Understand Attachment Styles To Love & Grow In Relationship
With Donna Tosky
Childhood trauma, when unresolved and dysregulated, impacts us as adults, and affects our intimate relationship the most. In this interview, Donna explains why attachment theory plays such a key role in coupleship and talks about the different attachment styles we develop based on how we “attached” (or not) as children. She describes ways in which you can transform your communication style from one of ‘complaints and criticism’ to ‘clear and empowered’, to build a healthy and secure coupleship with your partner.
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About Donna Tosky
Donna Tosky, Couple’s Communication Specialist
“My ex-husband and I were both good people. Why did it end so badly? What did I miss?” When Donna Tosky’s 14 year marriage came to an end, she had a burning desire to help other couples avoid the frustration and pain that she experienced.
Donna has devoted the past 15 years of her life showing 100’s of couples how to repair, renew and sustain a fulfilling connection through a unique model of communication that she calls the “SPARK Communication Success System for Couples”. She does this In her unique in person retreats and online programs.
Donna also practices Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) to help free her clients from deeper emotional issues and to get them back to a place of ease and joy within themselves and their relationships.
“Donna has an ability that not a lot of people have. She’s able to make sense in all sorts of ways. I believe it’s a gift and I feel lucky that we got the opportunity to work with you.” -Stacy Trodden
“Donna is truly gifted at what she does.“ – Belinda Osborne
The six steps are very similar to Nonviolent Communication (NVC): Observations, Feelings, Needs, Requests and also Empathy and Judgements. If you need more information on how these work together.
Oh this is so good Jennifer! Thank you for sharing this ~ NVC! I had not heard of this before. Such helpful insight. Thank you for being on this journey with us and sharing your insights!!!
Hi Jennifer, Yes…thank you. Years ago I was quite involved with a NVC community locally and am quite familiar with Rosenberg’s work. It seemed he revolutionized the area of communication and now it occurs to me that most everybody in the communication field uses his work, one way or another. One of the things I see in my practice more than ANYTHING else is the client that collapses interpretation with fact…and then relates to the interpretation as though it is fact. That little piece right there CERTAINLY gets in the way of clean, clear communication. Another thing I see quite often is mistaking interpretation or metaphor for feeling…. “I feel neglected”….”I feel like you don’t care”…. both somewhat sketchy and very likely to pull for defensiveness. Thanks again for your comment Jennifer. Hope you’re enjoying this amazing series.
I loved the generous sharing of this presenter, Donna Totsky. I especially loved her closing comment about how our primary relationship has a profound impact on every other aspect of our life. I personally love therapy and use it, but my husband is not remotely interested, so Donna’s take on things gives me great hope that there is a way for us to grow as a couple. Thank you!!
Beautiful! Yes Megan, there are many ways to get to peace and harmony! Wishing you the very best and may all possibilities be available to you for exploration and discovery!!! Wishing you so much grace and healing on your journey!!!
Thanks for your comment. I have to say that I chuckled a bit when I read your comment about therapy and your husband not being “remotely interested”. I actually specialize in working with couples where either both partners or one partner, is not keen on therapy. It’s my experience that it’s mostly the men that are “nervous” or have no interest whatsoever, in therapy. Since 2008 I have spoken to every single man before coming into our signature program (100’s of them) and I’ve purposely asked “what has you want to do this type of program instead of therapy” and most of them tell me they don’t like the idea of looking for “what’s wrong”… they’re not keen on being made wrong and /or they’re not keen on going to the past. I find it interesting that most all of the men I have talked to seem to have the same types of “ideas” about therapy even if they have never gone. So for me, I take the approach I do cuz i figure “hey….we have to get the men on board somehow” . They seem to like it if you lead with “better communication” … this they can easily wrap their head around without internal alarms going off. Thanks again Megan for your comment and “yes” there is TONS of hope for you to grow as a couple.
Thank-you so much. I really appreciated this. I definitely have an insecure attachment style and I can see that being self-reflective is so helpful. I appreciate how practical and positive the tips and steps are and plan to use them.
Hi Carrie Ann,
Mmmm ….really GREAT for you to see. When you understand your attachment style, it can explain so much can’t it ? SO many things begin to make sense. I just got off the phone with a man that has proposed to his gal and he’s going crazy because she keeps saying things to him like “I just KNOW you’re going to get cold feet”…. “I KNOW you’re going to leave me”. He doesn’t understand attachment style (…yet….), so he is getting frustrated and angry with her and out of frustration says something like …”Okay well if that’s how you feel about me then maybe we should just forget it”. The more frustrated HE gets with what she is saying… the more anxious SHE gets with what he is saying. It can be a super tough dynamic to “be” with when we don’t understand what’s going on. I personally am what some refer to in this field as a Fearful Avoidant. How this shows up for me is that I want closeness just like the “anxious type” but when I think someone is getting “too” close… I want to back up. My next door neighbor from 40 years ago found me on FB . I was SO excited…. and then when she got a little “mushy” and said she would drive the 3 hours immediately to come and see me I got nervous and postponed the meeting. I am super glad that I understand what was going for me otherwise I think I would have made myself “wrong” for reacting the way I did. It’s a wonderful tool. Yes…self- reflection is KEY… when you’re triggered and feeling super anxious keep asking yourself….”what’s going on with me?”. What we tend to do is automatically look at our partner or the “other” to establish what is wrong with THEM, when it’s more productive to look inward. Thanks again Carrie Ann for your comment. Glad you appreciated the practical and positive tips and steps and hope you enjoy the rest of the summit! Cheers