What is Attachment-Based Therapy? (The Pros and Cons)

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Published Date|
January 6, 2024

What is Attachment-Based Therapy? (The Pros and Cons)

Relationships can be challenging for everyone - but you feel like no matter how hard you try, you can just never get it right.

It can be discouraging and disheartening when you can’t figure out what’s causing the problems in your relationships - but attachment-based therapy may hold the answers you’ve been looking for.

Here at KMA Therapy, we know it can be hard to figure out what type of therapy will work best for you. We’re here to help you learn the honest pros and cons to different types of therapy and explore what will work best for you!

After reading this article, you’ll know what attachment-based therapy is, its pros and cons, and how to know if it’s the right choice for you.

What is Attachment-Based Therapy?

Attachment-based therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on helping you build meaningful connections with others.

Attachment-based therapy is grounded in attachment theory - you may have heard of attachment styles, especially surrounding dating and relationships.

The same principles of attachment are used in attachment therapy to help you learn how to build trust with others and effectively express your emotions.

Attachment-based therapy can help with:

  • Building trust
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Boosting self-esteem
  • Strengthening self-confidence
  • Overcoming relationship issues
  • Exploring themes from childhood

(An important note before you continue reading: When researching attachment-based therapy, be on the lookout for the similarly-named attachment therapy - a controversial, pseudoscientific “treatment” method used as an intervention for children experiencing behavioural challenges. This is different from attachment-based therapy as described in this article, and is widely rejected by healthcare and mental health professionals due to its harmful and unfounded methodology.)

What Happens During Attachment-Based Therapy?

During attachment-based therapy, your therapist will guide you through two main processes.

First, your therapist will establish a strong and stable therapeutic relationship with you. Since you’ll be working on ways to build trust with others, it’s important to have a trusting relationship with your therapist!

They’ll help you build a secure and trusting relationship together where you feel safe to communicate openly.

Next, you’ll explore your adaptive capacities - this just means you’ll work on new ways to adapt to new situations in relationships.

You might work on new ways to:

  • Communicate effectively with others
  • Experience positive changes
  • Build new behavioural patterns
  • Build new thought pathways
  • Process past experiences

Overall, attachment-based therapy will help you develop a secure and trusting relationship with your therapist in order to move past old experiences and build healthier skills to support your interpersonal relationships.

attachment-based therapy pros and cons

What are the Pros of Attachment-Based Therapy?

Attachment-based therapy can be a great way to boost your self-esteem and feel more confident in your relationships.

Attachment-based therapy can be a great fit if:

  • Your caregivers weren’t able to fully meet your needs in childhood
  • You want to focus on relationships in therapy
  • You want to build your communication skills

What are the Cons of Attachment-Based Therapy?

While attachment-based therapy can have a lot of benefits, it may not be the right fit for you.

Attachment-based therapy may not be the right choice if:

  • You don’t think your current challenges are related to childhood experiences
  • You feel confident in your ability to build and maintain relationships
  • You’re looking for concrete and specific tools in therapy

Alternatives to Attachment-Based Therapy

After learning about the pros and cons, you may be interested in learning about some alternative forms of therapy.

Alternatives to attachment-based therapy include:

  • Existential therapy - a form of talk therapy that focuses on your sense of self without the main emphasis on your childhood
  • Solution-focused therapy - a type of couples therapy that emphasizes finding solutions and reaching goals
  • Narrative therapy - a form of therapy which allows you to explore themes in your life and rewrite your story

Next Steps for Beginning Therapy

After reading this article, you know what attachment-based therapy is, its pros and cons, and how to recognize if it’s the right fit for you.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re passionate about helping you find the right type of therapy (and the best therapist) for you. For over 15 years, we’ve been helping our clients set and reach their goals in therapy.

Book an appointment today or take our free attachment styles quiz to learn more about your unique behaviour in relationships.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these resources to learn more:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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