Unlocking Fulfilling Relationships: Hypnotherapy for Attachment Transformation


How was Valentines Day for you? Shops and social media feeds were full of roses, hearts and smiling couple selfies, which can bring up a range of emotions even if you are in a relationship. You may feel like your current relationship is turbulent or unsatisfying but you feel trapped. Perhaps you are grappling with trust issues or a persistent fear of abandonment? Or maybe you find expressing your emotions or connecting with others emotionally a challenge?

If so, you may be experiencing attachment issues. Rest assured that you are not alone! Insecure attachment patterns can have a profound impact on our overall wellbeing, but the good news is that there is a solution. This edition of the blog looks at attachment in more detail and examines how hypnotherapy can help you transform your relationships for the better.


What do you mean by attachment?


Attachment refers to the emotional connection that develops between an infant and their caregiver between the ages of 10 and 20 months. This bond allows the infant’s basic emotional needs to be met, and it subsequently becomes a driving force behind the infant's social, emotional, and cognitive development. Early social experiences contribute to brain growth and can have a lasting impact on a person’s ability to form stable relationships with others.

In most cases, parents will do their best to satisfy all our needs and provide us with a warm and nurturing environment.

If they are attuned and responsive to our needs, we are able to build a secure and stable relationship with them, and consequently, a secure attachment style.

Yet, if they are not, or if we perceive that our needs are not met, we are likely to develop an insecure attachment style.

Neuroscientists posit that attachment is a fundamental need, supported by specific neuronal networks in the brain and the hormone oxytocin, which fosters the attachment process.

A majority of children tend to exhibit secure attachment behaviours, while others may display insecure patterns.

The development of secure attachment in children is theorised to result from sensitive and responsive caregiving, while insecurity may arise from a lack of such care. Although parenting plays a crucial role in attachment security, it is evident that genetic factors and other external influences also contribute significantly.

Attachment theory, proposed by British psychoanalyst John Bowlby, suggests that children's attachment behaviours are part of an evolved system ensuring their care. Psychologist Mary Ainsworth further studied variations in children's responses to parental separation, and attachment theory has been extended to understand adult relationships by subsequent researchers.

securely attached infant boy with parents nearby

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash



Are attachment styles in adults different?


The study of attachment security and behaviours in adult relationships has led to the identification of distinct patterns known as "attachment styles." While there appears to be a connection between an individual's attachment characteristics in early life and adulthood, these correlations are not entirely precise.

Numerous adults experience a sense of security in their relationships, demonstrating comfort in relying on others yet remain balanced in their methods of self-regulation —a parallel to the concept of "secure" attachment observed in children. Conversely, some individuals may exhibit anxiety regarding their connection with close others or prefer to maintain a certain distance and/or struggle with self regulation which may manifest in addictive or obsessive behaviours. Research on individuals with emotionally unstable personality disorder, characterised by a strong desire for intimacy and heightened sensitivity to rejection, has revealed a high prevalence and severity of insecure attachment.

Similar to the classification of attachment patterns in children, adult attachment styles include:

  1. Secure
  2. Anxious-preoccupied (high anxiety, low avoidance)
  3. Dismissing-avoidant (low anxiety, high avoidance)
  4. Fearful-avoidant (high anxiety, high avoidance)

It is crucial to recognise that attachment styles in adulthood can be better understood as multi- dimensional, where individuals fall on a spectrum of attachment-related anxiety and avoidance levels—ranging from high to low or somewhere in between. Moreover, a person may not consistently exhibit the same attachment pattern in every close relationship and some relationships may be more “triggering” than others.

Couple holding hands yet feeling disconnected, with different feelings about the relationship

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash


Understanding Attachment Issues in Everyday Life


Attachment issues encompass challenges in forming and maintaining healthy emotional connections. Rooted in experiences like childhood neglect, abuse, or a lack of consistent emotional support, these issues can also be triggered by recent traumatic events. Recognizing the symptoms of attachment issues is crucial, as they can lead to feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and loneliness, impacting our relationships and overall sense of fulfilment.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fear of abandonment or rejection
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Intense or unpredictable emotional reactions
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • Struggles with forming and maintaining relationships
  • Avoidance of emotional intimacy
  • Tendency to seek out unhealthy relationships
  • Difficulties with anger or aggression
  • Trouble regulating emotions or coping with stress.


It's crucial to note that attachment styles can evolve over time, and may vary from one relationship to another.  Therapy and intentional efforts can support the development of more secure attachment styles. Attachment issues are more widespread than commonly thought, affecting up to 40% of the population at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many individuals struggle with undiagnosed and untreated attachment issues, exacerbating their symptoms and emotions. This in turns leads to them feeling stuck in patterns of behaviour that manifest themselves in one or more of the ways mentioned above.


So How can Hypnotherapy Help Attachment Issues?


Hypnotherapy, combining hypnosis and talk therapy, offers a powerful avenue for healing attachment issues. By inducing a state of relaxation and increased suggestibility during trance, hypnotherapy can enable you to address and overcome specific attachment challenges as it becomes easier to bypass the mental chatter and defences that may have built up over many years.  Hypnotherapy can also help resolved issued related to attachment such as anger, depression and low self-confidence.

The benefits are many:

  1. Resolving underlying issues: Hypnotherapy helps identify and resolve the root causes of attachment difficulties, promoting a deeper understanding and healthier coping mechanisms.
  2. Promoting self-awareness: you will become more self-aware by tuning into your inner world through hypnosis, recognizing patterns of behavior and emotional reactions and doing something about them if they haven’t been serving you. This in turn can enhance your ability to form and maintain healthy relationships.
  3. Reducing anxiety and stress: Hypnotherapy aids in reducing anxiety and stress, particularly beneficial if you have an anxious attachment style.
  4. Developing new coping mechanisms: I will teach you new, positive coping mechanisms to replace unhealthy patterns.
  5. Enhancing self-esteem: Hypnotherapy boosts self-esteem and self-worth, fostering confidence and comfort in your own skin.
  6. Improving communication skills: Communication skills are refined, enabling better expression of your needs and emotions, and maintaining boundaries.
  7. Increasing emotional regulation: Hypnotherapy fosters better emotional regulation, helping individuals manage their feelings and reactions effectively.


Lesbian couple hugging and happy together after therapy


Photo by Anna Selle on Unsplash


Take A Powerful Step

If you are ready to take the first step in transforming your relationships and becoming happier and more secure in yourself, contact me today for a no-obligation initial hypnotherapy consultation. Consider hypnotherapy as your key to unlocking your potential for meaningful, loving and fulfilling relationships. Positive change is within your reach, so do something that your future self will thank you for.

Cover photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash


Maria Baldwin is a CNHC registered hypnotherapist, offering hypnotherapy online as well as from her therapy room in Worsley,  Manchester.