top of page

Attachment-Based Therapy

Attachment-Based Therapy

Attachment-Based Therapy is a process-oriented form of psychotherapy. The client-therapist relationship is based on developing or rebuilding trust and centers on expressing emotions. An attachment-based approach to therapy looks at the connection between an infant’s early attachment experiences with primary caregivers, usually with parents, and the infant’s ability to develop normally and ultimately form healthy emotional and physical relationships as an adult. Attachment-based therapy aims to build or rebuild a trusting, supportive relationship that will help prevent or treat anxiety and depression and other emotional issues. 

The therapist aims to help the client overcome the effects of negative early attachment issues by establishing a secure bond between the client and the therapist. Once this relationship is solidified, the therapist can help the client communicate more openly and better explore and understand how their current feelings and behaviors are associated with earlier experiences. 

Father and Son

Attachment-based therapy developed from the 1960s work of British psychologist John Bowlby, who first proposed that strong early attachment to at least one primary caregiver is necessary for children to have a sense of security and the supportive foundation they need to freely interact with their environment, to explore, to learn from new experiences, and to connect with others.


Without a healthy foundation, babies may grow to be fearful, confused, and insecure, ultimately becoming depressed or even suicidal as adolescents or adults.

Theoretically, by forming a trusting relationship with parental figures or with the therapist, the client is better prepared to form strong bonds in other relationships. Attachment-based therapy may be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy.

bottom of page