Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Circle of Security: “Understanding Attachment in Couples and Families”

  • Deidre QuinlanEmail author
  • Mary Ann Marchel
  • Glen Cooper
  • Kent Hoffman
  • Bert Powell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_37

No variables have more far reaching effects on personality development than a child’s experiences within the family. Starting during his first months in his relations to both parents, he builds up internal working models of how attachment figures are likely to behave towards him in any of a variety of situations, and on all those models are based all his expectations, and therefore, all his plans, for the rest of his life.

John Bowlby (1973), Attachment and Loss

Name of Concept

Attachment and Circle of Security


Attachment plays a powerful role in shaping families and intimate relationships and in determining the emotional health of the developing child. Attachment relationships develop from birth, and these early care experiences with primary caregivers shape one’s responses to important relationships throughout the lifespan. As attachment theorist and clinician John Bowlby (1953) envisioned more than 50 years ago, children create internal working models of themselves and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deidre Quinlan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary Ann Marchel
    • 2
  • Glen Cooper
    • 3
  • Kent Hoffman
    • 3
  • Bert Powell
    • 3
  1. 1.Circle of Security InternationalDuluthUSA
  2. 2.College of St. ScholasticaDuluthUSA
  3. 3.Circle of Security InternationalSpokaneUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Molly F. Gasbarrini
    • 1
  1. 1.Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA