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An overview of the unspoken emotions and internal insecurities

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT One of the many paradoxes of this existence is that even though what we most essentially are is a nondual field of awareness that lacks nothing—as it is All That Is—we are also human beings who have an innate need for close emotional bonds that provide a secure sense of attachment.

We need this just as much as we need food and water for our human bodies. Human beings do not thrive physically or emotionally without close bonds with other human beings. Our brains are genetically hard-wired for attachment.

This connection is needed in order to structure our brain for healthy relationships and well-being. Badenoch, 2008 In the field of psychology, attachment is seen as the as the foundation of our psychological life.

The Ultimate Secure Base: Healing Insecure Attachment in the Nondual Field

John Bowlby 1982the originator of attachment theory, proposed that for a child the attachment bond with a protective, loving adult figure is a primary mechanism for the maintenance and regulation of safety.

The caregiver serves as a secure base Ainsworth et al. Therefore, how we attach early in life is an extremely important aspect of human development. Our attachment patterns affect us throughout all areas and phases of life.

They determine how well we can be in relationship and how well we cope with stress. Many studies have shown the ways in which our early experience is correlated with physical and mental health later in life.

  1. Nondual awareness is the only thing that can never leave us or let us down in any way.
  2. This could provide an intimacy that would promote secure attachment.
  3. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Research has supported what we think of as common sense.
  4. The dreaded experience of the orphan became a doorway to transformation and deeper being.
  5. The presence of this awareness is the most potent experience of a secure base that could ever be provided.

Research has supported what we think of as common sense: A secure attachment is a strong protective factor against the development of psychopathology as well as against being adversely affected by trauma. Levine, 2010, van der Kolk, 1987. Secure attachment and a sense of a safe world provides the conditions which make it possible for the development of a more authentic sense of self, one that is not primarily constructed out of emotional defenses.

Yet, even though secure attachment is highly important to the well-being of human beings, our primary caretakers do not always provide it. Without therapeutic recovery, individuals who are insecurely attached are unable to provide secure attachment to their infants and children. They do not have the embodied experience of secure attachment in their nervous system. Also, people who have unresolved trauma are less likely to be able to provide secure attachment as caregivers because trauma reduces our relational capacity.

The facility for safety and goodness is nowhere to be found. To the degree that traumatized people are dominated by shutdown, they are physiologically unavailable for face-to-face contact and the calming sharing of feelings and attachment. Insecure attachment has been divided into three main categories: I will briefly describe each.

The first is called ambivalent attachment. An ambivalent attachment results from having a caregiver who is inconsistently available.

Their responses are sometimes appropriate and sometimes neglectful. The child is therefore unable to experience the caregiver as a secure base. Therefore, this attachment style is sometimes also called, resistant, anxious or preoccupied. The second type of insecure attachment is called avoidant attachment. Such neglect is common with caregivers who are alcoholic, drug addicted, or severely depressed. The child does not experience sufficient connection, which results in either a collapse or rebellion, and results in lower self-image and self-esteem.

Avoidantly attached adults minimize the importance of relationship, and remain distant and emotionally unavailable. They desire a high degree of independence and view themselves as self-sufficient and invulnerable to needing others. They may also have mixed feelings about close relationships. On the one hand, desiring them, and on the other hand, fearing them.

The third type of insecure attachment is called disorganized attachment, which is the highest degree of attachment disturbance.

A disorganized attachment forms as a result of having a caregiver who is dangerous, harmful, or abusive in some way. Disorganized attachment can occur when the caregiver abuses the child physically or sexually, or when there is domestic violence in the home. This creates a powerful double bind for the child. The human brain is hard-wired to seek comfort from primary caregivers when hurt or afraid, and another part of the brain is hard-wired to fight or flee when threatened. This type of attachment is often characterized by a dissociated response, which can look like no response at all, where the infant or child is emotionally absent.

Adults with disorganized attachment may become aggressive and angry in relationships. They may be unable to open up and be vulnerable, and can be insensitive to the needs of their partners.

What I would like to explore here is how insecure attachment can be transformed and healed more fully with the conscious inclusion of nonduality in the psychotherapeutic process. I will begin by defining what I mean by nonduality. On the relative plane of existence there appears to be separate beings with distinct personalities, forms, feelings, etc. On the absolute plane there is only one field of conscious energy, but it has countless expressions. The raindrop of water exists, but it is not separate from the sea into which it falls.

Everything inter-exists with all else. Therefore, we can say everything is empty of a separate, independent self. If the nondual truth of this existence is that nothing is truly separate, how can there be insecure attachment?

Insecure attachment arises out of the belief in separation. Even though there is in fact no such thing as separation, unless we have realized this, we live as though it is true.

  1. That allowed him to face the unfaceable and move through it in a transformative and embodied way.
  2. A secure attachment is a strong protective factor against the development of psychopathology as well as against being adversely affected by trauma. Its brevity and washed-out aesthetic point to the fragile nature of her happier familial memories.
  3. It is important that the therapist knows the experience of secure attachment in order to provide that for the client.

Even though a human being is part of the whole, most human beings experience themselves, their thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest. Einstein, 1950, from Siegel, 2010, p. I see the belief in separation as the root cause of insecure attachment. And, if we do not release insecure attachment at its root, it is not fully healed or transformed.

Some might argue that inadequate parenting is the root cause. However, generations of inadequate parenting have originated in the belief that we are separate from one another. And, even if the parenting is adequate, it will still fall short of true security since that cannot be found in any relationship based in separation.

However, attachment can be relatively secure with good parental bonding and attachment. There is a difference between a relative secure attachment and the true security, in the deepest sense, which can only be found in the recognition of unchangeable, indestructible being that we are most essentially.

In the world of psychology, the psychotherapeutic relationship is generally seen as an overview of the unspoken emotions and internal insecurities healing agent for insecure attachment. The various schools of therapy each have their differences, but they all tend to agree that the therapeutic relationship itself may be the most curative agent Cosolino, 2010. Bowlby stated that caregivers provide a secure base in early life; and if that does not happen, then the therapist provides the secure base.

And, as David Wallin states: In addition to the psychotherapeutic relationship, mindfulness has been shown to be effective in healing insecure attachment. The purpose of both psychotherapy and mindfulness practice is to provide this internalized secure base.

Attunement, whether it is internal in mindfulness, or interpersonal in attachment, is what leads to a sense of secure base. The regular exercise of mindful awareness seems to promote the same benefits—bodily and affective self-regulation, attuned communication with others, insight, empathy, and the like—that research has found to be associated with childhood histories of secure attachment. Although there might be other explanations for these parallel outcomes, I would suggest that they arise from the fact that mindfulness and secure attachment alike are capable of generating—though by very different routes—the same invaluable psychological resource, namely and internalized secure base.

And, just as our attunement to our children promotes a healthy, secure attachment, tuning in to our self also promotes a foundation for more secure attachment. In addition to the therapeutic relationship, it is important to have a direct experience of loving attunement within. This inner attunement can be provided through any mindfulness practice, but I believe, most powerfully through nondual mindfulness, or resting as awareness, which puts us in direct contact with the ultimate secure base of nondual awareness.

Since 1980, nearly a thousand scientific papers have documented the effectiveness an overview of the unspoken emotions and internal insecurities mindfulness, often studying Western trainings that are based on a Buddhist approach. Most of these studies have focused on the mindfulness of the therapist. However, Buddhist Psychology asserts that the very foundation of well-being is based in training the mindfulness of the client.

And none of the research, as far as I know, has been focused on mindfulness involving nondual awareness. If dualistic mindfulness is so highly affective in healing insecure attachment, as well as other conditions such as depression and anxiety, how much more effective would effortless, nondual mindfulness be? Even though he says that our natural state is effortless mindfulness, most people need an intentional reminder to bring us back to this.

Tibetan Buddhism teaches that for most people, the mindfulness of deliberate attention is essential in the beginning. It is recommended that one practice deliberate mindfulness, even though it is subtly conceptual, and gradually progress to effortless mindfulness. However, in the direct, nondual teachings of many current nondual teachers, effortless mindfulness is pointed to directly.

Either way, ultimately it is the effortless resting as nondual awareness that is pointed to. This can also be described as the difference between a dualistic practice of mindfulness, which involves a subject and an object, and a nondual practice that does not involve subject and object.

Nondual mindfulness is simply resting as nondual awareness with no one resting and no separate object being observed. This can lead to the realization that all the phenomena appearing in awareness are not separate from or other than the same nondual awareness. It is this experience of nondual mindfulness, or resting as awareness, that I would like to bring to the process of healing of insecure attachment.

  • This relational safety allowed Daniel to experience core affect such as unbearable aloneness and grief that would have been intolerable alone;
  • Since security and safety is so essential to human development, the need for this can drive us deeper into our being until we finally discover what is truly secure and safe in the deepest sense.

Nondual awareness is the only thing that is truly secure in this existence. This is true because it is the one constant that cannot be changed or destroyed. It is the ultimate secure base because it is available at all times, even if that is overlooked or not consciously known. Nondual awareness is the only thing that can never leave us or let us down in any way. Where would it go? It is the substratum of all existence! It could never reject or fail us in any way. The nondual presence of our true being is pure love.

In other words, it unconditionally allows everything to fully be as it is. It would not be possible for any human relationship alone to offer the same.