Attachment theory is all about how early attachment to primary caregivers impacts adult relationships.
The following is an interview with Psychology Today blogger Leslie Becker-Phelps, author of Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do about It (New Harbinger Publications, (June 2014).
Winch: Why do so many people repeat the same, problematic patterns in their relationships?
Becker-Phelps: This unfortunate habit is explained by attachment theory, which was originally proposed by John Bowlby. Basically, although people are born with certain characteristics, such as a reactive or mild temperament, their earliest interactions with caregivers create a foundation for how they perceive themselves and think about others. In certain situations, those early relationships can leave someone feeling flawed or that others are not to be trusted. Those negative beliefs and patterns then continue into adulthood and adversely impact their relationships unless the person makes a conscious effort to change them.
Guy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, keynote speaker, and author whose books have already been translated into thirteen languages. His most recent book is Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries (Hudson Street Press, 2013). The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem (Walker & Company) was published in January 2011. Dr. Winch received his doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University in 1991 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in family and couples therapy at NYU Medical Center. He has been working with individuals, couples and families in his private practice in Manhattan, since 1992. He is a member of the American Psychological Association. In addition to the Blog on this site, Dr. Winch also writes the popular Squeaky Wheel Blog on Psychology Today.com, and blogs for Huffington Post.