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

Do Your Expectations Get In the Way Of Your Happiness?

With every job you’ve ever taken, have you noticed a stark difference between what you initially thought the job was going to be like and what it actually turned out to be like six months later?

The Opposite of Addiction is Connection

In an increasingly well-known TED Talk titled “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” British journalist Johann Hari discusses the available research into the underlying causes of addiction and concludes, rather brilliantly, that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.

The 3 Dimensions of Communication

By Marty Babits on September 29, 2015 The Middle Ground
The 3 dimensions of communication plus 6 tips to help you make the most of them.

What Does the Family Foster: A Lovable or Unlovable Self?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on September 27, 2015 Moral Landscapes
Pope Francis said that “family life as the place where we come to learn the meaning and value of human relationships.” The sense of self is built there and carried forward into the rest of life. Will the child build a sense of being lovable? Or will the individual forever feel inadequate, self-loathing or unlovable?

Getting Over Relationship Insecurity

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on September 25, 2015 Compassion Matters
Insecurity, as most of us know firsthand, can be toxic to our closest relationships. And while it can bounce back and forth from partner to partner, both the cause of our insecurity and its cure reside in us alone. So, how can we best deal with our insecurities?


By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 Ambigamy
Over-committed? Try inventorying your commitments. Some have accumulated like weeds worth pulling up by their roots.

Divorce Your (Bad) Mother: How to Love Her and Still Be Free

"The daily beatings stopped when I left home at nineteen, but the psychological abuse and manipulations were never-ending. I chose to love her from a distance and heal myself." Magdalena Gómez.

Do Happy Couples Really Sleep Better?

We know that the quality of a couple’s relationship influences each partner’s satisfaction, and that the quality of sleep influences feelings of an individual’s well-being. It turns out that your satisfaction with your relationship, combined with features of your personality, may actually affect the timing of your and your partner’s sleep-wake cycles during the night.

Manipulation in Families with Eating Disorders

It is extraordinarily difficult and wearing for family members to deal with a child with an eating disorder. When manipulation enters, it is easy to lose recovery ground. Understanding and responding to manipulation with compassion and authentic expression can be achieved.

The Psychology Of Why Being Funny When Flirting is Vital

Bale, Morrison and Caryl in their study of chat-up lines wondered why men persisted in using so many ‘chat-up’ approaches that were rated as unpopular with so many women – such as boorish jokes, empty compliments, and sexually loaded remarks. They wondered if these strategies were never intended to impress a woman, but merely winnow out which possible ‘targets’ were...

Living with an Open Heart

It is part of our human nature to be sensitive to life and other people. But oftentimes, we're criticized for being too sensitive. This article differentiates between being sensitive and being reactive. As we become more aware of our triggers, we can heal the wounds that lead to reactivity, which allows us to live with a more open, accessible heart.

It's NOT the Economy, Stupid!

Liberals mistakenly believe that people are motivated primarily by narrow economic self-interest. Research and clinical experience shows this belief to be mistaken. Needs for meaning, purpose, community, recognition, and agency are every bit as important as so-called "survival needs" (a la Maslow), and the progressive movement needs to speak to these needs if it is to win.

Death in Yellowstone: Adjusting to the Impermanence of Life

When facing change, we have only two choices regarding how to address them: we can deal with it, or we can mask it and ignore it. One choice is good for us, and the other choice is very bad for us.

Attractions That Go Sour: The Good & Bad of Complementarity

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on September 11, 2015 Fixing Families
What we're most attracted to in another is often what eventually can drive us crazy. Some of the whys and ways to sidestep such reactions

Skin-to-Skin Contact

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on September 10, 2015 Minority Report
We all are familiar with the stereotype of Asian families not being physical with their children (the exception being spankings). Is this a cultural issue or one of biology. I believe we are biologically hard-wired to be physically connected especially as I'm learning this as a new dad but through the years maybe culture impacts what is permissible later on in life.

Are Dogs or Cats More Likely to Make Us Laugh?

People who own pets laugh more frequently than people who do not, but dog owners and those who own cats and dogs, laugh more than those who just own cats. And it is when our pet fails at something or does something unexpected that we are most likely to laugh.

Is Spanking Bad for Children and Families?

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Since 1997 studies have consistently shown that spanking doesn’t have much of a positive effect on behavior. Meanwhile, it can harm parent-child communication and can lead a child into patterns of anxiety and aggression. So why do so many of us do it? What "no harm" and "good for them in the long run" myths have we bought into?

Venus v. Serena Williams: Reflecting on Sibling Relationship

By Peg Streep on September 08, 2015 Tech Support
What a tennis competition between sisters can teach us all about this most extended of family relationships...

5 Ways to Protect Your Personal Space

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on September 06, 2015 Off the Couch
Do you work in an open cubicle? Does someone in a nearby cube talk too loudly on their phone, or talk to you nonstop? Are you (or do you know) a college student who could be in danger of sexual boundary violations? Do you have a roommate (or a child or sibling) who “borrows” your clothes without asking, and returns them damaged – or not at all?

Sexual Regret - The Psychology of Romantic Remorse

The authors of this new study on sexual regret predicted that, in line with evolutionary theory, women more than men, will regret poorly chosen sexual actions (doing something and later wishing they hadn't). Men more than women will bemoan poorly chosen sexual inactions (not doing something yet later wishing they had).

Could Your Twitter Use Reveal a Secret to Happiness?

Those who score high on happiness, have happier immediate neighbors in terms of Twitter interaction, than those who are two or three links away, whose good cheer declines the further away from a very happy person they are. Large sources of happiness on Twitter, also seemed to have more interactions with extended networks.

How to Use Your Emotions to Build Relationships that Work

Using emotions to decide how to behave in any given situation is vital. Emotions are important pieces of data. They tell us something about our environment or situation that our conscious/rational minds might otherwise miss. Using attachment theory, you can learn to use emotions as data to make good choices regarding how and when to communicate in your relationships.

Is Your Relationship Growing or Diminishing Your Real Self?

By Peg Streep on August 26, 2015 Tech Support
We connect with others in part to validate our sense of who we are but why is it that, sometimes--more often than we'd like--the close connections we forge make us feel "less than" instead of "more than." A close look at the perils and rewards of interdependence....

Objects and Memories...and the Pain of Letting Go

By Barry Yourgrau on August 24, 2015 Mess
The Pain of Letting Go

How the "Bonding Potion” Oxytocin May Cure Anorexia Nervosa

Oxytocin is widely known as the bonding hormone for its effects on love and lust between two people in a relationship. Many studies have been performed to determine whether this love potion can aid in psychological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.Oxytocin is making a big impact in science and is currently being researched to treat eating disorders.

"Pink Viagra"—No It Isn't

FDA approves Flibanserin—and the search for sexual desire continues.

This Is Your Brain On College Football

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 Obesely Speaking
Beyond Social Tribalism, BIRGing, CORFing, and Tailgating - the brain needs its football.

My Daughter Can't Handle College

What to do about daughter's inability to manage her life

Should You Divorce Your Mother?

By Peg Streep on August 20, 2015 Tech Support
Some personal choices make us profoundly uncomfortable, and chief among them is the decision to end contact with a parent. Should we be tolerant and understanding instead? Taking an informed look....

Connecting With Your Children in a Disconnected Culture

While parents are more kid-focused than ever, it seems ironic that today’s children say they feel disconnected from their parents and wish their parents would spend more time really listening to them. It is also ironic that in a culture in which we are constantly connected via technology, families have become ever more disconnected...