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Relationships shape us, change us, and challenge us.

Emerging research indicates that the quality of our relationships can significantly impact our mental health, and with that in mind, I have created a number of illustrated resources to help individuals, couples, and families grow better, more satisfying relationships.

Through our own personal growth, learning to listen well to others, and engage in conflict well, we can all take steps towards helping our relationships become healthier and more supportive.

 

Understanding How Attunement & Containment Help Form Attachments

Attunement and Containment – along with Rupture and Repair – are key building blocks for relationships that support the formation of healthy attachments. In this article, we’ll dive a little deeper into understanding containment and attunement and how these puzzle pieces fit into the larger concept of forming healthy attachments to the people we care about.

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Illustration: Boundaries are Internal & External

External boundaries are where we bump up against each other (like setting boundaries around our time or how we allow others to treat us), while internal boundaries are where we bump up against ourselves in ways that bring dissonance between competing desires (like wanting to take on a new project but knowing we can’t don’t have the resources to complete it). In this illustration, I tease out some of the nuances between internal and external boundaries.

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Illustration: Rupture & Repair are Key to Attachment in Healthy Relationships

Good attachments take work, and one of the hardest parts of building and maintaining satisfying and supportive relationships is repairing after rupture (i.e. conflict). It’s so hard, and conflict is so often avoided, that many of us have never experienced really good repair – or the way that it can deepen and strengthen our connection and trust with another person. Rupture is inevitable. Repair, however, takes work.

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