We frequently work with individuals who struggle with anxiety or panic that comes up during dating, relationships, and/or breakups. You may be in a toxic relationship or have a long history of toxic relationships. You may be avoidant of closeness with others or crave it. It’s common to fall into one of two categories: distancer or pursuer. Often-times distancers and pursuers decide it’s a good idea to date each other. Initially this seems like a good idea, but before you know it, this can create triggers for both parties involved. This is what is referred to as the anxious-avoidant trap. Much of what we’re referring to, stems in some way from attachment theory.
Safe Haven approaches relationship issues from an attachment-focused perspective. Attachment begins at birth and goes all the way back to how your caregivers treated you as a child. If you have relationship issues, it is likely that you have some form of insecure attachment. To name early life issues as problematic does not mean that your parents are bad people. In fact, most parents do everything they possibly can to raise their children the right way. Unfortunately, attachment issues usually go back many generations. Often parents are doing the best they can with what they know, and what they know, is how they were raised. This is no one’s fault, but fortunately there is a lot of new research and information on how to shift from insecure attachment to earned-secure attachment. This means you can look back on your childhood, see how your parents affected you, and make sense of your past. The best legacy you can leave your parents is to learn from the negative behaviors and leave them in the past and to take the good qualities of your parents and carry them onto the next generation.
How do you develop earned-secure attachment? One way is to develop a secure relationship with a therapist that you trust and who truly accepts you as you are. You can find more on this topic under the blog section of this website.
It is our belief that we are all wired for connection and at everyone’s core is the desire for love, acceptance, and belonging. At Safe Haven we strive to help you create more authentic and intimate relationships. Common relationship issues include: anxiety and panic specifically related to relationships, conflict with a romantic partner, family-of-origin issues that are affecting current relationships, codependency, and intimacy issues, among others.