All About Attachment

The emotional bond that typically forms between infant and caregiver, usually a parent, not only stimulates brain growth but affects personality development and lifelong ability to form stable relationships. Neuroscientists now believe that attachment is such a primal need that there are networks of neurons in the brain dedicated to it, and the process of forming lasting bonds is powered in part by the hormone oxytocin.

Recent Posts on Attachment

Book Review: "Drop the Worry Ball"

When children experience fearful situations, they have the opportunity to cope with challenges, which increases their long term resilience.

To Date or Not to Date

By Wendy Paris on July 28, 2015 in Splitopia
We may think that divorce opens the door to a rousing round of nonstop dating, but many people find they need a break between marriage and getting back out there. Taking a break can bring real benefits.

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

Child sexual abuse is a big risk factor for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. But why do some victims turn out one way, others a different way, and still others turn out without any disorders at all? So called empirical studies of child abuse are limited to such variables as who the perpetrators were, what did they do, and how often. There's a lot more to the story.

We Succeed by Our Failures

When we reflect on our childhood we tend to recall the tough times -- times when we as kids screwed up, or when our parents failed. It turns out that the dance between love and hate, doing right and doing wrong, and above all making amends is critical for secure attachments. We learn to trust other, indeed, we learn to be moral as part of a normal developmental process.

Do You Know What You Need?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
Recent research shows that people differ in how well they recognize their own needs, which has important implications for relationships and well-being. Find out how to identify your needs.

Baby Crying? Don't Shame the Parents!

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
A medical doctor, also a parent, wrote to me recently to complain about my blog post, "'Dangers of Crying it Out.'" Here is (most of) my response.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Sunk Costs

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on July 25, 2015 in The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the fourth post in a seven-part series.

Spiritual Power to Redirect the Impact of Divorce

Children often experience divorce as the death of the family. Parents may draw upon spiritual insight to redefine the family, demonstrating how authentic faith models healthy relating, among other critical qualities to support the child's development of healthy relationships.

Marriage Preparation

The good news is that you don’t have to have had a great track record in the relationship department or in your personal family experience in order to develop the skills and character traits that enhance the likelihood of success in relationships.

5 Things We Know for Sure About Raising Great Kids

Research has been following children from babyhood to adulthood for decades, so we actually know what works to raise great kids. Here are the five most important things.

The Profound Psychological Power of Bonding

Two basic levels of awareness result from consciousness’ constant encounters with the outside world.

How to Resolve a Misundertanding

By Kimberly Key on July 22, 2015 in Counseling Keys
When mindreading doesn’t work, what can you do to improve your communication and lessen misunderstandings?

What Makes Romance So Romantic (and So Doomed)?

Once a relationship, however sweet, tender, and loving, has been domesticated. it can no longer be romantic. For some of the crucial things that make romance romantic—though they include feelings of amorousness and affection—also contain elements doomed to decay. So what is it about Romance that makes it so wondrous, yet ultimately so impossible to hold onto?

Is Your Childhood Wrecking Your Love Life?

By Peg Streep on July 21, 2015 in Tech Support
One of the legacies of childhood is how well or badly we connect to others, both in friendship as well as intimate settings. How your childhood experiences may shape your ability to love and be loved today, and how to understand and recognize patterns of insecure attachment.

Finding a Secure Base and Rewiring Your Personality

One way to change your insecure attachment style to that of having an “earned” secure style is to find and nurture your own secure base in adulthood. Learn what to look for and how to create for yourself the experiences that naturally instill mental health and well-being. It is never too late to rewire your personality in a way that works better for you and leads to more h

New developments in sleep and development

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on July 18, 2015 in Dream Catcher
in order to understand functions of sleep we need to study the ways in which it develops in the child

A Debate: Is Marriage Worth It?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 in How To Do Life
These pros and cons may help you decide.

Divorce and Separation: Maybe Good For Your Health?

New research shows that divorce, separation, and cohabitation, even, have no negative impact on people's health. In fact, some long-term health benefits were found. With increasing numbers of unconventional relationships, it's important to examine their impact on psychological health, as well.

Why You May Want to Be a Cat Person (Or Have One Around)

By Peg Streep on July 14, 2015 in Tech Support
Are Cat people really that different from Dog people? Actually, they are in some respects. But does that mean that never the twain shall meet? The low-down on the special qualities Cat people have...

Does a Single Story Define You?

Just because stories help us make sense of the world, doesn’t mean we should allow them to govern our lives. Especially the stories we tell about ourselves...

Recent Advances in Understanding Parental Alienation

Mistaken beliefs about the genesis of parental alienation and appropriate remedies have shaped both socio-legal policy and therapeutic and legal practice in ways that have failed to meet children’s needs during and after parental separation, and therefore are contrary to the principle of the best interest of the child.

If You Love Cats, This May be Why

Many of us love cats, but we may not have considered one major reason why we find them so irresistible. This article explores how cats have an uncanny ability to surrender to affection. We humans would do well to be more like a cat in the sense of deepening our capacity to receive love and affection.

What Codependency Is, and What It Isn't

By Ann Smith on July 06, 2015 in Healthy Connections
What had been labeled in the past as codependency is actually human beings doing what comes naturally – LOVING.

What is Your Relationship Attachment Style?

What is your relationship attachment style? Based on the works of Bartholomew and Horowitz, etc., there are four adult attachment styles: Secure, Anxious-Preoccupied, Dismissive-Avoidant, and Fearful-Avoidant. Most people have various degrees of the four attachment styles, which may change over time...

"Love Hormone" Oxytocin Linked to Domestic Violence

Oxytocin, which leads to trust and attachment, may also lead to possessive and abusive behaviours.

3 Myths About Romance You Probably Believe (But Shouldn't)

By Peg Streep on July 01, 2015 in Tech Support
When we think about relationships, sometimes our thinking is just plain wrong or uninformed, thanks to the brain... Really,

Preventing Disaster Through Screening and Assessment

By Kathryn Seifert on June 30, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
Recently we have seen two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape prison with the help of two prison employees, Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell. It leads us to ask the question, how does this happen?

No More Tears

It will be a year ago tomorrow that my mom left this world. Even though I believe that she is happy and at peace, I still want her here with me NOW.The heartbreak of loss seems to be a fundamental, inescapable aspect of the human condition. When we take the risk of caring about another living being, we set ourselves up for eventual loss. What can compare to that pain?

A Love Letter to Mothers of Sons

Although mother-daughter relationships are often fraught with conflict, mothers and their adult daughters seem to have an easier time with each other than mothers and their adult sons..Read about the real nature of a man's relationship with his mother, the first love of his life, and how and why it changes so drastically.

The Truth About Make-Up Sex

By Samantha Joel M.A. on June 24, 2015 in Dating Decisions
Does conflict increase feelings of sexual desire?