My newfound love these days is Attachment Theory, which I first heard about when I went to a seminar by Gordon Neufeld, and which I later read about in his book Hold On To Your Kids, and Alfie Kohn’s book called Unconditional Parenting.
I didn’t know what Attachment Theory was back then, but I do now because I’m in a Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Program and it’s suddenly all falling into place. Still, when I was first exposed to the concept, it struck an immediate chord with me, because it made so much darn intuitive sense.
Bowlby and Harlow and Ainsworth and all the rest pretty much nailed the case for Attachment Theory shut when it comes to children, proving that attachment needs are as vital to human survival and development as the need for food and water, but for the longest time, it was assumed that adult humans were somehow different, and that they were supposed to be independent, but that is turning out to be wrong.
This book Hold Me Tight ( I know, what a yack-inducing title) explains how we’re all genetically programmed as human beings to crave emotional connection, and that a fear of loss of connection underpins a lot of the struggles that couples have. If we recognize our need for attachment and create a secure bond with our partner, that security then becomes the scaffolding for the rest of it..the caretaking, the pragmatic support, the sexual expression..and that the arguments that are really protests against disconnection are much more easily solved.
The main point of the book is that if we don’t recognize those attachment fears, the’ll become hidden agendas that covertly affect behavior, so that trying to change the behavior can’t be effective until the attachment issues are sorted out.
I know, I sound like a propaganda machine, but I think the book is on the right track.