability.
The one principle you need to understand first is that our need for closeness in relationship is...
The language of Attachment Theory has become somewhat common parlance in today's mainstream world. You have likely heard of "attachment styles" and have some idea of how your early bonds shape your style of attaching and bonding in early life.
Attachment Theory began with a British scientist named John Bowly in the 1960's, who noticed that humans behave in a manner driven by a biological need to bond with their caregivers. This was a revolutionary notion at the time and caused him to be ostracized by the field of psychoanalysis, which at the time was governed by the notion that humans were motivated by internal fantasies, needs and desires. What is so exciting today is that this one-time dichotomy is now understood as a unified whole.
Object Relations is the fancy medical terminology which describes how our interpersonal relationships become encoded in our internal world, which is why our early relationships have such an enormously influential role shaping our identity, beliefs,...
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