Clinical ServicesTo attach is instinctive. Attachment behaviors are necessary for an infant’s survival because they promote caretaking from parents. Healthy attachment develops as a result of the cycle that occurs when an infant expresses a need and someone in the environment satisfies that need. When needs are repeatedly not met the infant cannot develop trust. Instead, a negative blueprint of the world is developed that can have serious consequences on the person’s social, emotional, and physical development.
Signs of unhealthy attachments influde:
- 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)
Assessing and Treating Attachment Disorders in Children
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, families and adults familiar with adoption and trauma issues.
An assessment at the Attachment Institute includes a structured interview with the adults in the family, evaluating the child's performance in various situations or contexts. It also includes a review of the person's history, as well as the family's history.
Attachment and Trauma Focused Therapy
- 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.
- Families learn to develop emotional attunement to address the person's affective dysregulation.
- In most cases two therapists are assigned to each family.
- Therapists already involved with the family are strongly encouraged to participate.
- The child is frequently held by the parents in a nurturing way.
- 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.
- School consultations and training are also provided.
- The fee for each session is $500.00. Some financial assistance may be available.
All of our clinicians are registered members of ATTACh.
Please contact us to find out more about these services.