RR04 – The 4 Defining Features of Deep Connections

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” is  from chapter 20, page 437, of the Handbook of Attachment.

RR04 - Attachment Bonds have four defining features.Debra Zeifman & Cindy Hazan, summarize Dr. John Bowlby’s definition as such:

“Attachment bonds have four defining features: “proximity maintenance,” “separation distress,” “safe haven,” and “secure base.” ”

As I understand the terms, a paraphrase might be something like…

“Our deepest connections will have four distinct features. We will:

  • tend to seek each other out
  • become distressed if we can’t readily connect
  • feel safer/calmer when we do connect, and, somewhat ironically,
  • tend to explore/stretch more on our own if we know the other “has our back.”

These four features will be especially evident during times of distress. As infants, these deep, secure connections are almost always child-parent connections. As adults, the same holds true for our strongest peer connections, especially with our romantic partner.

This reading resonated with me because:

  • it is at the root of understanding secure & insecure attachment behaviors. There are so many  connections to other things I’m reading and our podcasts.
  • given these pillars, it isn’t hard to imagine ways of destroying attachment bonds by “kicking them over.” As such, the definition is a great touchstone for looking at why a relationship might not be working.

Can you think of someone in your life with whom you have an attachment bond? Think “Who would I turn to?”



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About Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen

Becca works with couples to save and strength their relationship. She trains psychologists to do couple therapy internationally. She is a: Professional psychologist. PhD. in Clinical Psychology. Licensed Mental Health Counselor Research Faculty at Alliant International University. Director of the Training and Research Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy. Certified Emotionally Focused Therapy Supervisor and Trainer.

1 thought on “RR04 – The 4 Defining Features of Deep Connections

  1. Pingback: RR05 – The Roots of Relationship Distress | WEfulness

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