The term “secure base” is the basis of attachment theory, which proposes that many problems of adult relationships stem from a lack of a sense of security during childhood. These can have developed through interactions with numerous adults during that time of life but are largely related to the child’s primary caregivers.
For children, a secure base promotes exploration and discovery, a sense of safety, and enjoyment of the world around them. On the other hand, experiencing neglect, separation or abuse can result in anxiety, distrust of close relationships, being wary of forming new relationships, being overly needy and demanding, or exhibiting controlling behaviors. These can also manifest during youth and adult years and can result in addictive patterns.
These emotional and behavioral responses develop over time, but the good news is that they can be successfully reversed. Individuals who had poor attachment can heal and experience fulfilling relationships and lives of peace and joy. The process does not happen instantaneously. A 12-step group, such as the Journey to Wholeness groups, can help this process by providing an environment of acceptance and support.
And in addition to finding strength in human relationships, it is also vitally important to find ultimate security in the God who says “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5, NLT) and “I drew a picture of you on my hand. You are always before my eyes” (Isaiah 49:16, ERV).
Angeline B. David, DrPH, MHS, RDN
Health Ministries / ARMin Director
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists