Become a supporting member to watch the full conversation
Humanity is entering the Transformation Age, a new era of human civilization, with Integral Consciousness rising at its leading edge. Our members don’t use Integral Life as just another media subscription they use weekly or discard. Instead, most stay with us for years, using Integral Life to learn Integral Philosophy and build an integral mind slowly, methodically and when they need it. We’re here to help you shape the future that’s emerging no matter where your life takes you.Get Full Access For $1 (30 days)* Or explore all membership plans → * Trial price for the first 30 days, then $20/month. Cancel or switch plans in 2 minutes at any time.
“So tell me about your mother.”
It’s become somewhat of a cliche in pop psychology: if you want to better understand your relationship patterns and improve your capacity to connect with others, you have to take a close look at the very first relationships you ever formed — your relationship with your parents and/or caregivers.
As Dr. Keith often reminds us, “Everything is relationships.” And these early relationships often set the tone and cadence for all the other relationships we will ever form in our lives. The coping strategies we learn in preadolescence become our inner compass later in life, and our efforts as grownups can often be seen as expressions, compensations, or substitute gratifications for the sense of security we may or may not have felt as children.
In other words, the ways our parents or caregivers respond to our needs as children result in a number of core assumptions about who we are, how others see us, and our overall sense of self-worth. We typically carry these unexamined core assumptions with us for the rest of our lives, which in turn influence how we go about seeking intimacy and fulfilling our needs as adults — not only in our romantic relationships, but also in our work, in our creative pursuits, in our own approach to parenting, and even in our spiritual life.
These underlying patterns and dynamics are best described by a psychological framework known as “attachment theory”, yet another essential tool to help us more fully understand, uncover, and unlock the promise and potential of the Integral mind.
What is Attachment Theory?
Attachment theory is a psychological framework that seeks to understand how our early relationships with caregivers, particularly our parents, shape our emotional and social development throughout our lives. It was first proposed by British psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s and has since been expanded upon by other researchers.
According to attachment theory, the quality of the bond that develops between a child and their primary caregiver has a profound impact on the child’s emotional and social development. This bond is formed through repeated interactions between the child and caregiver, in which the caregiver responds to the child’s needs for comfort, safety, and affection.
Attachment theory identifies three primary attachment styles: secure attachment, insecure-avoidant attachment, and insecure-anxious attachment. Children with a secure attachment style have caregivers who are consistently responsive and emotionally available, and they tend to be confident and trusting in their relationships. Children with insecure-avoidant attachment have caregivers who are emotionally distant or unresponsive, and they tend to avoid seeking comfort or support. Children with insecure-anxious attachment have caregivers who are inconsistent in their responses, and they tend to be anxious and uncertain in their relationships.
Attachment theory has been applied to a wide range of fields, from developmental psychology to psychotherapy to organizational behavior. It has been used to inform parenting practices, to help individuals understand and improve their relationships, and to develop interventions to help those with insecure attachment styles.
Previous Episodes of Witt & Wisdom
Integral Perspectives on Alcoholism
Toward an Integral Meta-Psychotherapy
The Art and Science of the Intentional Love Affair
When Therapists Go Woke
Mastery, Collaboration, and Finding Your Unique Healing Style
What Makes Us Happy? Growing Toward Anti-Fragility
How Self-Hatred Can Lead to Self Transformation
Escaping the Comfort Zone: Motivation, Shame, and the Will to Transform
Psychedelic Therapy and the Politics of Consciousness
How Change Works: Supporting Vertical Development
How Healthy Relationships Manage Conflict
Personality as the Base Note of Change Work
Making Sense of Madness: Personality Disorders and Mass Formation Delusions
Authoring Your Life Story: The Hero’s Journey and You
How to Teach Kids About Sex and Gender
An Integral Understanding of Narcissism and Gaslighting
The Awakened Brain: The Neurobiology of Spiritual Experience
From Codependence to Interdependence
Transforming Trauma Into Resilience
Finding Resilience in a Flood of Disinformation
Honesty, Humility, and Reality Distortion Fields
Become a member today to watch this video presentation and support the global emergence of Integral consciousness
Membership benefits include:
Receive full access to weekly conversations hosted by leading thinkers
Receive full access to the growing Journal of Integral Theory & Practice library
Stay connected by participating in Integral Life live events and discussions
Courses & Products
Get unlimited 20% discount off all products and courses from our friends and partners
Free Bonus Gifts
Download The Integral Vision eBook by Ken Wilber (worth $19 on Amazon) & The Ken Wilber Biography Series
Support of the movement
Support our mission of educating and spreading integral consciousness that is more critical than at any time in its history
About Keith Witt
Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is also the founder of The School of Love.
About Corey deVos
Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.