NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How the Early Attachment Bond Affects Adult Relationships: Part 1

Most infants are born with the ability to bond with their primary caregivers, usually their mothers.  Your early experience of bonding with your mother shapes how you will relate in your future relationships as an adult.  I discussed the importance of early bonding in a prior blog article: Mother-Daughter Relationships: Early Bonding.

The Mother-Infant Bond
The infant's relationship with his or her mother is the first emotional relationship.  Under optimal circumstances, if the mother provides the infant with a loving, secure emotional environment, the infant becomes "securely attached" to the mother, and this becomes the basis for future relationships as an adult.  (From here on, it's understood that when I say "mother," I'm referring to the child's primary caregiver.)

How Early Attachment Bonds Affect Adult Relationships: Mother-Infant Bond 
Attachment Theory
The British psychiatrist John Bowlby and the American psychologist Mary Ainsworfth developed the attachment bond theory.  The attachment bond theory indicates that the relationship between an infants and mothers is responsible for:
  • influencing all future relationships
  • developing the ability to be aware of our own feelings as well as empathizing with other people's feelings
  • developing the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity
An early secure attachment bond allows an adult to:
  • manage stress
  • develop meaningful relationships with other people
  • feel safe
  • develop a sense of optimism
  • develop the ability to be flexible
  • feel secure
Mothers don't need to be "perfect" for infants to form secure emotional attachments.  They just need to be good enough.

In future blog articles, I'll go into more details about how the early attachment bond affects adult relationships, and how different parental styles with infants can result in different adult characteristics.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 or send me email.