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Trauma therapy in Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ 07450
"Life can feel overwhelming and emotionally isolating."

As humans we are wired for social connection. From the moment we are born, we innately crave loving attention and affection. Our parental figures or primary caregivers are tasked with the responsibility of providing a safe, secure, and stable enough environment where as newborns, toddlers, children, and teenagers we can grow and thrive. When this occurs, a secure attachment is formed. The child eventually grows into a secure adult, who feels safe enough and confident enough within themselves to navigate the world. 

Many of us however, have gone through experiences of overwhelm, trauma/unsafety, aloneness, or sudden change where our caregiver wasn't available (either intentionally or incidentally) to help us soothe, make sense of our feelings, and meet our social-emotional-physical needs in a safe, attuned manner. This leaves us to cope with our experience on our own. To do so, we develop reactionary, survival-based tools (i.e. adaptive coping behaviors) for managing the unprocessed feelings, caregiver misattunment, and internalized messages in a way that enables us to stay somewhat attached to our caregivers who we must still rely on for our basic needs. While these ways of coping and relating served an adaptive purpose at the time, they may be holding us back in present day.  

The Big 4 Attachment Styles in Adulthood:

Below are some common traits found in the Big 4 attachment styles. Attachment styles occur on a spectrum. We may relate to some or all of the traits found in one or more of the attachment styles below. Because each relationship we have is uniquely different, we can lean more predominately toward one attachment style or another depending on the connection we share with each person in our life.  

 

Secure

  • Consistent, primarily high self-esteem

  • Self-regulates/self-soothes with little difficulty

  • Emotionally, cognitively, and relationally flexible 

  • Self-assured 

  • Emotionally attuned and curious

  • Expressive of their feelings, thoughts, and needs

  • Trusts others and connects easily 

  • Comfortable being alone and in social gatherings

Anxious/Preoccupied

  • Fluctuating self-esteem

  • Fearful of rejection

  • Emotionally sensitive 

  • Relationally co-dependent

  • Relationally hypervigilant (hyper-attuned) 

  • Questioning of self-worth and lovability

  • Difficulties self-regulating and self-soothing 

  • Struggles with being alone

  • Sensitive toward the feelings and needs of others

  • Questioning of the validity of one's own feelings and needs

Avoidant/Dismissive

  • Consistent, primarily high self-esteem

  • Hyperregulated 

  • Independent to a fault

  • Prefer to be in control 

  • Can be sociable, but struggle with relational closeness, intimacy, and depth

  • Emotionally guarded, rigid, closed off, or distant

  • Difficulties with attunement to other's emotional or relational needs

  • Can find themselves quick to feel annoyed, critical, or judgmental 

Fearful Avoidant/Disorganized

  • Fluctuating, predominately low self-esteem

  • Fluctuate between hyperregulation and dysregulation 

  • Relationally hypervigilant (hyper-attuned)

  • Emotionally guarded, rigid, closed off, or distant

  • Avoid and fear relational closeness while simultaneously craving it

  • Feelings of deep unworthiness and unlovability 

  • Anticipate relational rejection and can at times sabotage relationships in a preemptive attempt to avoid rejection

What Concerns is Attachment-Informed Therapy Effective for Treating? 

Childhood Trauma & Abuse

Complex PTSD & Dissociation

Inner Criticism

Self-Esteem Concerns

Narcissistic Abuse

People-Pleasing Patterns

Perfectionistic Tendencies

Social-Relational Anxiety

Social-Emotional-Relational Insecurity

Shame

How Can Attachment-Informed Psychotherapy Help? 

Through curious exploration and mindful attention to your in-the-moment experience, we'll co-create a therapeutic relationship built on safety, trust, and collaboration. Together we can begin to heal old attachment and trauma wounds, undo long held shaming beliefs, and relinquish old ways of coping that are no longer as helpful as they once were. This ultimately reinforces self-compassion, self-agency, and innate resilience from which you can begin to engage in your present-day with greater authenticity, confidence, and internal security. 

 

Tools fostered throughout our sessions include: self-advocacy, self-compassion, enhancing flexible thinking, expanding window of tolerance (increasing ability to safely tolerate certain emotions, physiological sensations, memories, etc.), resiliency strengthening, and somatic-affective awareness and regulation (increase in awareness of emotions, their body-based felt sense, and nervous system regulation), boundary-setting skills. 

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