The way we establish connections with one another has a significant impact on our lives and well-being. To discuss attachment, we can explore different models of understanding.
First and foremost, there is a model that distinguishes between secure and insecure attachment. According to this model, roughly half of the population would have developed a secure attachment since childhood, while the other half would have an insecure attachment. The underlying hypothesis is that this way of bonding is influenced by the early attachment bonds, typically with parents or caregivers. As for insecure attachments, we can subdivide them into three groups: those who experience attachment in an anxious manner, those who exhibit an avoidant attachment style, and those classified as disorganized, who oscillate between the two depending on the attachment style of the person they encounter.
The four identified attachment styles would be distributed in the population as follows:
- Secure Attachment (50% to 60% of the population*)
- Avoidant/Fearful Attachment (25%)
- Anxious/Preoccupied Attachment (20%)
- Disorganized/Chaotic Attachment (5%)
What concerns me about this model is that it can pathologize some behaviours while normalizing others. Nevertheless, this model allows us to identify behaviours that often hinder the ability to have harmonious relationships. When we can identify how we react in different situations, it becomes easier to understand and embrace the mechanisms at play. Thus, I find this model extremely accurate and useful in therapeutic work.
Another model that I have recently discovered is inspired by the work of Stan Tatkin, a clinical psychologist and Ph.D. in psychology. His experience with couples led him to write his book “Wired for Relationship,” unfortunately available only in English. In his work, he presents the latest research in neuroscience on love and attachment, creating an interesting model. He categorizes attachment types into three groups:
- The Anchor: Secure in the relationship
- The Island: Needs more independence and space in the relationship
- The Wave: Ambivalent and insecure
What I appreciate about this author is that he emphasizes the importance, in a relationship, of understanding each other’s style, respecting, and accommodating each other’s needs so that individuals with different attachment types can find a harmonious partnership rather than forcing one another to change. Ultimately, exploring our attachment bond pushes us to evolve and find more harmony in our romantic relationships. The better you can identify your attachment style, the easier it will be for you to embrace it and navigate your relationships with consciousness and love.
- Books to explore the topic of attachment:
- YouTube video on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques):
Happy exploration! 😊