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Developing Better Exploration Skills as an Important Part of the Path to Secure Attachment

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  • Post published:July 9, 2022
  • Reading time:4 mins read
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Exploration is the ability to go after what is meaningful to us. We rely on our exploration ability to understand what we really want, plan how to get it, and follow through. However for those of us with insecure attachment our exploration skills are often underdeveloped.

 

John Bowlby, the founder of Attachment Theory, proposed that a “good-enough” caregiver would provide a stable base for the child. When care is readily available and of good quality, the child is able to confidently explore away from the secure base.

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The Schema Modes as They Relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:August 16, 2021
  • Reading time:7 mins read
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Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. In this, I am drawing from Jeffrey Young’s work on schema therapy, and attachment theory more generally.

I believe that the attachment styles can be viewed as clusters of schemas and modes; schemas  being beliefs about self and world, and the necessary behaviors (modes) that result from those beliefs. The modes represent the coherent behavioral manifestations of the schemas.

Insecure attachment is associated with impaired emotional self-regulation. The coping modes are those emotional regulation strategies that avoid “an even greater suffering”, as Bruce Ecker says.

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Schemas as they relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:July 23, 2021
  • Reading time:1 mins read
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This list is based on my perspective as to how Jeffrey Young’s ‘Early Maladaptive Schemas’ relate to insecure attachment. More info on the 18 schemas here: http://www.schematherapy.com/id73.htm

 

General Insecurity

11 – Insufficient Self-Control / Self-Discipline

 

Dismissing

3 – Emotional Deprivation (central)
4 – Defectiveness / Shame (central)
5 – Social Isolation / Alienation
10 – Entitlement / Grandiosity
17 – Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness
18 – Punitiveness

 

Preoccupied

1 – Abandonment / Instability (central)
3 – Emotional Deprivation
6 – Dependence / Incompetence
7 – Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
8 – Enmeshment / Undeveloped Self
9 – Failure to Achieve
12 – Subjugation
13 – Self-Sacrifice
14 – Approval-Seeking / Recognition-Seeking
15 – Negativity / Pessimism

 

Disorganized

1 – Abandonment / Instability
2 – Mistrust / Abuse (central) (additionally: fear and manipulation)
3 – Emotional Deprivation
4 – Defectiveness / Shame
5 – Social Isolation / Alienation
6 – Dependence / Incompetence
7 – Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
8 – Enmeshment / Undeveloped Self
9 – Failure to Achieve
10 – Entitlement / Grandiosity
12 – Subjugation
13 – Self-Sacrifice
14 – Approval-Seeking / Recognition-Seeking
15 – Negativity / Pessimism
17 – Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness
18 – Punitiveness

 

Continue ReadingSchemas as they relate to Attachment Styles

Can you change your attachment style and if so how?

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  • Post published:June 27, 2021
  • Reading time:4 mins read
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Yes, you can. But, there are many important considerations to keep in mind.

Attachment conditioning dictates much of how we behave in relationships, view ourselves, how well we explore our world, and how good we are at emotional self regulation (Brown et al., 2016). This conditioning is largely determined very early on between the ages of six and twenty-four months (and to a lesser degree up to three years). The conditioning that takes place at this time occurs at the procedural or implicit level, which is pre-verbal.

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Some notes on the three insecure attachment styles

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  • Post published:February 19, 2021
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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Another quick note about how attachment theory “blames the mom” for everything.

Yes, that’s true on one level. Mom is usually the primary caregiver. And our attachment conditioning comes mostly from the interactions with the primary caregiver.
But, as we discover with meditation there is no self that is apart from others and apart from our conditioning.
You parents did the best they could. They only had their conditioning to inform them. They are ultimately blameless.

Continue ReadingSome notes on the three insecure attachment styles