21 Cedar Street, Worcester, MA 01609
508-799-2663 (BOND) Fax 508-753-9779


Frequently Asked Questions About the Institute

How do we recognize attachment disorders?

Children who are well attached make us feel comfortable around them. They express their emotions authentically and interact with us in a reciprocal manner. This is not so with attachment difficulties. Instead these children exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:

• History of abandonment, neglect, abuse, and/or multiple placements

• Indiscriminately seeks affection and/or comfort from strangers (i.e., pseudo-attachments)

• Anti-social behaviors (e.g., lying, stealing, manipulating, destructiveness, cruelty, fire-setting, aggression)

• Lack of authenticity, spontaneity, flexibility, and empathy

• Lack of physical affection and closeness and/or inappropriate clinginess

• Poor eye contact

• Problems with learning, attending, self-regulating, self-monitoring

• Abnormal eating and elimination patterns (e.g., wetting, soiling, hoarding food)

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How does the Attachment Institute of New England assess attachment disorders?

Identifying symptoms of attachment problems is only one part of a diagnosis. A diagnosis should only be made by a licensed professional trained in working with children and families and familiar with adoption and trauma issues.

An assessment at the Attachment Institute includes a structured interview of the child’s performance in various situations and contexts and a review of the birth and adoptive or foster families history. Well-researched measures including the Conners’ Rating Scale, Achenbach’s Child Behavioral Checklist, and the Randolph Attachment Disorder Questionnaire are also incorporated. Communication with former and current therapists is encouraged.

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How do we treat attachment disorders?

• Treatment takes place in our outpatient setting following an assessment, during which the family demonstrates a satisfactory level of commitment to the child.

• Families are provided with a list of reading, materials and other resources and are encouraged to utilize these throughout the course of treatment.

• Attachment Therapy is an integrative treatment that utilizes elements of multiple therapies including cognitive-behavioral, object relations, psychodynamic, family therapies and biofeedback.

• Treatment typically requires 10 to 14 two-hour sessions

• Sessions are usually scheduled one day a week or every day for two weeks.

• Families learn to develop emotional attunement to address the child’s affective dysregulation.

• In most cases two therapists are assigned to each family.

• Therapists already involved with the family are strongly encouraged to participate.

• Primary caretakers are expected to attend each session. The child is frequently held on the parents’ lap to promote physical intimacy which is integral to the formation of a secure attachment.

• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a specialized form of treatment for trauma, may also be used.

• Specialized educational and support groups are offered to primary caretakers.

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How much does treatment cost?

The fee for each session is $500.00. Some financial assistance may be available.

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Where is the Institute located?

The Institute is located at 21 Cedar Street, Worcester, MA. Driving directions can be obtained if you click here. If you would like more information about the Institute, please call 508-799-2663 (BOND).

Office Manager
Jen Kelleher

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