Attachment theory is the best recipe for what it is to be human. We are born into a relationship and we are wired to connect with other people – it’s in our biology. The need to feel safe and secure with others is universal, but how we go about this is different for each of us – we all have an attachment style. But attachment is a theory that doesn’t label behaviours as healthy or unhealthy, and it’s not a diagnosis. It’s about understanding how and why we feel secure or insecure in the world, and our relationships are a big part of that.
Our early experiences are important and they form a template for our basic sense of safety and security in later relationships. I like to think of this template as our mind’s “recipe” for relationships. Just like a recipe it contains instructions. One such example is “don’t ask others when you need support, because people always let you down.”
Part of attachment-based therapy involves exploring what kind of style you have when relating to others. But it’s also about how you relate to yourself – that is the longest relationship you’ll have in your life, so devoting time to understanding our what makes you “tick” as a person is a good way to take care of your well-being and mental health.