Emotional Trauma And Avoidant Attachment Style

In an individual life, it is not usual that one should remember all the details about upbringing, childhood, and interactions with their caretakers like our parents. The effects of such a relationship approach later in life have different consequences.

This is called attachment theory presented by British John Bowlby.

In the psychologist’s office. Man and woman talking

In the same way, the effects of our upbringing remain with us in our adulthood, whether they are professional, or romantic relationships. Also, these patterns from our upbringing set the ideas of what we can expect from others.

One kind of attachment style is avoidant attachment. Here’s what it means to have an avoidant attachment style, the causes of it, and how to deal with it.

Avoidant Attachment Style

This attachment style indicates in several ways in both childhood and adulthood. According to  Michael Wusik, a clinical psychologist at Dynamic State Behavioral Health there are certain characteristics of childhood that have effects later in adulthood.

  • Having a little desire to be physically attached with their parent 
  • Experiencing no agony if the caregiver leaves the child with any stranger.
  • Trying to ignore a parent when they get picked up (such as avoiding eye contact or avoiding being touched or comforted by their parent)
  • Get easily annoyed by other children
  • Showing a restricted display of emotions
  • Not in favor to seek help 

Another study by Jessica January Behr, a licensed psychologist and the founder and director of Behr Psychology in which she pointed out that there are some genuine consequences of childhood poor relationships with caretakers into adulthood.

The complication with such individuals is that it can be difficult for them with an avoidant attachment style to form healthy relationships. Following are the characteristics that have effects on people with avoidant attachment styles.

  • Having uneasy feelings and expressing emotions
  • Preventing emotional attachment in relationships (whether consciously or unconsciously)
  • Not conveying necessity for affection.
  • Tending to extract from others and cope with complicated situations or feelings alone
  • Draw out from any physical touch, eye contact, or verbal communication
  • Facing difficulty asking for help or receiving help
  • Concentrate on independence over alliances.
  • Feeling like their mate is anxious when they try to get emotionally attached.
  • Feeling strangled in relationships.
  • Having symptoms of anxiety, depression, or disordered eating.

Through research, it has been found that attachment style has a straight affect on regular life in general, too. Moreover, the attachment style leaves a person in a negative sense of self, felt less cared for by other individuals, and had a massive desire to be alone.

Reasons for an avoidant attachment

“Avoidant attachment style grows when a child’s most important caregiver does not show support/sensitivity past providing necessities such as food and shelter,” says Behr.

Individuals with an avoidant attachment type may have experienced parents who have not shown any kindness towards their child and rejected them for several reasons.

Some parents didn’t meet the necessities of children like safety, hunger, or touch. Another reason experienced by avoidant attachment type individuals is that they are left out with the experience of love, affection, and respecting boundaries.

Moreover, parents did not show empathy and discouraged the child from expressing their emotions like sadness and anger. 

For this reason, parents are unavailable emotionally and unresponsive. This rejection and neglect turn the child into severe depression and antisocial behavior.

How To Overcome Avoidant Attachment Style

According to Wusik, the initial stage to deal with an avoidant attachment style is to comprehend it and identify it. It may be hard to identify because these individuals with an avoidant attachment style have been under its effects their whole life.

To overcome the attachment style therapy is a good way to start. There are types that can help to cope with avoidant attachment and make positive changes.

  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Attachment-oriented psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Internal family systems (inner child) therapy
  • Mindfulness-based therapy 

According to Behr any of these types of therapy can help you improve to recognize your attachment style, your kind of attachment trauma, the way your past has affected your current state, and more.

Moreover, if you’re currently in a relationship, couples therapy can be valuable. “Because attachment wounds are often triggered in the context of a relationship it can be helpful to have a therapist assist you to manage and communicate effectively as a couple.

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