Attachment theory

Alexandra19

New Here
Hi everyone,

I would really appreciate any input from therapists/psychologists and people in therapy. I was wondering if therapists match clients attachment style by being distant, not asking how they feel etc in the initial stages of therapy when they see that they have trouble opening up? Do you have any experience with this? Thanks in advance.
 

Friday

Moderator
No early childhood / developmental trauma here, so attachment theory doesn’t apply, and isn’t a part of my therapy. My problems with connections, trust, dysreg, etc. are totally unrelated to my childhood.

It can be a very central (or tangential) part of someone’s therapy who does have early childhood trauma, and is relating to people -as an adult- the way a young child might. But the purpose of that? (In most branches of psych) Is not to match the attachment style that’s gotten “stuck” rather than progressing into the varied and complex connections that adults forge; but instead to move someone through “stuck” stages of development.

What you’re describing sounds more like either
a) personality; and the choices we make as clients of choosing who to see as a therapist; exuberant, reticent, witty, straightforward, reserved, intuitive, matriarchal/patriarchal, aloof, warm, cold, reserved, engaged, sympathetic, empathetic, etc.

b) general caution in not pushing a new client for more information than they’re ready/willing to give, until they know them better.
 
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Alexandra19

New Here
No early childhood / developmental trauma here, so attachment theory doesn’t apply, and isn’t a part of my therapy. My problems with connections, trust, dysreg, etc. are totally unrelated to my childhood.

It can be a very central (or tangential) part of someone’s therapy who does have early childhood trauma, and is relating to people -as an adult- the way a young child might. But the purpose of that? (In most branches of psych) Is not to match the attachment style that’s gotten “stuck” rather than progressing into the varied and complex connections that adults forge; but instead to move someone through “stuck” stages of development.

What you’re describing sounds more like either
a) personality; and the choices we make as clients of choosing who to see as a therapist; exuberant, reticent, witty, straightforward, reserved, intuitive, matriarchal/patriarchal, aloof, warm, cold, reserved, engaged, sympathetic, empathetic, etc.

b) general caution in not pushing a new client for more information than they’re ready/willing to give, until they know them better.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Therapist seems to be matching the attachment style she believes I had with my caregiver. I don’t get why. Do you think it’s to gauge a reaction of some kind?
 

Friday

Moderator
Do you think it’s to gauge a reaction of some kind?
No idea.

The only way to know why she’s doing anything? Is to ask her.

The same action can have countless motivations behind it. The only way to know the motivation of the person who is actually doing it? Is to ask them.

As I said, though… deliberately matching attachment styles of clients with childhood trauma isn’t anything I’ve ever come across in any of my studies. Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t exist, simply that it’s not a tool -or style- used in any of the couple dozen schools of psych I have studied / am familiar with.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I am aware that my therapist mirrors me at times. I think it’s supposed to help a client become aware of their own behavior. If you don’t like how they are behaving that is a motivation to change that in yourself. Or to talk about it.
 

Missycat

MyPTSD Pro
My trauma is childhood based. I really struggled to open up / even talk at times. My therapist (a psychologist) was the opposite to me and as @Friday notes helped me move through these ‘stuck stages’. She knew when to be quiet and listen and just observe and when to talk / support.
As the others note , i would suggest you raise it with your therapist.
 
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