Attachment Based Therapy Philadelphia
Foster Strong and Fulfilling Relationships with Attachment-Based Therapy at The Therapy Gal—your trusted partner for personalized healing and growth.
Your past predicts your future
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, right? And while we don’t like using the word doom at The Therapy Gal, the saying has a point to it. Our past informs our present, and how we grew up and formed attachments to those around us affects who we are and how we act now. Attachment based therapy seeks to understand how the past has affected us and heal those bonds to live a better life in the future.
What is Attachment Based Therapy?
Attachment-based therapy, or simply attachment therapy, focuses on the attachments we formed as children and how those inform and affect us as adults. It’s a relatively brief form of therapy focused on working and moving through our understanding of our attachments. Understanding our childhood attachments is crucial because those attachments help us learn how to think, feel, communicate, behave, and interact with others.
Attachment-based therapy examines our attachment style so that we can understand it and work with it to create healthier attachments as adults.
How Does Attachment Based Therapy Work?
The most common kind of attachment that we get from childhood is that from our parents, although it can also come from other guardians or family members that had a marked influence on us while we were forming attachments to the world around us. Because of this attachment, we frequently see things from a similar perspective to our parents, and that attachment can affect our lives moving forward.
Attachment-based therapy revolves around the idea that how we bond as early children has far-reaching consequences throughout our lives. Neglect, separation, or otherwise non-adequate child treatment can lead to mental health issues that reach far past childhood and into adulthood. This is called our attachment style, and there are a few main kinds that attachment therapy focuses on identifying and working with.
What is Secure Attachment?
The secure attachment style occurs when children feel safe and secure around, and with the people they’re surrounded by. This is seen in children who grow up under caregivers’ proper attention and love, including appropriate warmth. This attachment style leads to confidence in the child that they can later take with them into adulthood. There are little to no abandonment concerns, and they often develop a better sense of relationships throughout their lives. Whereas this attachment style is referred to as secure, the others are referred to as insecure attachment styles.
What is Anxious Attachment?
Also called anxious-ambivalent, anxious-preoccupied, or ambivalent attachment, these children grew up in strict, harsh, or inconsistent environments. The parenting style lacked structure and consistency (sometimes they were highly supportive, other times they were not as supportive), making the child unsure of what the behavior meant and what to expect in the future. This can lead to abandonment issues, feelings of being unloved, and distrust of themselves or sometimes others.
In addition, people with an anxious attachment style often feel or seem clingy because they distrust the stability of their attachments.
What is Avoidant Attachment?
Children who grew up in a house where both parents worked or had little time for their children might develop an avoidant attachment style, also called the dismissive attachment style. Their feelings might seem to go unanswered and be less important than other things. These children might feel like they’re constantly waiting for attention and might respond by hiding or repressing their feelings. This can lead to adults who have difficulty expressing grown-up feelings. Adults who form this avoidant attachment style might have trouble building intimate relationships later in their lives.
What is Disorganized Attachment?
Also called the fearful-avoidant attachment style, this attachment style incorporates elements of both avoidant and anxious attachment. This attachment style is believed to be the result of trauma or abuse in childhood and stems largely from perceived fear. When the child seeks safety and security through their attachment to their parents, but that source of protection becomes a source of anxiety, this attachment style can form. Not knowing what to expect, the child loses trust in their caregivers and their ability to meet their needs.
Adults who grew up with this form of attachment style may carry rage and grudges within them and might be easily stimulated and reactive. As a result, they often have difficulties building intimate relationships in adulthood.
How Attachment Therapy Addresses These Attachment Styles
Attachment based therapy focuses on identifying the attachment style you developed as a child and still carry with you into adulthood. Once it’s been identified, you can work with your therapist at The Therapy Gal to find ways to work with it, acknowledge it, and ultimately heal it to move forward with your life.
For instance, if you formed the avoidant attachment style because you were a latchkey kid who was left to your own devices, forced to self-soothe for every issue, or repress your feelings because no one seemed to have time for them or you, you might find that in an adult relationship, you’re frequently hiding your feelings and refusing to work through things together in favor of handling it alone.
Attachment therapy can help you understand why you do this and work past and through it to have a deeper and healthier relationship as an adult.
Benefits of Attachment Based Therapy
Attachment therapy examines how our past experiences inform who we are now and seeks to heal those disrupted bonds. The benefits of healing these insecure attachment styles include:
- Improved self-compassion
- Gaining communication and conflict-resolution skills
- Increased trust in yourself and others
- Gaining emotional intelligence and skills around feeling and expressing emotions
- Building Insight and Resilience
What is Attachment Based Therapy Good For?
Attachment-based therapy is good for all kinds of people, although it’s usually suggested for those who had difficult childhoods. A difficult childhood isn’t mandatory, though; many people experience insecure attachment styles despite having an idyllic childhood.
Attachment based therapy can also be useful for:
- Attachment based therapy for Anxiety
- Attachment based therapy for Childhood trauma
- Attachment based therapy for Fear of abandonment
- Attachment based therapy for Trust issues
- Attachment based therapy for Depression
- Attachment based therapy for Mood instability
- Attachment based therapy for Difficulty controlling or expressing emotions
What to Expect from Attachment Based Therapy
Attachment-based therapy examines the attachments we form as children, so talking about childhood experiences is a basic part of it. Be prepared to have a compassionate and honest conversation with your therapist at The Therapy Gal about the attachments and experiences you had as a child.
Can Attachment Based Therapy Be Used for Family Therapy?
Conflicting attachment styles might be a cause of conflict and issues in relationships as an adult, whether they be romantic relationships or family connections. Learning more about them in solo or family therapy settings while understanding the attachment styles of those around you can help ease these conflicts.
The Attachment therapists at The Therapy Gal are here to help!
More than anything, we need healthy and helpful attachments to the people around us. At The Therapy Gal, we understand and empathize with how your childhood shaped you, and we want to help you learn a happier way to be. Compassion and gentleness are core values of our practice, approaching potentially sensitive issues with the kindness you deserve.
By using your attachment style as information about your past, we can help you shape your future around the goals you have for yourself. We’re here to help you learn more about who you are and learn how to grow into the person you want to be.
Find Your Attachment therapist in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or Online
At The Therapy Gal, we value your future and the goals you want to reach in it. To do that, we practice attachment-based therapy to get to the root of the issues you want to move past so that we can help you have a better understanding of yourself. For more information on how attachment therapy can help you, book an appointment with your Philadelphia or New Jersey Therapy Gals.
Frequently Asked Questions about Attachment Based Therapy (NJ / PA / Online)
How can attachment based therapy help me improve my relationships?
Yes, absolutely. Attachment-based therapy helps us understand the way we relate to others. Because our attachment style has been thought to originate from our caregivers at an early age, we can understand that it can have a strong effect on our relationships later in life.
Can attachment based therapy be effective for all types of attachment styles?
Yes, it can be effective for all attachment styles. The success of therapy will typically be determined by the individual’s willingness to engage in the therapeutic process outside of session. This is where you will get to practice and grow.
How can I know if attachment based therapy is the right approach for me?
Well, you’re probably reading this because you have struggled or are struggling with your relationships, and are looking for an objective perspective. Working with an expert therapist around your attachment style can help you see things through a different lens.
How can I work with my therapist to identify my attachment style?
Your therapist will help you identify behaviors that relate to your specific attachment style. After getting to know you and understanding these behaviors, your therapist will help you understand your attachment style, and work to heal it.
Can attachment based therapy be used for couples therapy or family therapy?
Absolutely. Because you come from two completely different backgrounds and are expected to somehow mesh together, attachment plays a big role in couples work. Your therapist will help you understand your partner’s attachment style and vice versa in order to facilitate better communication.
Will attachment based therapy involve exploring my childhood experiences and family history?
Yes. As systematically trained therapists, we believe that exploring your childhood is key to understanding your present. Because attachment begins at birth, we can help you make connections to the underlying cause of your attachment bond.
How will I know if I am making progress in attachment based therapy?
Improved self awareness and reaction to certain situations will grow as you continue to heal your attachment style. You will be able to develop a better sense of self-worth, create authentic relationships, and feel more confident and secure in who you are.
Do you offer attachment therapy in Philadelphia?
Yes! Our office is located in center city at 255 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Do you offer attachment therapy in New Jersey?
Yes! We offer attachment therapy in New Jersey with therapists that will be able to see you online.
Do you offer online attachment therapy?
Yes! We offer online attachment therapy as long as you live in PA, CO, or NJ.