More About The Connection Between Parenting & Understanding Of Feelings and Self

Important first dimensions of feelings are how we come to realize that we have them when we have them and thereafter understand what they are signalling to us. These are necessary important steps for thereafter being able to take care of the related needs and hence decrease the volume of negative emotions and increase the presence of positive emotions.

One influential theory that have had an increasing impact on therapy the last decades is the attachment theory developed by Bowlby in the middle of last century and further elaborated together with and by Ainsworth.

Bowlby focused on the interaction between children and their primary caretakers. The basic assumption in his reasoning is that children have an intrinsic motivation to develop emotional and psychological connections with the caring persons as a survival mechanism, something biologically imprinted that facilitates survival. This is called an attachment system.

This system is activated when the child searches for physical contact or mental support, for example after have been frustrated or fearful. The caretaker, often the parent, responds with behaviors that increase the experience of proximity and care. When the child is safe, the attachment system is deactivated.

The pattern of this connection is assumed to be an internal working model for other relationships, also future adult relationships, and thereby colors the child’s basic attitude to others and also to the self.

There are 4 common patterns which will be the topic of next week.

 

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