Attachment issues, or attachment disorders, are broad terms used to describe issues resulting from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. Most children with attachment disorders have had severe problems or difficulties in their early relationships (they may have been neglected or physically or emotionally abused). One specific attachment disorder is Reactive attachment disorder (RAD), a condition typically found in children who have received grossly negligent care and do not form a healthy emotional attachment with their primary caregivers (usually their mothers) before age 5. A mental health professional who specializes in attachment issues can be a great help to both the child and the caregiver affected. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today!

Meet the specialists

Life asks us to see ourselves and each other and recognize the dignity and frailty in everyone. The belief or value is based on trusting that we are all interconnected, that we live in relationship with one another and our actions impact each other. At it's essence relationships are about how we create , maintain and mend connection ; with esteem, humility, patience, vulnerability, respect and humor. To accept our individual and collective responsibility with vitality.

— Suzanne Berger, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

When we develop an insecure attachment, we struggle to develop a sense of self, struggle with rigid thinking about dependence, mistrust, and personal worthiness. Though these feelings often stem from childhood other important relationships can help or harm our feelings of attachment. Abusive relationships, betrayal, and addiction often cause us to question the strength of our attachments. Through therapy, attachment, trust and our sense of self can be repaired.

— Brooke Small, Counselor in Colorado Springs, CO

We all have an attachment style that leads to complications as we grow older. Whether you find yourself in a pattern of chasing your partner as you feel ignored, constantly feeling nagged by your partner, or just feeling sad and confused that your partner seems different and that you feel alone in your relationship, working on attachment can be helpful. Together we find new ways for you to express yourself, find connection, and invigorate your love and sex life.

— Elizabeth McGinnis, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Palo Alto, CA

I have completed foundational certification in Theraplay - a parent-child attachment enhancing play therapy. The program also builds parenting confidence and positive parenting techniques. Theraplay has been used with children on the Autistic Spectrum and who have been fostered or adopted for many years. The treatment program is typically 18-25 weekly parent-child sessions and periodic parent-only sessions. Please enquire if you would like more information and I would be glad to email a handout.

— Robyn Holmes-Cannon, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA

A secure emotional bond with a trusted other is an insurance policy against life's ups and downs -- it doesn't make the challenges of life disappear, but it can help you feel supported, cared about, and buoyed to handle life's vicissitudes. In attachment-based therapy, the relationship between client and therapist is an object of focus, exploration, curiosity, and interest. As this emotional bond becomes stronger, clients find they have more confidence, courage, and resilience. They themselves then become a more secure attachment figure for others, bringing more satisfaction to their relationships, both inner and outer.

— Jennifer Wohl, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I believe that we can only really know ourselves in relationship to others. Because of this attachment theory greatly shapes how I think about our relationship to ourselves and others as major player in our ability to participate authentically and freely in our lives.

— Whitney Losee, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Attachment-based therapy aims to help repair ruptures in one’s relationships and work to develop or rebuild an emotionally secure relationship.

— Jor-El Zajatz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Many of the beliefs and behavioral patterns you emulate as an adult are derived from early childhood experiences. Having insight into one's attachment style is helpful in identifying problems in relationships and helps one achieve more satisfying ways of interacting with others.

— Dana Staub, Psychoanalyst in Redondo Beach, CA

How you Do One Thing is How you do EVERYTHING. How You relate with Your Therapist provides a glimpse into your relationships with EVERYONE, especially those close -family, friends, intimate partners. Together we become keenly aware of how you Connect AND where you tend to Disconnect -- for very good reasons - with people who you want to know on a Deeper level, but are afraid of being rejected or abandoned by them. This work will put you in the driver's seat in your relationship lane!

— Randi Kofsky, Marriage & Family Therapist in Playa Del Rey, CA

If you ever had the feeling you were not good enough for your family, I can help you address the negative feelings that are occurring within you. Overcoming the feelings of rejection you experienced as a child can be a hurtful journey but I will guide every step of the way until you no longer feel rejected.

— Mary Nashed, Counselor in Chapel Hill, NC

Relationships are our source of positive connection but also disappointment and pain. The ways you struggle with trust, forgiveness (of yourself and others), loneliness and care-giving are all related to the kind of attachment you seek and provide in your relationships. Templates for relationship are deeply affected by early experiences but are also shaped over your entire life. Shifting old patterns to build and sustain deeper relationships is crucial to feeling satisfied and whole.

— Jennie Merovick, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

Early attachment patterns set essential templates for the future and influence: our ability to connect and feel secure in adult relationships with our partners, children and important others and the manner in which we come to love (or hate) ourselves. These patterns are essential to our future ability to maintain control of our emotions and recover from stressful events. For all of these reasons, I view repairing failures/disruptions/losses in early relationships as essential to my work.

— Dr. LeShelle Woodard, Clinical Psychologist in Hanover, MA

Attachment therapy is another love of mine. I recognize that most adult problems are a result of some form of neglect in childhood. As a result, I have sought training therplay that works to support children in developing healthy attachments with their caregivers. I find that this form of treatment works well with adults as well. I have utilized this form of treatment with my clients for over 3 years and find it to be very successful especially with children in foster/adoption.

— Silva Sheklanian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Clovis, CA

I have been trained in a model called Integrative Attachment Trauma Protocol that is designed to treat developmental and other types of trauma experienced by children. The model incorporates attachment theory, family therapy and EMDR. I have also been trained in adult attachment therapy, a model which also incorporates EMDR and intergenerational trauma.

— Beth Bickel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wynnewood, PA

Our relationships with others can be both incredibly liberating and incredibly painful. I will work with you to better understand your attachment style so that you can navigate relationships with more compassion for yourself and others, clearly communicate your needs, establish healthy boundaries, and grow.

— Caroline Matthes, Social Worker

Experiencing unreliable caregiving as a young child can set one up for feelings of insecurity and a lack of stability in interpersonal relationships. My training and approach focuses heavily on how my patients' current relationships are replaying old patterns and hurts, keeping them stuck and unsatisfied. Our work sets out to provide them with a healthier model of relating so that they can more compassionately understand themselves and others, and find the connections they've longed for.

— Eileen Brown, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Rafael, CA

I have treated a great number of clients who struggle with various relationship issues and have worked with them on their capacity for emotional attachment informed by John Bowlby's attachment theory.

— Jasmina Bourgeois, Counselor in Chicago, IL

In my work with childhood issues; much of what I've seen throughout treatment leads me back to a rupture of attachment with a primary caregiver. I am passionate about learning more about infant/toddler mental health; serving those who would like to heal broken familial connections.

— Brittney George, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lynchburg, VA

Attachment is another word to describe the nature of the bonds we develop in our key relationships. Difficulties creating secure attachments with others can lead to chronic feelings of loneliness and/or a series of tumultuous, short-lived relationships. For some, relationships may trigger severe anxiety and insecurity. Others may have difficulty allowing themselves to open and vulnerable with others. My approach to therapy can help clients learn to form meaningful, intimate bonds with others.

— Emily Franchi, Psychotherapist in Chicago, IL

I have completed 2 years psychoanalytic psychotherapy training with at the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. It's primary focus is on relationships and how they affect who we are or believe we are in the world, with others and with ourselves. I am passionate about relational work and how "symptoms" crop up as a way to help us adjust to both old and new experiences.

— Patricia Holdahl, Psychotherapist in Edina, MN

I have interest and expertise in early experiences with attachment figures and how these inform adult relationships.

— Lisa Valentine, Psychiatrist in Bellaire, TX

Much of the suffering we find in relationship with others is a result of our earliest relationship traumas and attachment patterns with our caregivers. I have specialized tools and training that can support you to reshape those early templates and move toward meaningful nourishing relationships with others.

— Serenity Wehrenberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Petaluma, CA

Learning about attachment and how much of an impact it has on trauma and mental health was one of the main reasons I wanted to specialize in it. It is necessary that I gather a client's family history early on in the process, almost every client I have worked with has suffered from sort of disorganized or anxious attachment bond with their caregiver in their childhood and it was a great and easier way for me to explain to them why they interact the way they do in their current relationships.

— Kendall Davis, Therapist in Atlanta, GA

Attachment theory helps us understand how our early experiences of being cared for inform our view of the world as being safe or unsafe; ourselves as valuable or not. It impacts our lives from in utero until death. Even though we all have attachment needs adoption can create insecurity and lack of trust in others and ourselves being constantly afraid of being “unchosen” and expecting the world to get turned upside down at any moment.

— Amy Reamer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Henrico, VA