Attachment

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

I heard once at a training facilitated by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network that, "If we fully address issues and failures of early childhood attachment, the DSM would be a pamphlet". Translation: I approach attachment and repair as the foundation of my work, and the foundation of your healing. I am very relational in this work--you have to be comfortable with me first before any growth can happen. Attachment work is often deep and heavy work, and it is possible.

— Peggy Fulda, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR
 

It is my belief that attachment style formulates from childhood and can be influenced and repaired well into our senior years. Creating a consistent trusting safe haven space for a client to experience a new way of being in relationship is critical. Additionally, I have participated in specific Somatic training to work with the younger physiology underneath a client's attachment style first versus from the cognitive brain. This has the potential to create longer lasting results.

— Vanessa Tate, Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

More than half of us experience early relationships that cause us to develop strategies that allow us to maximize the quality and amount of connection we can get from our caregivers. While those strategies once worked to keep us safe, they can play out later in ways that are challenging and painful. Building an understanding of these old embodied habits allows us to make new choices, and to practice them in a way that offers new possibilities for satisfying relationships.

— Jennie Bertone, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

Adult attachment injuries, no matter the time we've received them, can impact how were perceive the world as safe and trusting. Let's find patterns that no longer help you and replace them with patterns and skills that invite compassion and love for self and others.

— Kayla Lajoie, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Ann Arbor, MI
 

Are you easily agitated or irritable? Do you become easily upset with your partner? Have there been times when it's easier to avoid a situation then have to address the issues? You may be identifying with anxious and/or avoidant attachment styles. I can help you identify your type of attachment style and find ways to better manage your emotions and communicate effectively with those closest to you.

— Susie Ibrahim, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Tustin, CA

Our attachment systems are biological and created before birth. They develop in conjunction with our nervous systems, telling us how to navigate relationships safely and securely. When we experience early childhood trauma, neglect, abuse, and volatility our attachment systems develop in a maladaptive way. This directly impacts how you navigate relationships and connections. I have done in-depth attachment training to help people create healthy relationships. This is one of my true passions.

— Patrick Casale, Counselor in asheville, NC
 

I understand a lot of the struggles we go through to be based in difficulties with our interpersonal relationships, and these difficulties are grounded in the way we form attachments. Many traumatic experiences also stem from insecure attachments with people whom we trusted to provide safety. Through our work, we will explore how you can form more secure attachments with your loved ones and create the safe, trusting relationships you want in your life.

— Laurel Meng, Psychotherapist in Chicago, IL

Difficulty or preoccupation with relationships may indicate that your attachment style is less than optimal. Examining the patterns of your feelings about the people in your life can offer powerful insights and suggest tactics and strategies to gain more satisfaction and warmth from your social environment. The poet Robert Burns said, "O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!" English: Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as other see us!

— Tony Filanowski, Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY
 

I love looking deeply at human connections and I am drawn to understanding, uncovering and exploring our earliest connections on earth - our attachments to our parents and other loved ones. These early attachment create templates we use in all relationships moving forward and sometimes we need to do some healing on our templates in order for us to love and be loved to the best of our abilities.

— Margie Slater, Clinical Psychologist in Encino, CA

I specialize in helping people attend to their emotional worlds through learning to self-regulate and co-regulate. Attachment is the root of regulation -- our felt sense of safety and connection. Together, we can explore your early experiences of connection and safety (or lack thereof) to understand how your attachment system is impacted and practice new ways of attending to your self.

— Meggie Twible, Therapist in Arlington Heights, IL

Every area of life represents a relationship; whether it is with a romantic partner, a friend or family member, to your work, or yourself. Human beings are hard-wired for connection, which is commonly referred to as attachment. We have a fundamental need for meaningful contact in love, friendship, and in our work lives. Through developing an awareness of our patterns, it is possible to improve or resolve issues related to attachment, intimacy, and trust.

— Heather McMillen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, 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
 

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 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

Specializing in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

— Erica Petree, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA
 

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

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

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 concerns and relational trauma impact most people today in one way or another. These concerns can often impact future relationships in a number of ways, including: difficulty challenging roles or patterns from previous relationships, difficulty trusting, and difficulty asserting relationship wants and needs. I view the therapeutic relationship as a healthy space to process through these experiences and identify authentic ways to relate with others.

— Kayla Estenson Williams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Eagan, MN

I enjoy working with individuals who seek to understand their current relationship patterns, emotion regulation strategies, and experiences of anxiety and depression through the exploration of their early developmental histories. Understanding the development of one’s experience of felt security and closeness, or the absence of this repertoire, can provide meaningful insights into friendships, intimate relationships and critical self-functions.

— Shelby Ortega, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist in Salem, MA

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