It’s known that the anxious attachment style begins in early childhood, stemming from inconsistent attunement from the parent. Attunement basically means the parent’s demeanor toward the child is: curious about who the child is, mirrors back to the infant what the infant is feeling, and does their best to understand the kid and make sure he/she consistently feels accepted.
In the ‘Strange Situation’ (a study done to assess attachment styles), when Mom left the anxious child with a stranger (a safe therapist), the child protested vigorously while Mom was leaving, was unable to be comforted by the (safe) stranger during Mom’s absence, and when Mom returned, the child was still agitated and clingy, never finding that soothed, settled state. This is fascinating stuff, and this anxiously attached child’s reactions differ greatly from securely attached (and avoidantly attached) children. Because of a lack of attunement (there’s lots of room to do a deeper dive into what that actually looked, sounded, and felt like growing up), the child had to adapt to Mom’s/Dad’s needs, as a matter of survival, as opposed to feeling free to express the entire spectrum his/her authenticity, as well as the entire spectrum of feelings. If your parents couldn’t tolerate and accept your whole range of feeling and authenticty, you probably had to swallow these parts of yourself, or certain feelings, in order to get approval and feel safe. This is how people-pleasing begins… Continue reading Robert Oleskevich’s article on Hero’s journey Therapy.
Robert Oleskevich, is a licensed psychotherapist, world traveler, and an expat. He lived in over 30 different countries, worked with adolescents, expats, and third culture kids. These days, he provides counseling and therapy to people dealing with the social and emotional challenges of living in Asia, with a focus on expats in HCMC Vietnam.
Know more about Robert on www.herosjourneytherapy.com