I just scheduled my 5.5 year old for therapy next Monday. His therapist said she does attachment therapy and I went ahead and scheduled the appt. After I got off the phone I start googling attachment therapy and a bunch of things against it pops up! Is it bad? Should I not use that method?
- topicMental Health
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Has Anyone Had Their Child In Attachment Therapy?
"Attachment Therapy" can mean many different things. In addition, there are a number of fringe groups that attack any and all treatment methods for children with disorders of attachment.
Reputable approaches include Attachment-Focused Treatment and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment. You may want to see if your therapist is a "registered clinician" with the Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. If so, that would be one indication of legitimacy.
Dear Ms. Wheeler,
I don't agree with with post by Attachment Therapist Arthur Becker-Weidman to your question. Not everyone thinks that DDP (DDT) is "evidence-based."
No reputable therapist today refers to himself as an "Attachment Therapist" because of the bad press this fringe group has had over the years.
Attachment Therapists have no valid practice standards. ATTACh, the trade organization for Attachment Therapists, claims to have eased up on their brutal practices, but judging by their members, the changes seem more a change in jargon than in practice.
All Attachment Therapists use an unrecognized definition of RAD and they erroneously claim that newborns begin to attach to their parents through having their needs met. They usually teach harsh, ineffective and invalidated parenting methods.
I suggest that you seek out a psychiatrist or psychologist connected with a university - you have a better chance of finding someone who uses science-based practices and adheres to mainstream, evidence-based knowledge about child development. The most important thing you can do for your child is get an accurate diagnosis.
Valid therapy for children will largely focus not on the child but on effective parenting methods to help the child.
I appreciate your comments, Mother Voltaire; however since we don't know who you are, unlike myself who posts under my real name, we must take your opinions as a bit stilted, as evidenced by the epithet you used, "Attachment Therapist" Arthur Becker-Weidman. As a licensed mental health professional with both a Master's and PhD degrees and five books to my credit, I think my expertise speaks for itself. The research literature in professional peer-reviewed journals supports Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy as an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment. It is true that certain fringe advocacy groups have made many untrue and false claims; but that is the nature of such groups.
Becky, regarding standards, you might want to look at, or have your therapist look at the book, The Attachment Therapy Companion, published by Norton.
Thank you ladies for your input. It's much appreciated. His appt is on Monday and I think I'm just going to see how it goes with her for a few sessions. I'll be with him for many of his sessions.
While every provider is different, there are certainly a number of safe and effective attachment therapies available. We would recommend Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) as well - it was created by Daniel Hughes, Ph.D. and is quite powerful. We could not identify any aspect of DDP as harsh or invalidated. In fact, Dr. Hughes stresses relating to your child with: Playfulness, Love, Acceptance, Curiosity, and Empathy (PLACE).
When you meet with the therapist, ask her what model she uses and what a typical session might look like. You should always be in the room with your child - that is one of the basic tenets of attachment therapy.
Daniel Hughes has many books that may be helpful:
Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children
Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The Road to Emotional Recovery and Behavioral Change in Foster and Adopted Children
Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children
His website is: http://www.danielhughes.org/index.html
Also, we would recommend Heather T. Forbes' online trainings and educational material. She offers 10-week online parenting skills courses that teach the strategies outlined in her books. She is excellent! The first class is always free, so you can get an idea of how they are run first.
Her books are:
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control - Volumes 1 & 2
Dare to Love
Her website is: http://www.beyondconsequences.com/
Please feel free to contact us with any questions at email@example.com - or on Twitter and Instagram @TheProjectBond. We are currently building a network of resources, parents, and community services focused on building a more bond-conscious community.
Barbara DiGangi, LMSW
Meredith Hartin, MA, MFT
We had our first session with her yesterday. It was just me and my husband and we'll have 3 more sessions with her before my son comes with us. It was pretty effective. We left with some tools to work with until we have another appointment next week. Thank you for the links and the book titles! I'll look at them tomorrow morning. :)
This site tells you all you need to know about attachment therapy. http://childrenintherapy.org/
Especially useful is the comparative checklist of attachment therapy compared to conventional child psychology: http://childrenintherapy.org/essays/comparisons.html
- Has Anyone Had Their Child In Attachment Therapy?
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