Attachment and Trauma

Our first relationships form to what degree we view the world as safe. Felt safety is the foundation with which we engage with the world, learn with curiosity, and trust. It is the basis for our relationship to the unknown and molds how we regulate intimacy and boundaries.

Securely attached individuals tend to have trusting and lasting relationships, enjoy good self-esteem, seek out social support, and be more empathic. Building a secure attachment to our children entails time, play, a sense of joy in their presence, and a constant, reliable and attuned response to their needs. The pressure of wanting to build a secure attachment and not feeling able to can leave us in a state of helplessness, anger, resentment and stress.

A secure connection to our children is aided by our own experience of secure attachment as well as the support of other family members and society as a whole. When these underpinnings are greatly absent from one’s biography or just temporarily on pause in a period of crisis, being a nurturing parent can be challenging and painful and yet, can also be supported and strengthened.

In my practice, working with attachment means rediscovering resources for felt safety in relationships and reflecting on the attachment patterns we hold. Attachment work is usually woven into trauma work around themes of regulating for safety, certainty, sufficiency and healthy boundaries.

Attachment psychology underpins all the work that I do with children and inner children in my practice. Concretely, I offer attachment support to parents seeking to nurture or repair their relationships to their children. I also work with couples trying to have a child and with individuals looking for more joyful strategies in the face of frustrating patterns in their romantic or professional partnerships.

Support – in your relationship to your child, partner or team, where do you feel most supported?