Counselors seek to conceptualize clients who come in with complex problems in order to help them improve their lives and facilitate improved problem solving skills. In order to do this the counselor must understand how the different aspects of an individual’s personality work together with their environment to make the individual who they are. Styles of attachment have proven to be central to the formation of a person’s personality. Ideas of attachment in infants and children were established in the 1960’s by Bowlby, and were later built upon by the ideas of researchers like Ainsworth and Thompson. Through this research bases of attachment, styles of attachment, and the outcomes of attachments in children have been documented and well
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In this model, the securely attached individual has both a positive view of themselves and of others, the preoccupied style of attachment has a negative view of self, but a positive view of others, the dismissive style of attachment has a negative view of others, but a positive view of self, and the fearful pattern of attachment has a negative view of both self and others. The model of attachment styles are both similar and different, and seem to be used seems to vary widely based on the research topic of interest. It seems some researchers are more comfortable with the Ainsworth model of patterns, while some recognize the utility of Bartholomew’s model, so it is helpful when exploring the topic of adult attachment to bear both in mind.
. When examining worldwide trends of attachment, one study found that the distribution of adult attachment styles to be as follows: 24% fall within the avoidant style, 58% form secure attachments, and 18% are considered to be in the anxious pattern (van Ijzendoorn & Sagi-Schwartz, 2008). This suggests that worldwide, the norm for attachment patterns is the secure pattern of attachment. Other research, however, suggests that there are large social, cultural, and ethnic variations that impact adult attachment styles, particularly in countries where the pattern of styles is different from the worldwide average.
One such differing pattern found was that of all the studies ethnicities, African Americans