Monday, 17 September 2012

Attachment Theory

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Book on Attachment
 This particularly posting may be a bit heavy on the psychology side but it does provide us with some relevant information concerning the way we relate.  When we combine Attachment Theory with God’s Word found in Genesis 2:18 we get some insights as to why some of our relationships break down.

First of all attachment theory describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans. Its most important tenet is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally.  However this need carries over into adulthood for many if not all of us.  The person identified as “secure” under the attachment theory model has at least one person in his or her life with whom they have a very healthy relationship.

People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to agree with the following statements: "I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don't value me as much as I value them." People with this style of attachment seek high levels of intimacy, approval, and responsiveness from their partners. 

People with a dismissive style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with these statements: "I am comfortable without close emotional relationships.", "It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient", and "I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me." People with this attachment style desire a high level of independence.

People with losses or sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence often develop this type of attachment and tend to agree with the following statements: "I am somewhat uncomfortable getting close to others. I want emotionally close relationships, but I find it difficult to trust others completely, or to depend on them. I sometimes worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others." People with this attachment style have mixed feelings about close relationships.

These differences are critical for husbands and wives to understand. The wife who wants to draw near to her husband because she is preoccupied with attachment may in fact be married to a husband who has an avoidant attachment style.  She pursues her husband to get emotionally and relationally closer and he withdraws to get away.

Bible  the Book of life 
Genesis tells us that it is not good for man to be alone.  We are meant to be in relationship with one another.  God is a relational God, as seen in the Trinity and as seen in His Word.

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