Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Judith E. Fox, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Tippett, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Nicole Schneider, Ph.D.


Attachment theory, Substance use, Insecure attachment

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.


Substance use treatment addresses addiction behaviors, increasing coping skills, and sobriety but current modalities do not address the insecure attachment styles that may contribute to substance use for many individuals. Insecure attachment styles seemingly have a bidirectional relationship with substance use and are therefore are likely an important aspect of treatment. This case example focuses on an attachment therapist’s work with a young man with a substance use disorder and attachment insecurity. Attachment theory interventions are proposed to address potential contributors of continued substance use. This paper proposes that using attachment theory in combination with existing treatment modalities for substance use would likely increase the efficacy of current treatment models and decrease treatment drop out and relapse rates.


41 pgs

Paper Method

Case Study