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

Our earliest attachment relationships (generally family) become templates for how we organize our later relationships, both with others and ourselves. When they no longer serve us and we feel stuck relationally, how to create new templates? By having a new relationship experience. My desire during our time together is to offer you that new, healthier experience of relationship you can internalize ... one that you can ultimately integrate and take out into your life outside the therapy room.

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

Do you struggle to make and maintain satisfying relationships? Do you feel like, despite your best efforts, you end up pushing people away? Do you have a difficult time trusting others? Do you wish you were closer to people? These questions all relate to issues of attachment. Each person develops a style of relating to others based on their early attachment relationships with their caregivers. Therapy can help you explore your own style and try on new ways of relating.

— Jennifer Newbloom, Counselor in Seattle, WA

Whether we develop secure/insecure attachments to caregivers in our earliest developmental stages, or our relationships are interrupted by trauma/neglect/abandonment/loss at any age, influences how we form relationships with others and experience our relationship to ourselves. Through a relational approach, we will explore your attachment needs and anxieties, and develop understanding of your trust, doubts, and reliance on yourself versus others.

— Atara Vogelstein, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY

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

I help participants gain and explore their relational awareness as well as form a more secure attachment through consistency and safety built over time and felt in our alliance.

— Ariana Chemtob, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

Who we are as adults including our strengths and struggles are highly influenced by the primary people in our lives growing up: parents, caregivers, siblings and others who may have been significant in some way. Both the presence and absence of these people leave imprints that we carry with us knowingly and unknowingly throughout our lives. Attachment is relevant for all therapy issues because it informs aspects of why individuals think and act the way they do. I incorporate exploration of attachment to help people gain insights, decrease their struggles, and improve their lives.

— Jami Howell, Psychologist in Portland, OR

The crux of all of the work that I do includes an attachment-based tenet.

— Chris Burner, Clinical Social Worker in Durham, NC

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 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

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

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

Healing attachment wounds is an important part of healing. Understanding and building new experiences of attachment in session can help improve your relationships with others and pave the way towards getting your deepest needs met.

— Jessica Improta, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Monica, CA

I use the therapeutic relationship to model healthy relationship qualities. I can support your own healing from attachment wounds and disruptions, and also support your ability to parent from your values.

— Leah Gregory, Counselor in Portland, OR

We are all, to varying degrees, wounded by the relationships and stressors of our childhoods. If you have struggled with staying connected to others in your life, there is great news from the most recent neuroscience and psychological theory: healthy attachment can be earned as an adult, though time spent in healing relationship. If you are longing for more steady connection in your life, I can help with this.

— Katy Bullick, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Children are wired to seek attachment to caregivers. Many disruptive behaviors can be seen as attempts to gain attention and love, even if they are counterproductive. I help children and parents to heal potential attachment disruptions, promoting feelings of safety, belonging, and connection. I studied attachment theory extensively in graduate school and have implemented therapy with children and families using attachment modalities.

— Julianne Fox, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, 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

Attachment theory fundamentally and structurally guides my personal and therapeutic lens of life and embodied living. While it's important to have a logical understanding of the different attachment styles, it's also an empowering skill to visceral experience when we become insecure and disorganized and how to return our systems to a sense of emotional security so we can connect to ourselves and others (especially during tough times and conflict).

— Andrea Rábago, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

I focus on how we learned to attach to others throughout our lives. What lesson's did we learn about trust? What emotions were accepted and which were rejected? I have seen how learning about how we connected with others from a very young age teaches us about how we connect with others now. When we explore these learned reactions we can relearn our relationships and be more compassionate with ourselves in our own journeys to connect with others.

— Stephanie Boulton, Counselor in Denver, CO

Attachment is our core requirement for our survival as newborns indeed beginning in the womb. How this goes determines how our body develops and our mind organizes and forms. Attachment sets the patterns of our nervous system, builds our Resilency, and shapes our relational capacities as we mature in time. Many 'diagnosable' symptoms & behaviors have their root in our bonding experiences, and are best understood as 'signals' of how this unfolded early in life.

— Daniel Factor, Counselor in Los Angeles, CA

Many parents are especially concerned about children who already have issues when transitioning away from each other. My current goal is to help parents teach their child skills that will teach independence so they will have time to work and manage their own self-care while everyone is at home.

— Amy Massie, Counselor in Keller, TX

I have knowledge of and experience with attachment theory.

— Katie Findley, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, 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

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 , MN

Attachment is at the heart of all relationships. Basic attachment styles come from our early experiences with our primary caregivers. For many varied reasons, some people have secure attachment while others have insecure attachment. This inevitably affects relationship dynamics, which can sometimes be useful to explore in couples therapy.

— Esther Lerman, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, 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

Early childhood wounding with primary caregivers, such as loss of a parent, divorced parents, or parenting which left the child emotionally misunderstood and alone can have an effect on adult relationships. Using a psychodynamic-attachment model, I help client's repair dysfunctional relational patterns from the past and rebuild a model that is based nourishment, empathy and love.

— Tate Lizagub, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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