Is there a therapy for attachment anxiety?

Whether there is a therapy for the fear of commitment, we will get to the bottom of this question here. People who keep their distance from their partner or do not even want to enter into a permanent relationship often suffer from a fear of commitment. But what is really behind this general term?

A therapy against attachment anxiety

Fear of commitment is not some whim of a freedom-loving person, but an anxiety disorder. She describes the fear of engaging in a deeper emotional relationship. Affected people perceive closeness to another person as threatening. In order to evade this threat, they distance themselves from their partner or avoid close relationships altogether. This can be stressful for both the partner and those affected. The good news: Fear of commitment can be treated. There are ways to overcome fear. But: The way to get there is exhausting and it doesn’t always lead to success.

In order to overcome the fear of commitment, those affected and couples should seek professional help from a therapist. This can be either a psychotherapist or a couples therapist. Psychotherapy is usually covered by health insurance In the first sessions, the therapist will make an initial diagnosis. In addition, you have the opportunity to find out whether the therapist and you fit together from a therapeutic point of view. It is not possible to say in general how many sessions you need in total. As a rule, the health insurance company approves 60 to 160 sessions, depending on the type of therapy. More can be requested if required. Whether you need that many sessions at all depends on individual factors and your progress.

If you decide to go to couples therapy , you will have to bear the costs yourself. A session with a couples therapist usually costs between 100 and 140 euros. The duration of therapy varies, but on average it is ten sessions of one hour each.

You can do that as a partner

In addition to therapeutic support, the partner can also do something for the person concerned. First, partners should stop their adaptive behavior . Don’t even try to meet the demands of a relationship phobic. This only leads to a vicious circle that is difficult to break out of. Destruction of your own self-confidence and even depression can be the consequences for you. In this case, the only solution is usually a separation. 

In concrete terms, this means: stay the way you are, but be there for your partner . Try to take away his (commitment) fears, for example by showing him that the relationship doesn’t have to be as cramped as he fears. Give your partner space when they need it, but at the same time make it clear that you are always there. Positive experiences are important for you as a couple. For a relationship phobic, this can be a dinner together at the Italian restaurant around the corner. 

Overcoming the fear of commitment without therapy is possible, but is not recommended by experts. The reason: Above all, the partner of the person concerned often tears the proverbial leg out without getting any closer to the goal. Professional support is therefore always advisable.

Recognize fear of commitment

A prerequisite for successful therapy against attachment anxiety is that those affected are aware of their fear and want a firm and stable relationship with their partner. The fear of commitment is often triggered by experiences in childhood. Either through a cold, loveless home, through separation situations ( divorce , hospitalization) or the loss of a loved one (death). In order to overcome the fear of commitment, you must first recognize it. That is not always easy. It can be roughly said that there is a fear of commitment in relationships where there is a lack of emotional depth and future prospects . In concrete terms this means:

  • The person who suffers from the fear of commitment withdraws from their partner and instead pursues their hobbies, meets up with friends or goes about their work intensively.
  • There are hardly any joint ventures. Appointments are often canceled.
  • Another clear sign is the refusal of physical closeness, i.e. no kissing, no sex, no tenderness.
  • Those affected often have a poorly developed sense of responsibility. The relationship phobic leaves without saying where or when he will come back.
  • Those affected are not willing to commit to common plans for the future.
  • There are frequent threats of separation.
  • Affected people feel uncomfortable if they have to spend too long with their partner in one (limited) place – apartment, vacation.
  • Despite a relationship, relationship phobics continue to be on the lookout for the “right, perfect partner”.

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