Attachment - Our Need to Connect

Todd Olson (LCSW, CSAT)* is a founder of LifeSTAR Network with over 25 years of experience with Sexual Addiction. He explains that we are wired to connect (see Still Face Video). 

"Everything I can get from an Addiction is what I wish I could get from my secure attachment person. It is either in my mind as a hopeful someone down the road or the one I'm in a relationship with right now that I wish was different."

Attachment is our ability to make emotional connection with others attachment links to addiction because if we have negative attachment (every style except secure attachment) we are most likely turning to our addiction when conflict, rejection, or negative emotions arises.

"You are at high risk to numb out [the emotional pain] with addiction if you have attachment issues."

If you don’t have secure attachment there is hope! Chris and Autumn’s story is a good example of changing from insecure to secure attachment. Our attachment style is often times linked to trauma.  

“You’ve got to learn to regulation your emotions. You’ve got to learn to regulate your thoughts and feels and stuff that comes to your system, so you can live in that balance.” 

Secure – If you relate positively to yourself and other people. No fear or anxiety. “You feel accepted and loved and respond to other peoples needs.”

Anxious – You experience anxiety about what other people think of you and make decision based on eagerness to please other people. “You’re kind of worried and you want to make sure things work out. They often doubt their value in relationships.”

Avoidant – “If you’re uncomfortable with close relationships, even though you desire them.” You just don’t trust them. You’re not good with conflict and want to avoid that. “When you are faced with rejection you’re more likely to just turn away from the relationship”.

Fearful – “If you think you aren’t capable of meeting needs. You are uncomfortable with closeness and building intimacy with other people.” It’s too scary to get close, so I make sure I’ll stay away.   

*LCSW=Licensed Clinical Social Worked CSAT= Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist.