Disorganized attachment represents the most complex attachment adaptation, which also means the most difficult to recognize and treat in therapy.
Signs of Disorganized Attachment
1. Negative Self-Image – Disorganized attachment often manifests as low self-esteem and a negative view of the world as untrustworthy or chaotic.
2. Erratic Behavior – It is common for adults with disorganized attachment to view their environment and relationships unclearly, which can lead to erratic behaviors and responses, as well as outbursts and unpredictability.
3. Fear, Anxiety, and Depression – Cycles of depression and anxiety are common with disorganized attachment and can make keeping a job or advancing in a career difficult. Anxiety and depression can also challenge relationships and make intimacy difficult and scary.
4. Trauma – Attachment injury in childhood can lead to a lifelong struggle with managing trauma. Parents were often neglectful and abusive, leading to distrust, confusion, and fear, often breaking off into panic or rage as intimacy develops.
Fortunately, the brain is neurobiologically designed to heal and to develop secure attachment is possible at any age or life stage.
Disorganized Attachment in Session
In the disorganized attachment style, major biological drives are in constant conflict: the innate drive to attach and the instinctual drive to survive. In this workshop we will approach this disorganized attachment by working to uncouple, untangle, complete and heal both strong biological drives:
1. The Attachment System: Intention is to give the attachment system a safe place to land and separate it from the survival instinct.
2. The Survival Instinct: Once the person can attach to a safe relationship, then they can begin to restore their self-protective responses against an earlier threat in the interpersonal field.
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