From Your Therapist’s BookShelf…

“We rely on science to tell us everything from what to eat to when and how long to exercise, but what about relationships? Is there a scientific explanation for why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle? …the answer is a resounding “yes.””

Attached is one of my favorite recent reads.

For anyone who has ever found themselves in a “complicated relationship,” this book provides a behind-the-scenes look into the psychological/physiological/sociological reasons as to why.

As a couple’s therapist who relies heavily on Attachment Theory to explain the dynamics of human relationships, this book does a good job of explaining the three fundamental ways in which human beings attach:

“Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.

Avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly tried to minimize closeness.

Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.”

We are all aware that relationships can be complicated at times. It is when we find ourselves in very complicated relationships that we realize there may be something greater at play. This larger issue- easy to feel, but hard to identify- tends to involve a mismatch in intimacy needs.

If one partner requires a lot of closeness while the other partner requires a lot of independence, there will be dissonance in the relationship. It is not until the partners learn to identify, communicate, and reconcile their individual needs that they will feel satisfied and secure in the relationship and with each other.

So, how to address this clash in intimacy needs and transform an insecure, complicated relationship into a secure and stable partnership?

As the authors Levine and Heller describe, the very best tool to address insecurity in relationships is effective communication. The final chapter of Attached provides examples and exercises for the reader to identify and practice effective communication strategies: an enormously useful skill set for any type of relationship.

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment {Book Review} is written by Diana Brummer, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist with over 20 years’ experience working with couples and families. She provides psychotherapy services in Saint Johns, Florida. Offering individual, couple, and family counseling in-person and online.

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Good Mental Health, LLC is a counseling and coaching practice located in St. Johns, Florida, offering individual and family counseling to adolescents and adults. With sessions available face-to-face and online, we hope to provide the tools and skills necessary to heal past wounds, grow healthy relationships, and build strong families. For more information contact us here.

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