top of page

Attachment and the role of Couples Counselling

Our attachment pattern develops based on how we relate to our parents and primary caregivers. It depends on how safe we feel expressing our needs and how those needs are met. The most interesting thing about attachment is the fact that every attachment can be traced back to the early stages of our childhood. There are four different types of attachment and through counselling, we can identify and heal from attachment injuries.

Secure attachment

The children that develop Secure Attachment have their needs met by their caregivers. Secure children are given the freedom to explore the world while at the same time knowing that their parents will meet their needs. And as adults, when disagreements come in their relationship. These individuals can comfort themselves as well as their partner. Securely attached couples seek to repair and comfort each other and enjoy healthy intimacy with their partners.

Avoidant Attachment

The children that develop Avoidant Attachment do not have their needs met by their parents and start to accept that this is the norm and grow up too fast. People with avoidant attachment styles tend to build strong walls to protect themselves from hurt or pain. They tend to prefer maintaining a sense of self rather than being vulnerable with their partners. Partners with an avoidance attachment style tend to be fear-driven, with a fear of intimacy, fear of shame or rejection. Healing Avoidant attachment injuries is not easy because these habits are ingrained into their neural pathways at an early stage, however, with the guidance of a couples counsellor and a patient partner- these habits can be changed.

Anxious Attachment

The children that develop Anxious Attachment often grow up to ignore their needs and focus more on taking care of their parents. This often leads to emotional starvation. Since the love that they got as children was unpredictable, anxiously attached people tend to seek out love from others while having low self-esteem. It is important to break down the cycle of behaviour learned as a child. Practising small steps towards secure attachment would improve your relationship. Your partner might require attention reassurance. Help them develop the security they long for. Make sure your partner feels connected and supported as they might very likely be attending to your needs.

Disorganized Attachment

Disorganized Attachment vacillates between avoidant and ambivalent attachment. The caregiver is threatening and this creates a duality of needing the parent for safety while simultaneously causing them fear. While physical violence is not always present in the development of disorganized attachment, it is common and often creates a no-win situation for the child. Many of the behaviours are fear-based. Adults with disorganized attachment have learned that relationships are scary. This makes them associate intimacy with fear while still feeling the need to connect as a human. Safety and healing are possible and finding allies who have your back can help ground your emotions and keep the threat response in check and give you a safe home base. Loving someone with disorganized attachment can be seen like a roller coaster but it is important to stay calm and speak in a constant loving tone. You can teach your partner that you are their safe home base.


We all have a tendency towards an attachment style however, these attachment issues manifest most clearly in relationships, where partners with different attachment styles work together the make a relationship work. However, with some couples, insight is not enough and couples need more intervention, more structure and guidance to navigate and heal attachment wounds and injuries, this is where couples counselling plays an important role. It helps us identify where we are and where our partner is and how to move closer. In order to start this process of moving towards a more securely attached relationship, you can book your first couples counselling session at Our counsellors and Begin Again Counselling and Care are trained and experienced at helping couples navigate these issues. Start the journey towards a secure relationship today!

108 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page