Portland Therapy Blog

Portland Therapy Blog

Local experts share the latest information and resources on all things mental health.

Work on Your Relationship to Ensure the Emotional Health of Your Children

Posted: August 01, 2014 by drnadiadelshad@icloud.com

There are many benefits to working on your marriage or committed relationship. Secure attachment offers a safe haven, provides comfort and security and offers a buffer against the effects of stress and uncertainty. Another very important benefit to working on your relationship is to ensure the emotional health of your children. Research shows that children in homes with parents in strong relationships are more successful, have less mental health issues and higher self-esteem, on average, than children in homes with parents in weak relationships.

According to attachment research, there are two fundamental ways in which people differ from one another in the way they think about relationships. Some people are more anxious and worry about whether their partner truly cares for them and will stay with them. Some people are more avoidant and are less comfortable relying on and opening up to others. People who are low in both anxiety and avoidance are generally considered secure because they don't typically worry about whether their partners are going to reject them and they are comfortable being emotionally close to others. Interestingly, there appears to be a modest degree of overlap between how secure people feel with their parents, for example, and how secure they feel with their romantic partners. Research on adult attachment is guided by the assumption that the same reasons that give rise to the close emotional bond between parents and their children is responsible for the bond that develops between adults in emotionally intimate relationships.

Attachment needs are universal. Although attachment signals and responses are often different in specific cultures, the basic human need for safe, connected, responsive relationships is universal. The basic attachment needs are to have a felt sense of acceptance, belonging, comfort and safety.

Next month, I will write about how I work with couples and families to promote attachment security and relational wellbeing. In the meantime, complete this attachment questionnaire to better understand your attachment style and feel welcome to email me with any questions at drnadiadelshad@icloud.com

Tags: relationship and family, anxiety