One of the things we are doing in therapy is creating containment; and another thing that allows Secure Attachment to happen is that, whatever experience arises, what we are trying to do as therapists is meet that in a way that contains it.
That doesn’t mean we allow people to hit us over the head with a 2×4, but whatever state comes up, we have this ability to contain and help the person then contain it in their own experience.
There is the holding environment concept which Donald Winnicott called “Good Enough” mothering. In this concept, the mother is an adaptation to the baby, giving it a sense of control while at the same time the comfort of being connected. This environment allows the baby to transition at its own rate to more autonomy.
Parents that are also operating from Secure Attachment have a capacity to help their children feel containment in their own experience: when the kid is screaming they are able to help kid regulate, when the kid is really happy they are able to get into that ecstasy, that joyful bliss.
So in whatever state—grief, anger, sadness, disappointment—there is a feeling of being contained. So one of the things we are trying to do on a mental level is create a container so that whatever rises is respected and held, and helps us to process through whatever.
Written from DARe Module 1-7: What is Secure Attachment?