How can I become more secure?: A grounded theory of earning secure attachment.

Rachel Dansby Olufowote, Stephen Fife, Cydney Schleiden, Jason Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to develop a grounded theory of earning secure attachment. This study included 15 women and 5 men who met the criteria of having a self‐reported history of attachment insecurity and demonstrated evidence of earned security. The grand tour research question, How do adults with a history of insecure attachment earn security?, was explored using constructivist grounded theory and semi‐structured interviews emphasizing processes of positive attachment change. The results describe a process model of change hinging on three interrelated categories: meta‐conditions of positive attachment change, making intrapsychic changes, and making interpersonal changes. Clinical implications include the importance of clients committing to the process, clients working with a clinician trained in trauma‐focused therapy, and clinicians being surrogate attachment figures for clients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
StatePublished - Oct 2019


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