Help for Destructive Relationship Attachment Styles

April 19, 2018

Somewhere in this world might be a child who had perfect parents and unbelievably good luck.  Always nurtured, never feeling insecure or threatened.  The other 99.9999% of us haven’t been so lucky.  The degree to which we are unlucky can have profound effects and cause a constant cycle of failed relationships and self-sabotage. But there is hope for those who’ve been trapped in these patterns.

Young children react to perceived threats to relationship security in one of two ways.  Of course, the degree of intensity to these reactions varies hugely from person to person and environment to environment.  For some, the subconscious assumes it needs to hang on for dear life lest they be abandoned.  As adults, the attachment style when they fall for someone is rapid bonding, becoming clingy, insecure and needy. Making the other person feel responsible for their security and happiness. This is hugely destructive and tends to drive our partner away.

The scent of desperation is not an aphrodisiac. In some cases, it’s even worse.  We become co-dependent.  This is a dead-end trap because but no one else can make us feel secure when it doesn’t match our subconscious programming.

For those with the opposite attachment style, the subconscious says “I’m not getting my emotional security needs met so I’m on my own”.  As adults, when the inevitable relationship challenges or misunderstandings occur, their tendency is to shut down or cut and run.

Most of us will have some degree of one or the other tendencies but when they’re deeply rooted and powerful we can find relationship after relationship following the same sad and frustrating patterns.

This is where energy psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT) come in.  An experienced and skilled EFT therapist will create a safe place and set of tools to allow the subconscious and conscious minds to collaborate.  Piece by piece bringing underlying thoughts and feeling feelings into the light of day.  There to be re-examined in that safe environment.

Allowing clients to quite painlessly and typically surprisingly quickly, remove the emotional power from each of the negative memories or maladaptive beliefs causing such havoc in their lives.

The following is a graphic example.  A woman was referred to me because all her life she’d felt physically and emotionally disconnected; as though she was living behind a thick glass wall.  We started with the feelings she was experiencing right that moment before beginning our 1 st session.  We then followed the trail of thoughts and feelings her subconscious felt safe revealing.

She was progressing quite rapidly then during one session she suddenly experienced an intense body memory.  She could feel her hands holding bars. Of course, scientists now know memories are stored in the body as well as the brain.  Once again we used EFT to remove the uncomfortable power of her body memory.  She then had a mental picture of standing in her crib as a little child looking at her parents sleeping in the dark. When asked what she was feeling, the answer was “unnoticed and unimportant”.  This felt painfully intense but we continued to use the EFT acupressure points while staying focused.

Step by step, the feeling faded away until there was nothing left of it.  At that point, for the first time in her living memory, she felt free to connect with the world and people around her.  Her subconscious mind now understood it was safe to do so.  These techniques hadn’t papered over her feelings.  The brain had actually re consolidated new understanding and perception.  The initial subconscious programming associated with that emotionally traumatic experience had been entirely re-written; not over-written.

Clients tend to say “that darned subconscious mind” but the subconscious mind’s just trying to keep us safe the best way it thinks it knows how; given the programming it’s received since birth.  It’s always doing its best to be your best friend and helper. EFT and PTT provide safe, simple tools to help it do a better job.

Yours in good emotional health.