Attachment style is a psychological concept that describes how individuals relate to others in close relationships, particularly in romantic and interpersonal contexts. It is based on the attachment theory developed by John Bowlby and later expanded upon by Mary Ainsworth.

There are four main attachment styles:

  1. Secure Attachment: Individuals with a secure attachment style tend to feel comfortable with emotional intimacy and are generally able to trust and depend on their partners. They have a positive view of themselves and others and are able to navigate both independence and closeness in relationships.
  2. Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment: People with this attachment style often worry about their partner’s love and commitment, and they may seek constant reassurance. They tend to have a negative view of themselves but a positive view of their partners. They can be seen as “clingy” in relationships.
  3. Avoidant Attachment: Individuals with an avoidant attachment style tend to value their independence and self-sufficiency. They may be uncomfortable with emotional intimacy and may struggle to fully open up in relationships. They often have a positive view of themselves but a negative view of others.
  4. Disorganized Attachment: This attachment style is characterized by a mix of contradictory behaviors and emotions. People with a disorganized attachment style may have experienced inconsistent or traumatic relationships in their past, leading to confusion in their attachment patterns.

Attachment styles can develop in childhood and are influenced by early relationships with caregivers, but they can also evolve and change over time based on new experiences and relationships. Understanding your attachment style can help you make sense of your behavior and feelings in close relationships and work towards developing healthier, more satisfying connections with others.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: