The Attachment Institute of New England
Rebuilding Broken Bonds

Frequently Asked Questions



How do we recognize attachment disorders?

People who are well attached make us feel comfortable around them. They express their emotions authentically and interact with us in a reciprocal manner. People with attachment difficulties 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)


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 person'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.



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 identified client.
  • Families are provided with a list of reading, materials and other resources and are encouraged to utilize these throughout the course of treatment.
  • Attachment and Trauma Focused 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.
  • Therapists already involved with the family are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • Primary caregivers are expected to attend each session.
  • 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.


How much does treatment cost?

Intake is $300. The fee is $125 per clinician per hour. Intensive and attachment therapy are typically 2 clinicians for 2 hours. Each session costs $500.00 (Two clinicians/two hours) Several insurance companies do reimburse for services. You should contact your insurance company directly. You may also e-mail Dr.Joe Lyons (joe@attachmentnewengland.org) with any questions. Remember also that the course of therapy is much shorter than other therapies.



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). Click here for driving directions to AINE.