Addiction and Attachment


Apart from the predominant classical psychoanalytic and behavioral approaches, addictive diseases have also been described as a kind of attachment disorder. Therefore, addictive patients, often show to be insecurely (anxious and/or ambivalent, disorganized) attached to their primary care givers, mostly their parents.

Attachment is an integrative psychological and biological theory of social affiliation, which has its origins in John Bowlby’s model of psychopathology and psychological treatment.

A lot of these mechanisms about attachment and social relationships described by Bowlby and colleagues we can find within the setting of a Therapeutic Community (TC). Within the TC it should be possible for all members to get in contact with their inner dysfunctional attachment patterns. A secure attachment system also means, that we are able to trust people and that we can be trusted. The dynamics and growth of attachment can be studied comprehensively within the TC setting.