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

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

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on August 30, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
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 in 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 in 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

By Marty Klein PhD on August 21, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
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 in Obesely Speaking
Beyond Social Tribalism, BIRGing, CORFing, and Tailgating - the brain needs its football.

My Daughter Can't Handle College

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
What to do about daughter's inability to manage her life

Should You Divorce Your Mother?

By Peg Streep on August 20, 2015 in 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...

New Psychology of Kissing Reveals Its True Purpose

The investigation challenges conventional views of why we kiss. The surprising results suggest there may be more going on beneath the surface, when it comes to kissing, than is commonly realised.

Food, Water, Shelter

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on August 18, 2015 in Minority Report
Food, water, and shelter are considered the essentials for survival in the wilderness. But some Asians believe this same mentality can work in raising children (i.e. give their children food, provisions like clothes and a college fund) will suffice. To even consider the child's emotional world is viewed as an anathema to their Asian culture and tradition of stoicism...

Do You Have Trouble With Intimacy? If So, You're Not Alone

By Peg Streep on August 18, 2015 in Tech Support
What constitutes emotional closeness? Well, it all depends on your needs, desire, and capacity. Looking at matches and mismatches in friendship and love and why intimacy can be so darn elusive.

10 Silly Beliefs that Sabotage Your Happiness

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on August 15, 2015 in Wander Woman
Many failures result from the behaviors we do or we avoid because of our beliefs. Here are some examples of common beliefs that can sabotage your happiness and success. Look for your belief, then read the alternative point of view you might want to consider instead.

Pets As Ambassadors?

Affection for animals may be expressed in many, possibly interlocking, ways. New research suggests that pet-keeping is linked to positive attitudes towards the natural world, indicating that conservationists may need to rethink their antipathy towards cat owners.

The Intuitive Parent

The Intuitive Parent: Finding your own parent style while tuning in to your child

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 5)

By Michael Jawer on August 11, 2015 in Feeling Too Much
Strange but true occurrences suggest that what family members (including our pets) feel for one another bonds us in unusual ways. Such experiences could only be chalked up to sheer one-in-a-million chance were it not for their conjunction with deep emotion.

To Love Someone, Do You Really Need to Love Yourself First?

It’s become commonplace to proclaim that truly loving another depends on first loving yourself. But just how warranted is this maxim? Is it backed by science or academic research? Or is it little more than folk wisdom—or maybe, pseudo-wisdom? I’ve sought to track down any authoritative studies on this so-intriguing topic and . . .

Mama's Baby, Papa's, MAYBE: Baby Names & Fathers' Anxieties

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
Can a child’s name ease the anxiety of new fathers? Naming children after their fathers may be an intentional strategy used by mothers to foster stronger bonds between children and their fathers.

How Securely Do You Stand in Your Relationship?

By Stan Tatkin Psy.D. on August 05, 2015 in The Puzzle of Love
Research showing that people in physically unstable positions are more likely to feel insecure in their relationships suggests that partners should pay attention to these kinds of influences.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, but Where Is "Home"?

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
“Home” is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place. In the words of poet Robert Frost, "Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." In short, home is the primary connection between you and the rest of the world.

Planned Place Loss

By Lindsay J. McCunn on August 01, 2015 in iEnvironment
What happens when we expect homesickness?

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.

3 Reasons to Take a Break After a Breakup

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.

What We Really Needed From Our Parents

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.