Mastering the Art of Building Secure Attachments: Unraveling the Secrets of Disorganized Attachment

Mastering the Art of Building Secure Attachments: Unraveling the Secrets of Disorganized Attachment

Understanding the concept of disorganized attachment is crucial for anyone seeking to build secure and healthy relationships. This article aims to provide comprehensive answers to common questions about disorganized attachment, helping you master the art of building secure attachments.

What is Disorganized Attachment?

Disorganized attachment is a term coined by psychologists to describe a pattern of behavior observed in individuals who have experienced inconsistent or traumatic caregiving in their early years. These individuals often exhibit a lack of a coherent style or pattern in their social attachments, leading to unpredictable and chaotic relationships.

What Causes Disorganized Attachment?

Disorganized attachment typically stems from early childhood experiences. It is often linked to situations where the caregiver is perceived as a source of fear, resulting in a conflict within the child’s attachment system. Factors contributing to disorganized attachment include:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Neglect or abandonment
  • Parental substance abuse or mental illness
  • Exposure to domestic violence

How Does Disorganized Attachment Affect Relationships?

Individuals with disorganized attachment often struggle with relationships. They may exhibit a fear of intimacy, struggle with trust issues, and have difficulty expressing their emotions. This can lead to a cycle of unstable relationships, as their partners may find it challenging to understand and cope with their behavior.

How Can One Overcome Disorganized Attachment?

Overcoming disorganized attachment is possible with the right support and therapy. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Psychotherapy: This can help individuals understand their attachment style and learn healthier ways of relating to others.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to disorganized attachment.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy is often used for trauma-related issues and can be beneficial for those with disorganized attachment.

Case Study: Overcoming Disorganized Attachment

Consider the case of Sarah, a woman in her late twenties who had a history of unstable relationships. She often found herself in relationships with abusive partners and struggled with trust issues. After seeking therapy, Sarah was diagnosed with disorganized attachment, stemming from her traumatic childhood experiences.

Through a combination of psychotherapy and EMDR, Sarah was able to understand her attachment style and work through her trauma. She learned healthier ways of relating to others and was able to build more secure attachments. Today, Sarah is in a stable relationship and credits her therapy for her transformation.


Understanding and overcoming disorganized attachment is a journey that requires patience and professional help. However, with the right support, individuals can learn to build secure attachments and enjoy healthier relationships. Remember, it’s never too late to seek help and start the journey towards healing.


  • Lyons-Ruth, K., & Jacobvitz, D. (2016). Attachment disorganization from infancy to adulthood: Neurobiological correlates, parenting contexts, and pathways to disorder. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (3rd ed., pp. 667-695). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Siegel, D. J. (2012). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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