Present information to the participants around attachment styles. Some salient points to make would be:
- Attachment is the connectedness or feeling of being emotionally close to someone.
- It is a major component of love.
- We learn this as children, primarily with our mother and father (or whoever brought us up).
- There are two essential types of attachment: secure attachment and insecure attachment.
- Secure attachment can be characterised by the qualities of responsiveness, positive regard, and nurturance.
- Childhood sexual abuse often requires children to adapt to the untrustworthiness or unreliability of adults around them, which in turn can effect trust, and the capacity for secure attachment.
- Attachment styles are changeable.
Utilising the handout 'Attachment styles' [Page 34 of Participant workbook], provide the following information on the four attachment styles that have been identified:
Attachment style #1: Securely attached
- High self-esteem and not afraid of closeness.
- Willing to change, overlook others faults.
- Resolve conflict appropriately.
- Trusting, relaxed, always in the relationship.
- Healthy attachment gives a sense of safety and decreases anxiety.
Attachment style #2: Insecure: Dismissive
- Fearful of emotional dependency.
- Limits ability for intimacy.
- Prone to distance in relationships.
- Doesn’t seek help, or alienates potential helpers.
Attachment style #3: Insecure: Pre-occupied
- Low trust and high dependency.
- Clingy, dependent, worrisome.
- Loss and abandonment fears.
- Conflict is interpreted as less love.
Attachment style #4: Insecure: Fearful
- Negative view of both self and partner.
- Combination of both characteristics 'dismissive' and 'pre-occupied'.
- Mixed feelings about relationships (the person wants emotional closeness, but fears getting too close).
- Difficulty trusting the intentions of partners, or depending on them.
- Feels unworthy of response from partner.
Have the participants discuss the style of attachment that they grew up with, and how they see their style of attachment now.
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