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

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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 .

 

Transcript

(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?

Continue reading

003 – Can Attachment Styles Change?

Rock ClimberAttachment theory tells us that there are three main attachment styles: secure, anxious and avoidant. However, some people will insist that they have been more than one “style” in their lifetime. Is that possible? If yes, what is happening in that situation? Is there hope to move from an insecure attachment style to secure?

In our latest podcast, Rebecca and I discuss these questions and more with Dr. Phil Shaver,  “the father of adult attachment theory.”

 

If the player does not show, you can click here to listen: 003 – Changeable Attachment Styles featuring Dr. Phil Shaver

 

 

Transcript

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

Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and special guest, researcher, Dr. Phil Shaver.

G:  Hi Becca.

R:  Hey Greg, how are you doing?

G:  Really good today, thanks.  Today’s short clip from Dr. Shaver’s interview has mostly to do with changeability of adult attachment styles.  And this is something that I know we’ve talked about in the past and, frankly, I didn’t understand it.  I had read the book, “Attached” and really loved that book actually, and out of that context I was under the persuasion that adult attachment was something that we were born with or at least we got initially when we were younger, and then that is where we were stuck and that we had to deal with the consequences of that and adapt to that.  What I’m getting from the interview with Dr. Shaver is that, no, there is some flexibility there. Can you talk a little about that before we get to the interview? Continue reading

002 – Does Attachment Theory Apply to Adults?

Attachment theory tells us that we are made to be connected to others. However, a lot of the initial research involved mothers and children. Does it apply to adults as well? In our latest podcast, Rebecca and I talk about this with Dr. Phil Shaver, considered by many to be “the father of adult attachment theory.”

 

 

If the player does not show, you can click here to listen: 002 – Attachment and Adults featuring Dr. Phil Shaver

Transcript

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

G:  Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and special guest, researcher Dr. Phil Shaver.

G:  Hi Becca!

R:  Hey there Greg, so nice to talk to you today.

G:  In the next few podcasts we’ll be presenting our interview with Dr. Shaver about adult attachment and I’m finding that the concept is quite new to people – at least the adult part.  People are often perplexed that it even applies to adults because so much of the original research is about the mother-child bond.  Can you talk about those roots? Continue reading