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You may have pockets of anxious attachment strategies that help you stay emotionally safe.

The Rescuer

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Learn more about attachment . . . 

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The Rescuer Strategy

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You are a beautiful human. With rescuer traits, you may find yourself investing a lot of energy in nurturing others.

You are probably known for your incredible generosity, intuitive super-powers, and stunning compassion. You have an uncanny ability to know what other people feel and how to best help.

But this can cause problems because sometimes you lose yourself in others, and it’s unlikely you expect the same kind of care you offer.

You may have a partner who lets your needs stay in the backseat because they’re unaware of what they’re doing.

If your partner has dropped your feelings enough times, you may have stopped sharing them. It could feel like there’s a wall of glass between you and your love.

And if you haven’t given up on your emotional connection, this attachment strategy may worry about losing love, especially during an absence. It can make the low-level anxiety you live with spiral out of control.

If you think emotional connection is what you need to feel filled in a relationship, you’re right. But how do you get it when your partner is distant?

We can help. Understanding attachment is the first step.

The Rescuer Strategy

Thin-brush-gray

You are a beautiful human. With rescuer traits, you may find yourself investing a lot of energy in nurturing others.

You are probably known for your incredible generosity, intuitive super-powers, and stunning compassion. You have an uncanny ability to know what other people feel and how to best help.

But this can cause problems because sometimes you lose yourself in others, and it’s unlikely you expect the same kind of care you offer.

You may have a partner who lets your needs stay in the backseat because they’re unaware of what they’re doing.

If your partner has dropped your feelings enough times, you may have stopped sharing them. It could feel like there’s a wall of glass between you and your love.

And if you haven’t given up on your emotional connection, this attachment strategy may worry about losing love, especially during an absence. It can make the low-level anxiety you live with spiral out of control.

If you think emotional connection is what you need to feel filled in a relationship, you’re right. But how do you get it when your partner is distant?

We can help. Understanding attachment is the first step.

Understand the 3 Attachment Archetypes
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EXPLORER

adapted

Pros

Great at focusing on their own dreams. Strong and independent. Inspirational.

Cons

Explorers build walls and hold their partners at arms-length to avoid being hurt.

Sharing intimate feelings can bring up such a powerful fear of loss, they often keep relationships superficial, like a rock skipping across the lake. Or maybe they can go deep but need big gaps of time between interactions.

It doesn’t feel safe to be close to people’s feelings. And that discomfort can be seen in an explorer’s difficulty sustaining eye contact.

Explorers may send mixed signals (push-pull) and might have unequal boundaries that are sometimes unfair and unrealistic. They’d rather take care of their own needs because relying on someone feels risky and unnecessary. 

Because explorers tend to have a positive view of themselves and a negative view of others, they might pick at their partner’s insignificant faults to emotionally distance themselves when their partner gets too close for comfort.

Or they might long for connection but feel stressed when it happens. Or feel the most connected to their partner when the partner is near but sleeping—or doing a shared activity that takes off the pressure.

When an explorer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by telling a partner they’re taking some self-care time and will be available to connect in x-amount-of-time), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

An explorer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it. 

THE HERO

secure

Pros

Take the journey to relationship paradise.

You, your partner, family members, or friends may have many of these traits, and the more the better. Being with a hero is like finding out you won the jackpot . . . every day! Year-after-year, there’s an overflow of riches.

Heroes are comfy with intimacy, autonomy, and interdependence. They’re warm, positive, and stable.

There’s laughter. There’s play. There’s juicy closeness.

Heroes are open, trusting, self-reflective, and have a positive view of themselves and others. When it comes to conflict, they’re open to sharing and talking things through.

And they know they deserve the same respect they offer, so they refuse to settle.

Heroes live lives full of love and meaning.

And of course, they’re wonderfully equipped to help their partners heal. Just being with one can flip us out of adaptive archetypes in 2-3 years.

If you’re not completely in this camp yet, but you’re invested in developing healthy relationship skills, you’re on the path to secure love.

Welcome to Your Hero’s Journey.

Cons

Heroes tend to settle-down with other Heroes. It’s rare for them to be available. 

If they pick a partner with an adaptive attachment pattern, it can confuse their otherwise steady attachment system and pull them off center.

blue-hummingbird-icon

RESCUER

adapted

Pros

Incredibly loving, compassionate, nurturing, encouraging, and committed. Rescuers are all in.

Cons

Rescuers people-please to show love and usually have a positive view of others and a negative view of themselves.

This negative view can make it hard for them to really soak up their partner’s love and believe in it–so they might belittle or block loving gestures.

They won’t even be aware they’ve done this. Or they’ll think the person wasn’t sincere or might change tomorrow. Or maybe they feel unworthy. Love just can’t land.

Rescuers often analyze what they said and worry they’ve done something wrong. It’s hard to feel confident and not second-guess everything.

Rescuers give too much and can be taken for granted or exploited in toxic situations. 

When a rescuer keeps score and fears their love isn’t reciprocated—like a flash of oil in a hot pan—their anxiety and disappointment can quickly turn to flames of anger, criticism, or nitpicking if their partner doesn’t respond.

Rescuers’ fear of losing connection can get so overwhelming they might accidentally smother their partner. Without meaning to, they can push away the very love they long for and treasure.

When a rescuer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by learning how to calm their inner critic or by questioning their thoughts), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

A rescuer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it.

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THE ARTIST

In 10% of the Population, a Rare 4th Archetype Combines Rescuer and Explorer traits.

Understand the 3 Attachment Archetypes
icon-tree-blue

THE HERO

secure

Pros

Take the journey to relationship paradise.

You, your partner, family members, or friends may have many of these traits, and the more the better. Being with a hero is like finding out you won the jackpot . . . every day! Year-after-year, there’s an overflow of riches.

Heroes are comfy with intimacy, autonomy, and interdependence. They’re warm, positive, and stable.

There’s laughter. There’s play. There’s juicy closeness.

Heroes are open, trusting, self-reflective, and have a positive view of themselves and others. When it comes to conflict, they’re open to sharing and talking things through.

And they know they deserve the same respect they offer, so they refuse to settle.

Heroes live lives full of love and meaning.

And of course, they’re wonderfully equipped to help their partners heal. Just being with one can flip us out of an insecure archetype in 2-3 years.

If you’re not completely in this camp yet, but you’re invested in developing healthy relationship skills, you’re on the path to secure love.

Welcome to Your Hero’s Journey.

Cons

Heroes tend to settle-down with other Heroes. It’s rare for them to be available. 

If they pick a partner with an adaptive attachment pattern, it can confuse their otherwise steady attachment system and pull them off center.

blue-hummingbird-icon

RESCUER

adapted

Pros

Incredibly loving, compassionate, nurturing, encouraging, and committed. Rescuers are all in.

Cons

Rescuers people-please to show love and usually have a positive view of others and a negative view of themselves.

This negative view can make it hard for them to really soak up their partner’s love and believe in it–so they might belittle or block loving gestures.

They won’t even be aware they’ve done this. Or they’ll think the person wasn’t sincere or might change tomorrow. Or maybe they feel unworthy. Love just can’t land.

Rescuers often analyze what they said and worry they’ve done something wrong. It’s hard to feel confident and not second-guess everything.

Rescuers give too much and can be taken for granted or exploited in toxic situations. 

When a rescuer keeps score and fears their love isn’t reciprocated—like a flash of oil in a hot pan—their anxiety and disappointment can quickly turn to flames of anger, criticism, or nitpicking if their partner doesn’t respond.

Rescuers’ fear of losing connection can get so overwhelming they might accidentally smother their partner. Without meaning to, they can push away the very love they long for and treasure.

When a rescuer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by learning how to calm their inner critic or by questioning their thoughts), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

A rescuer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it.

Untitled-1-06

EXPLORER

adapted

Pros

Great at focusing on their own dreams. Strong and independent. Inspirational.

Cons

Explorers build walls and hold their partners at arms-length to avoid being hurt.

Sharing intimate feelings can bring up such a powerful fear of loss, they often keep relationships superficial, like a rock skipping across the lake. Or maybe they can go deep but need big gaps of time between interactions.

It doesn’t feel safe to be close to people’s feelings. And that discomfort can be seen in an explorer’s difficulty sustaining eye contact.

Explorers may send mixed signals (push-pull) and might have unequal boundaries that are sometimes unfair and unrealistic. They’d rather take care of their own needs because relying on someone feels risky and unnecessary. 

Because explorers tend to have a positive view of themselves and a negative view of others, they might pick at their partner’s insignificant faults to emotionally distance themselves when their partner gets too close for comfort.

Or they might long for connection but feel stressed when it happens. Or feel the most connected to their partner when the partner is near but sleeping—or doing a shared activity that takes off the pressure.

When an explorer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by telling a partner they’re taking some self-care time and will be available to connect in x-amount-of-time), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

An explorer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it. 

icon-spiral-blue

THE ARTIST

In 10% of the Population, a Rare 4th Archetype Combines Rescuer and Explorer traits.

gray-hummingbird-storykeeper-rescuer

RESCUER AT A GLANCE

known for

generosity, kindness, and people pleasing .  .

but may often struggle to fully absorb joyful moments . . . there’s this worry something will go wrong

in relationship

often pick relationships with explorers and feel isolated,

lose themselves in other’s needs, ignore signs of trouble, and long for more closeness and reassurance

anxiety may drive a partner away

when upset

there’s a fear of abandonment, and words spill out like a waterfall. . . 

may demand reassurance or withdraw and give up . . . 

after bending over backwards for so long, complaints are almost impossible to bear . . . it feels like the end of all hope

gray-hummingbird-storykeeper-rescuer

RESCUER AT A GLANCE

known for

generosity, kindness, and people pleasing .  .

but may often struggle to fully absorb joyful moments . . . there’s this worry something will go wrong

in relationship

often pick relationships with explorers and feel isolated,

lose themselves in other’s needs, ignore signs of trouble, and long for more closeness and reassurance

anxiety may drive a partner away

when upset

there’s a fear of abandonment, and words spill out like a waterfall. . . 

may demand reassurance or withdraw and give up . . . 

after bending over backwards for so long, complaints are almost impossible to bear . . . it feels like the end of all hope

Where Does Attachment Come From?

Thin-brush-gold
StoryKeeper - Relationship Attachment Archetypes (15)

Attachment is the study of emotional safety and the impact it has on the human nervous system.

What does a nervous system do when it has emotional safety? What does it do when it doesn’t?

It turns out there are four predictable attachment patterns. Psychologist describe the four strategies with several terms (see the image).

Scientists can predict a person’s attachment patterns before birth because intergenerational attachment-transfer is so consistent. 

Three strategies are protective adaptations and one is secure. 

Where Does Attachment Come From?

Thin-brush-gold

Attachment is the study of emotional safety and the impact it has on the human nervous system.

What does a nervous system do when it has emotional safety? What does it do when it doesn’t?

It turns out there are four predictable attachment patterns. Psychologist describe the four strategies with several terms (see the image below).

Scientists can predict a person’s attachment patterns before birth because intergenerational attachment-transfer is so consistent. 

Three strategies are protective adaptations and one is secure. 

StoryKeeper - Relationship Attachment Archetypes (15)

PROTECTIVE STRATEGIES…

by their very nature, provoke insecurity (in ourselves and others). Our bonds may be isolating, unsupportive, or punctuated with anxiety or even fear.

The thrilling news is we’re not doomed to keep the strategy we developed in childhood to stay safe.

Or in that last terrible relationship.

If we can nourish ourselves in an environment of emotional safety, over time we can heal a lot of our early wounding and develop a secure strategy.

Psychologists call this development “earned security,” which means our sense of self expands, we can open to inner experience, explore, self-actualize, and connect deeply with others.

We can feel a sense of meaning, fulfillment, and belonging.

The process requires our hearts, so it’s heroic.

PROTECTIVE STRATEGIES…

by their very nature, provoke insecurity (in ourselves and others). Our bonds may be isolating, unsupportive, or punctuated with anxiety or even fear.

The thrilling news is we’re not doomed to keep the strategy we developed in childhood to stay safe.

Or in that last terrible relationship.

If we can nourish ourselves in an environment of emotional safety, over time we can heal a lot of our early wounding and develop a secure strategy.

Psychologists call this development “earned security,” which means our sense of self expands, we can open to inner experience, explore, self-actualize, and connect deeply with others.

We can feel a sense of meaning, fulfillment, and belonging.

The process requires our hearts, so it’s heroic.

hummingbird-icon-camille-pack

ADAPTIVE
ATTACHMENT PATTERNS

explorers’

fear of closeness makes their attachment system short-circuit (along with dissociation from those feelings)

but this is “tolerable” because

their exploratory system hyper-activates . . . which creates left-brain dominance and an illusion of self-sufficiency

after danger

we self-protected by adapting rescuer traits, explorer traits, or the artist’s combo-platter

these adaptations helped us survive, but they don’t serve us now.

our brain circuity will continue to recreate the same types of painful dynamics

all our lives, unless we intervene

rescuers’

attachment system hyper-activates . . . they’re on the lookout for loss

it might attract them to familiar-feeling, dismissing partners

with so much energy devoted to preventing lost connection, their exploratory system can flicker off

hummingbird-icon-camille-pack

ADAPTIVE
ATTACHMENT PATTERNS

after danger

we self-protected by adapting rescuer traits, explorer traits, or the artist’s combo-platter

these adaptations helped us survive, but they don’t serve us now.

our brain circuity will continue to recreate the same types of painful dynamics

all our lives, unless we intervene

rescuers’

attachment system hyper-activates . . . they’re on the lookout for loss

it might attract them to familiar-feeling, dismissing partners

with so much energy devoted to preventing lost connection, their exploratory system can flicker off

explorers’

fear of closeness makes their attachment system short-circuit (along with dissociation from those feelings)

but this is “tolerable” because

their exploratory system hyper-activates . . . which creates left-brain dominance and an illusion of self-sufficiency

Attachment is somatic. It happens below the level of our awareness.

Our nervous systems tell us a story about how the world is, and that’s where we live.

As Deb Dana says, “story follows state.”

We can evolve beyond what happened to us.

We can become our own StoryKeeper.

We can become each other’s.

FFD7A9

Thin-brush-gold

Attachment is somatic. It happens below the level of our awareness.

Our nervous systems tell us a story about how the world is, and that’s where we live.

As Deb Dana says, “story follows state.”

We can evolve beyond what happened to us.

We can become our own StoryKeeper.

We can become each other’s.

FFD7A9

Copy of STORYKEEPER UNLEASH YOUR HERO (4)

Live From Wholeness

Thin-brush-gray

Attachment wounding is healed through relationship.

Even if we’ve had a protective pattern forever, we can still access our innate security. Specific skill-building practices can give our nervous systems a new safe anchor that can lead to safer, deeper connections.

StoryKeeper offers the Harvard IPF model for healing attachment, developed by Dan Brown and David Elliot. You can follow along with our free content, or do one-on-one guided imagery practice with a coach over Zoom. 

We also offer a couple’s workshop that will reinforce your bond with secure attachment practices.

Thank you for being part of our community. 

Copy of STORYKEEPER UNLEASH YOUR HERO (4)

Live From Wholeness

Thin-brush-gray

Attachment wounding is healed through relationship.

Even if we’ve had a protective pattern forever, we can still access our innate security.

Specific skill-building practices can give our nervous systems a new safe anchor that can lead to safer, deeper connections.

StoryKeeper offers the Harvard IPF model for healing attachment, developed by Dan Brown and David Elliot. You can follow along with our free content, or do one-on-one guided imagery practice with a coach over Zoom. 

We also offer a couple’s workshop that will reinforce your bond with secure attachment practices.

Thank you for being part of our community. 

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