Attachment-based therapy addresses the emotional connections that individuals create, or struggle to create, who have previously experienced negative trauma or other mental health disorders. In recent years, research into early childhood attachment styles and experiences in very early life has helped practitioners understand more about people who have had these types of early childhood experiences, and how best to help them. Individuals that require attachment-based therapy may suffer from an underlying disorder such as:
- Mood disorder
There are various therapeutic approaches that help treat attachment-based symptoms. At New Harbor Behavioral Healthcare, located in Dedham, MA, our team of licensed, board-certified mental health professionals use comprehensive therapeutic approaches to treat adolescents in the Greater Boston area.
Attachment Disorder in Adolescents
Attachment disorder affects about 1-2% of adolescents in the United States. Though, this number is hard to determine based on undiagnosed cases. Attachment disorders can have a serious impact on the development of adolescents during crucial stages of their life. Through attachment-based therapy, they learn how to form strong emotional connections and address feelings and emotions that may have stemmed from early childhood bonding wounds with parents or caregivers, or other similar experiences.
Attachment-Based Therapy Treatment Plan
An attachment-based therapy treatment plan comprises therapeutic modalities that address the emotional needs of each unique individual. Some therapeutic approaches used in attachment-based therapy include:
- Trauma informed therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group psychotherapy
- Family systems-based treatment
- Family therapy
Through outpatient treatment, individuals requiring attachment-based therapy can practice coping skills and therapeutic approaches in their day-to-day life.
What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) occurs when children do not form the necessary emotional bonds with caretakers, parents, or guardians during early childhood development stages. RAD is similar to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the difficulty to form social relationships. This makes diagnosis hard to determine in some cases. It is common for adolescents suffering with RAD to have trouble expressing positive emotion or seeking emotional connections. They may also reject emotional closeness or positive physical touch.
Reactive Attachment Disorder in Teens
Reactive attachment disorder commonly occurs in teens as a result of unmet needs for emotional bonds in childhood. This could be due to abuse or neglect. RAD affects many aspects of a teens’ life, including the ability to create or maintain friendships and relationships with loved ones.
Teens suffering from RAD could pose a challenge for adults or parents trying to guide them through crucial developmental stages of their young life. Through an attachment-based therapy plan, individuals suffering from RAD achieve a greater understanding of their emotions and how to form emotional connections with others.
Attachment Disorder Signs and Symptoms
Individuals may exhibit the following symptoms if they experience RAD:
- Avoids eye contact
- No interest in physical touch
- Argumentative behavior
- Passive-aggressive behavior
- Exhibits little to no affection towards loved ones, including parents
If you are concerned that your child or someone you love in the Greater Boston area may be experiencing signs of an attachment disorder, contact New Harbor Behavioral Healthcare at (781)498-6426 or fill out our client & family pre-screen questionnaire.