RR#3 – Deep connections give rise to intense emotions

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” is  from chapter 1, page 6, of the Handbook of Attachment:

RR#3 - Deep connections give rise to deep emotions.

“Many of the most intense emotions arise during the formation, the maintenance, the disruption, and the renewal of attachment relationships. The formation of a bond is described as falling in love, maintaining a bond as loving someone, and losing a partner as grieving over someone. Similarly, threat of loss arouses anxiety and actual loss gives rise to sorrow; whilst each of these situations is likely to arouse anger. The unchallenged maintenance of a bond is experienced as a source of joy.” ~ Dr. John Bowlby

This resonated with me because: Continue reading

RR#2 – Connection and the Freedom to Explore

Today’s RR is another quote from chapter 1 of the Handbook of Attachment:

“Thus attachment, far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.” ~ Dr. Jude Cassidy, pg. 8

RR#2 - [Secure connection], far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.

This resonated with me because:

  • I’ve experienced it. When I have felt the most connected to my wife and other special others, I have been more willing to try new things, learn new things, and take risks.
  • this is in stark contrast to the notion that attachment is all about being chained to someone and that being connected to someone is an abdication of freedom.
  • on a related note, it was validating. I love romantic gestures, but have been accused of offering too much and caving in to the whims of my “ball and chain” wife. What people don’t realise is that these “connection builders” have helped to build trust and love in my relationship; so much so that I have significant freedoms that other men don’t.
Random thought for the day: I’ve also decided to refer to attachment as “connection” or “secure connection” when I’m talking to  non-psych types. If finding that the word attachment comes with too much unintended baggage. Really, all we are talking about when we talk about attachment is our deep connections… especially those connections to the people we’d turn to in times of distress.

Does this quote resonate for you? Positively? Negatively?  I’d love to hear your comments.

RR#1 – Attachment is normal and healthy

wefulness.com - Readings that Resonate #1Over the summer I plan to catch up on a bunch of reading. As I dive in deep, I want to share some highlights – I’m calling them “readings that resonate” – that I find interesting, validating or just plain fun.

Today’s RR comes from the chapter 1 of the Handbook of Attachment:

“Within this [evolutionary] framework, attachment is considered a normal and healthy characteristic of humans throughout the lifespan, rather than a sign of immaturity that needs to be outgrown.” ~ Dr. Jude Cassidy, pg. 5

This resonated with me because:

  • the value of my connection to my wife, especially during our hard times, has been questioned and even framed as immature neediness or co-dependence. “Why did you stay with her?”
  • this is in stark contrast to the notion that attachment is a secondary behavior… i.e. a child is only motivated to be attached to it’s mother because mom feeds it – any “feeder” will do – and the adult equivalents.
  • it was validating. The fact that I value interdependence is not a sign of clingy immaturity, but is actually healthy and normal.

Does this quote resonate for you? Positively? Negatively? Do you think I’m interpreting it correctly? I’d love to hear your comments.

005 – Introverted vs Avoidant – What is the difference?

Based on the photo Cowboy by Larry1732 via Flikr.comWhen I think of avoidant individuals, for some reason what comes to mind is a certain “smoking man” magazine ad – the strong, silent, solo cowboy looking over the herd. I think of someone who likes to get away from everyone else to think.

But in retrospect, is that characterization correct? In our latest podcast I ask the silly question: What is the difference between an introvert and an avoidant?



If the player does not show, you can click here to listen: 005 – Introverted vs Avoidant.


004 – “Attachment Figure” Defined


Attachment figures play an important role in Attachment Theory. In the original research, a child’s mother filled that role. However, if we are talking adult romantic relationships, clearly we are talking about someone or something else. What or who is an attachment figure? In our latest podcast, Rebecca and I discuss this question with Dr. Phil Shaver,  “the father of adult attachment theory.”



If the player does not show, you can click here to listen: 004 – Attachment Figure Defined .



(Please note: The audio is transcribed “as is,” spoken grammar glitches and all.)

Welcome to Wefulness where we talk about the science of profound connection.  I’m Wefulness co-editor Gregory Blake.  Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and adult attachment researcher, Dr. Phil Shaver.

G:  Hi Becca.

R:  Hey Greg!

G:  Today’s section of the Shaver interview involves who, or I guess even what, can be an attachment figure.  I was wondering if you could give us a brief intro to that before we go to the actual piece with Phil.

R:  Well we think of attachment figures and we’re talking about adult romantic relationships. Generally, that’s what we’re talking about.  That’s what I usually talk about.  But when we think about attachment figures it can be a variety of people:  friends, close relatives, parents, spouses would be in our romantic lives, our romantic relationship.  Some single people are even what we’d consider attached, closely bonded to, closely connected, have feelings of warmth and depend on, say, their pets.  We see that a lot in the singles scene.  Where we… It’s really, who do we go to?  Where do we go for comfort, for a sense of belonging, for feeling accepted?  Where do we turn when we need some sort of safely?   Those would be the things that we would be thinking about.  Some, you know, we all have attachment figures, but some people also use what I call counterfeit attachments, which is another whole discussion, turning to objects, turning away from people to maybe addictions or that sort of thing to try to get attachment needs met, it is a counterfeit sort of an attachment.  But, basically we are thinking about attachment figures who are people that we feel connected to that we turn to for acceptance, belonging, comfort and safety.  Those are the things I think of when I think of attachment:  acceptance, belonging, comfort and safety.

G:  Awesome. Okay, let’s hear the next part of our interview with Dr. Shaver.

R:  OK, here we go.

G:  I would love a good definition of an attachment figure.  Because, again, there’s the mother/child – that’s what everyone knows.  What else?

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