Date: 1-17-2023 and 1-22-2023
We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle is easily my most listened to and recommended podcast. I am sure this won’t be the only appearance it makes on my 52-12-1 list 😊 In Why We Love the Way we Love, Dr. Becky Kennedy, Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the amazing global community, Good Inside, discusses attachment styles. Attachment Theory dates to the 1950s with the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Essentially, this theory describes how early attachment to our caregivers lays the foundation for our relationships as adults. Understanding your style can be an opening to better understanding yourself and how you function in your relationships. There are four main types of attachment: anxious, avoidant, disorganized and secure.
Many of us endure attachment injuries in childhood. These wounds, if not tended to and healed, can continue to cause ruptures in our relationships with others and ourselves. If you are aware of and understand your attachment style, why you respond the way you do, this can lead to more compassion for yourself and others. If this is a new concept and you’d like an introduction before listening to this episode and perhaps even take an attachment style quiz, check out The Attachment Project.
I loved the follow-up to the episode on attachment which discussed Internal Family Systems. This is an evidence-based approach to individual psychotherapy developed by Richard C. Schwartz in the 1980s. I was first introduced to this approach a couple years ago and have been using it in my clinical practice ever since. The short summary to this approach is the idea that we all have different parts of self. We hear this in our day-to-day language, when we say things such as: part of me is excited for this, part of me is nervous, part of me really wants to attend this event and part of me wants to stay home in my pajamas.
I believe we have this vast internal space and in this beautiful space, we have our own internal family compromised of different parts, each with their own purpose. In a recent book written by Richard Schwartz, he so beautifully and simply states, there is ‘no such thing as a bad part.’ If we have parts that we don’t like, annoy us, frighte or enrage us and we try to exile or go to war with them, we are essentially battling and exiling parts of ourselves. I could write a novel on this approach (perhaps one day I will). Along with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), this modality has brought the most profound impact to those I see. Getting to know and understand our parts of self can be life changing.
Dr. Becky gives a beautiful introduction to this approach and if any of what I’ve written so far on attachment styles or parts of self has you intrigued, please take some time to listen to these amazing conversations.