A man and a woman lean into each other and kiss representing healing an attachment wound.

Attachment wounds can be stumbling blocks to forming healthy, enduring relationships. These emotional injuries are rooted deep in your psyche, and influence how you navigate your connections as an adult. As a therapist, life coach, and experienced marriage counselor, I know that attachment wounds can cause a lot of pain and instability. Fortunately, healing is possible. In this article, we’ll explore what attachment wounds are and the practical steps you can take to heal them. 

What Are Attachment Wounds?

Attachment wounds are emotional injuries stemming from early relationships, typically in childhood. These wounds impact how we form and navigate relationships throughout our lives. They often show up as deep-seated fears around intimacy, insecurities, or unhealthy relationship patterns in adulthood. 

Identifying Attachment Wounds

To heal attachment wounds, the first step is recognizing them. Reflect on your early relationships, particularly with your parents or caregivers. Were there moments of neglect, inconsistency, or emotional unavailability? Did you feel loved and respected? These experiences could be the roots of attachment wounds, and difficult relationship patterns in adulthood. 

Here are the most common attachment wounds that I talk with clients about in therapy:

  • Abandonment: Fear of being left alone or rejected, often rooted in early experiences of neglect or separation.
  • Neglect: Emotional or physical neglect during crucial stages of development, impacting your sense of self-worth.
  • Enmeshment: Overly enmeshed relationships, where personal boundaries are blurred, leading to a fear of losing oneself.

Having an insecure attachment style, like anxious attachment or avoidant attachment, can also be a sign of attachment wounding. Take my attachment style quiz to learn where you fall on the attachment spectrum.  

If you suspect that you may have an attachment wound, it’s important that you get support from a really good therapist. Unhealed attachment wounds can sabotage adult relationships. They can show up as patterns of mistrust, fear of intimacy, or the compulsion to seek constant validation. Attachment wounds can also make it more difficult to heal and recover after a breakup. If you’re experiencing this, the kind of therapist you need is one who uses an attachment lens and practices evidence-based approaches to psychotherapy. Learn more about how to find a therapist

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How to Heal an Attachment Wound

Healing an attachment wound is a long journey, but the rewards are well worth it. Here are some practical steps you can take to encourage attachment healing:


Begin by delving into your past, identifying patterns, and understanding how early experiences shaped your attachment style and the way you feel in relationships as an adult. Increasing your awareness of your attachment wound allows you to intentionally shift your patterns. 

Mindfulness Practices

Techniques like meditation and mindfulness help ground you in the present, giving you a helpful tool for when you’re feeling triggered by your attachment wound. 

Setting Boundaries

People with deep attachment wounds are often out of touch with their feelings and needs. Getting clear about what you need to have healthy, safe relationships and then setting those boundaries with others is crucial, especially for people who’ve been wounded by enmeshed family systems. Learning to differentiate your identity from others helps you build a sense of security and autonomy. 

Building Secure Relationships

Cultivating secure relationships can be healing for people with attachment wounds. The relationships you need are those that provide a secure base for authenticity and emotional exploration. Surround yourself with people who are emotionally safe, validating, reliable, and trustworthy. 

Embracing Vulnerability

Healing an attachment wound requires you to embrace vulnerability — allowing yourself to be seen authentically, wounds and all, with safe, trustworthy people. Vulnerability fosters genuine connections, which can be quite healing. 


Sometimes people with attachment wounds can struggle with communication. Their insecurities may cause them to become emotionally flooded easily in conflict, or to shut down and withdraw during difficult conversations. Practicing emotionally safe communication can help you build your confidence in your ability to manage relationships. 

Seek Couples Therapy

For those navigating healing within a relationship, couples therapy provides a safe space to address wounds together, build your understanding of each other, and strengthen your emotional bond. Learn more about what to expect from marriage counseling

Individual Therapy

Healing an attachment wound isn’t a solo journey. Therapists provide a valuable perspective and guidance that will help you understand yourself better, engage in emotional healing, overcome insecurities, and build your self-esteem. 

Support for Healing an Attachment Wound

I hope you found this article helpful. Healing an attachment wound can be hard work, but it’s the beginning of so much self-discovery and personal growth. Finding the right support along the way can help you feel better and transform your relationship patterns in profound and lasting ways. 

And if you would like to do this valuable work with a clinician on my team, I invite you to schedule a free consultation


Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. — For more advice on healing emotional wounds and forming better relationships with others, check out my “Empowered Connections” and “Emotional Wellness” collections of articles and podcasts.  

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