Changing our patterns

The neurotic who is cured has really become another man, though at bottom, of course, he has remained the same; that is to say, he has become what he might have become at best under the most favorable conditions. But that is a very great deal.

Freud, S. (1916–1917) Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis.

The above quote, read in the language of attachment theory, could refer to earned security.

  • Bowlby hypothesized change can occur through new relationships: “Bowlby also hypothesized that change in attachment patterns can occur in later life through the influence of new attachment relationships and the development of formal operational thought. This combination of events allows the individual to reflect on and reinterpret the meaning of past and present experiences (Bowlby, 1973, 1980, 1988) – something that can happen in an individual’s self-analysis, within a couple relationship (such as marriage), or as a consequence of psychotherapy.”
  • Volitional Change in Adult Attachment: Can People Who Want to Become Less Anxious and Avoidant Move Closer Towards Realizing Those Goals? NATHAN W. HUDSON, WILLIAM J. CHOPIK and DANIEL A. BRILEY
  • There are differing opinions on the importance and weight of our early attachment figures and how this influences our developing attachment orientations/internal working models: [researchers] differed in their thinking about the development of attachment relationships across life and the significance of early relationships. Their views ranged from those emphasizing the formative influence of infant-caregiver attachment, to those emphasizing the continued malleability of attachment security in response to life stress, psychotherapy, and the influence of later relationships, to the view that people acquire and maintain multiple representations of relationships over time that shape their overarching attachment orientation in adulthood. Full article: Taking perspective on attachment theory and research: nine fundamental questions (

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