Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Bonds in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Andrew S. BrimhallEmail author
  • David M. Haralson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_513

Name of Concept



Alliance; Attachment; Link; Tie


Bond is an emotional attachment between one or more individuals. To be considered an attachment bond, the relationship must have four defining characteristics: proximity maintenance, separation distress, safe haven, and secure base. Relationships may have some of these characteristics (referred to as affiliative bonds) but to be classified as an attachment bond, all four must be present.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Psychologist John Bowlby (1958) was one of the first to formally study the concept of an attachment bond. According to Bowlby, children instinctively form emotional attachments to their caregivers in order to obtain a sense of safety. Other theorists have built upon Bowlby’s original ideas by distinguishing between different attachment styles and by applying attachment bonds to adult and professional relationships (i.e., romantic relationships and therapist-client alliance) (Cassidy and Shaver 2008...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rachel Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Saint JosephWest HarfordUSA