Attachment and Differentiation – Healthy Relationships

On this video, Alan Robarge, Relationship Coach and Psychotherapist, talks about Attachment Theory and Attachment Styles. Specifically, he names the styles of Secure, Preoccupied-Anxious, Avoidant, Ambivalent, and Disorganized. Also he mentions the two different types of Avoidant presentations, namely Fearful Avoidant and Dismissive Avoidant.

Also he introduces the idea of differentiation which is our ability to hold the tension between our need and drive for closeness and autonomous independence. He borrows from the image of Schopenhauer’s Porcupines to explain the on-going, back-and-forth nature of closeness and separation.

There is also mention of some of the unique dynamics of relating to someone who more of an Avoidant Attachment Style. It can be challenging to explain to someone who is more on the Avoidant side that there is a need for deeper, more emotionally attuned relating.

From the perspective of being Avoidant, such deeper emotional connecting is not attractive or valued. Many times a person who is Avoidant will be unaware that their partner or family member feels that something is missing. The Avoidantly attached person will assume that everyone’s needs are getting met because they cannot fathom the need for more.

Lastly, Alan also talks about employing an honest self-assessment if you are even in the right relationship with the right person. Many people are dishonest with themselves that they are just not the right match for their partner. Often times, people get stuck believing that the partner will change.

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I offer Attachment-Focused Relationship Coaching and Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples. I work with adult clients dealing with relationship challenges or failures, lack of purpose, emotional-developmental trauma, and loneliness. I help clients solve problems, feel feelings, and get unstuck. I work with clients both in the US and Canada via telephone and video-conferencing.

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Alan Robarge
Attachment-Focused Psychotherapist and Relationship Coach