To understand attachment patterns or attachment styles is to have a general understanding of attachment theory. John Bowlby witnessed the behaviors and reactions to thousands upon thousands of children in the UK during the second world war. These children were separated from their parents and put into safer areas. How the children responded to the distance from their parents, as well as their reunions with their parents, was of significant importance to their ability to have relationships throughout life. The Guardian points out that the term attachment is about more than a relationship. “An attachment is a precise term,” the article writes, “the notion of a safe haven which, when available, becomes a secure base from which to explore the world around us. Then when we are separated from our secure base we become anxious and quickly seek proximity.”
There are many different kinds of attachment patterns or styles, but four are most widely recognized: secure attachment, insecure attachment, ambivalent attachment, and disorganized attachment. Each attachment style stems from childhood but has a far reaching affect on all kinds of attachments and relationships throughout life to people, places, and things, including addiction.
How Does Attachment Theory Relate To Addiction?
Men who have insecure attachment patterns have a deep, underlying need to find that place of feeling secure and safe. When men cannot find such a safe haven in others, they go to whatever means necessary to create it themselves. For many men, addiction becomes the safe foundation upon which the rest of the world can be explored. Problematically, addiction eventually becomes incredibly limiting and narrows a man’s world, thus increasing his issues with attachment. Men no longer feel safe attached to anyone or anything but their addiction. In order to release his attachment to addiction and start developing healthier attachment styles for other areas of life, men have to learn what their attachment style is and where their attachment style came from. After looking at how their attachment style influenced their addiction, men can start to examine the different areas of their life an attachment pattern is causing problems, then work to change them.
At Tree House Recovery, we strive to transform men’s lives inside and out as they journey on the path to freedom from addiction. By creating sustainable change, men create a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474