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Love is in the air

Healthy relationships and attachment theory

By Amy Jackson, ParTNers Center Behavioral Health Consultant

Dolly Parton, a true Tennessee treasure, once said, “Love is sent from heaven to worry the heck out of you.”

Behind Dolly’s famous wit lies this reality: Love makes life worth living, but also can create pain. Difficulty in our personal relationships is unavoidable and a part of life. But it is possible to understand how healthy relationships work and enact positive changes.


So...

  • What makes a healthy relationship?

  • How do we recognize when a relationship isn’t healthy?

  • What steps can we take to ensure that the relationships we are in can be as good as possible?


Although there isn’t a magic formula to ensure that your relationships are healthy, there are some things to think about to create well-balanced and fulfilling relationships.

“New beginnings start with knowing how we create the trap that we are caught in, how we have deprived ourselves of the love we need. Strong bonds grow from resolving to halt the cycles of disconnection, the dances of distress.” — Dr. Sue Johnson, leading researcher on adult attachment

Additional reading:

Book: “Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love” by Levine and Heller.

Book: “Hold Me Tight,” Dr. Sue Johnson

Quizzes: Attachment Style Quiz: Free & Fast Attachment Style Test (attachmentproject.com)

Attachment Styles Test: Attachment Style Quiz from Dr. Diane Poole Heller

Relationship Attachment Style Test (psychologytoday.com)

Instagram: The Secure Relationship (@thesecurerelationship) • Instagram photos and videos