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Creating the Capacity for Attachment

Posted by Sandra on October 2, 2008

 This is a great blurb I found: 

In an Interview with Dr. Karen Walant by The Nurturing Parent (TNP) staff, discussing her book Creating the Capacity for Attachment, says;

We, as a society, have raised our children with the expectation that they become totally self-reliant and autonomous rather than with the hope that they have the capacity to form close, loving, intimate relationships with others. As a result of our social insistence upon self-reliance, we have witnessed an epidemic of addictions and what I call “the alienated self,” meaning people who are disconnected from their internal thoughts and feelings – their inner selves – and are unable to form true intimacy with others. Addiction exemplifies how, by not allowing ourselves to deeply connect to other people, we have attached only to the other things.

 For example, a pacifier is often one of a child’s first attachments. It is plastic – and not the same as having mother and her breast, to suck and to cuddle with. This unhealthy pattern of reliance on objects is encouraged in the detached parenting styles so common in Western society, and it’s easy to see how, from this tendency, as adults we continue to seek comfort in other non-human objects, such as drugs, food, money, etc.

Very early on, children are generally taught not to disclose to others when feeling “weak” or scared, “needy” or alone. Many of the emotions we felt in childhood – what people call the “negative” emotions – we were taught not to share. So, we sought comfort from blankets, pacifiers, and teddy bears, and we learned not to seek comfort from our mothers, our fathers, our family. As we got too old for blankets and teddy bears, we turned instead to other comforts – food, alcohol, money, etc. As adults, we struggle with holding our emotions within because we fear that by sharing our inner souls with others, we will – as in childhood – be discounted, dismissed, or denied.


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