Attachment Problems

Secure attachment is considered defining for life, with regard to the life of the child as well as with
regard to relationship building and the level of functioning later in life. Securely attached children
have sensitive parents. These are parents who are focused on what this child needs; parents who
are well able to perceive and appreciate the signals sent by their child and who will subsequently
respond to those signals. These parents are attentive to the needs of their child and can adequately
mirror his/her emotions. Not only are they able to do so during the child’s childhood, they continue
to do this throughout his/her entire development into adulthood. The experienced interactions
are predominantly positive. These children have experienced closeness and take such closeness for

Insecurely attached children and teenagers develop much fewer social skills. They have fewer friends
and are less independent. A relationship has been established between insecure attachment and
depression in young people. In addition, a link has been found between insecure attachment and
psychopathology, specifically between ‘disorganised attachment’ and behavioural problems.

Studies have also shown a relationship between insecure attachment and problems among adults,
whereby the problems concerned are very diverse. In particular, negative thoughts about oneself
can lead to problems. Negative thoughts about oneself involve a lack of self-esteem, a lack of
autonomy in relationships with others, and the conviction that the self is not worthy of being loved
or supported.

Read more: Methods of Treatment