Creating Connections 2016 Online - Partner Buffering of Attachment Insecurity

  • Download Available by December 1, 2016
  • Presented by Partner Buffering of Attachment Insecurity
  • $49.00 per person
  • 1.5 CE Hours (available for $20 after the event through R. Cassidy)

Partner Buffering of Attachment Insecurity

Insecurely attached people tend to have less happy and more unstable romantic relationships. However, the quality and long-term outcomes of their relationships depend on how their partners regulate them in certain social situations. Some partners find ways to regulate the emotional and behavioral reactions of insecurely attached individuals in distressing interactions, which can promote greater relationship satisfaction and security over time. In this talk, I will first discuss attachment theory and “interdependence dilemmas. Following this, I will explain how and why certain responses by partners during distressing interactions tend to assuage the cardinal concerns of insecure individuals in certain kinds of interdependence situations. I will then review several of our recent couple behavioral observation studies illustrating how partners can successfully regulate the reactions of anxiously and avoidantly attached individuals, yielding more constructive interactions and both happier and more stable relationships. I will conclude the talk by discussing how these effective partner regulation processes can create a more secure dyadic environment, which should help to improve relationships and attachment security across time. To give you a better idea of what I will cover, I have attached PDFs of two recent publications that outline our dyadic models of “partner buffering” with regard to anxious and avoidant attachment insecurity.


  • Understand the unique needs and motives of securely, anxiously, and avoidantly attached people
  • Clarify how and why certain types of “interdependence situations” can trigger concerns associated with the specific needs/motives of anxious and avoidant people
  • Identify what the romantic partners of anxious and avoidant people can do to buffer (assuage) the negative emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions of their insecure partner in these triggering situations
  • Discuss how therapists might be able to help the partners of insecure people enact buffering behaviors in a more effective way

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