Attachment-focused therapy can be beneficial for children and adolescents in foster care, who are adopted, or who have experienced attachment wounds and traumas from abuse, neglect, loss, medical issues at birth, etc.
What is Attachment?
Attachment refers to the way we exist in relationships with others. The bond or lack thereof between us and those in our circle. It refers to the relationships between parent and child as well as romantic partners.
There are different types of attachment styles or patterns –
- Secure attachment: the child can depend on the caregiver to be consistently available for comforting them and responds to the comfort when they are dysregulated; the child knows when the caregiver leaves, the caregiver will return
- Ambivalent attachment: the child becomes quite upset when the caregiver is absent because they haven’t been able to depend on the caregiver to be there when they need them
- Avoidant attachment: the child shows no preference for the caregiver over any other person, even a stranger; may come from caregivers who are abusive or neglect the needs of the child
- Disorganized attachment: the child has a mix of behaviors that show a lack of a consistent attachment style; the child in this case probably found the caregiver to be both a source of comfort and a source of fear
What do you do in attachment-based therapy?
Well, like many things, that depends. If the therapy is for a young child who was in foster care and is now in a forever home, that may look like attending to the attachment between the child and the new caregiver through play and other developmentally appropriate activities.
For an adolescent who has grown apart from one or more of the caregivers, that may look like finding the root of the cause, acknowledging it, working to repair and forgive, and then enhancing the relationship.
I think I have some issues with attachment, but I don’t really know…help!
Schedule an intake with a therapist at Visions2Action and we’ll help you figure out your attachment style, what life experiences have impacted that, and what it may mean for you in relationships. From there, we can help you find a way to resolve any attachment wounds so you can experience human connection to its fullest.