Attachment Based Therapy

The focus of Attachment Based Therapy is to understand the connection between a person's early attachment during infantry, and their primary caregivers. This connection leads to how a person will develop, and if they're able to form healthy emotional and physical relationships later on in life as an adult. When a caregiver is neglectful or gives unreliable care, it creates a feeling of separation and trauma for the child that can eventually lead to attachment issues. With Attachment Based Therapy, your therapist will explore these early connections and aim to help the patient be able to build strong, supportive, and trusting relationships.(Psychology Today).

Having these types of relationships in your life greatly impacts both your mental and physical health, research suggests that healthy social relationships can lead to a longer life by lowering blood pressure, alleviating stress, and even contributing to faster healing time. When you're in a healthy relationship, it's also a great motivation for healthier behaviors such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, etc. You're more likely to commit to a healthier lifestyle when you have friends or loved ones who encourage you to do so.

ABFT or Attachment-Based Therapy works by addressing the foundation of how an individual's relationship with their caregiver was formed, and for clients to overcome the negative effects of early attachment issues. This is done by rebuilding the bond through the relationship between the therapist and client so that the client can become more secure in how they build and maintain relationships. ABFT therapy can be used for individuals, couples, family, and group therapy. Oftentimes, a clinician may combine individual therapy with family or group therapy in order to work through foundational attachment issues that a client may have. Here at Transformative Growth Counseling, we have clinicians who specialize in treating Attachment Issues with ABFT therapy.

What are the Signs of Attachment Issues?

It's important to note that both adults and children can experience symptoms of an Attachment Issue, some common signs are :

Difficulty Regulating Emotions

  • Mood Swings
  • Intensive Anger
  •  Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Difficulty Forming Emotional Bonds

  • Isolation
  • Self-Destructive Behavior
  • Social With drawl

Difficulty Creating Boundaries

  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Over trusting or seeking affection from strangers

What are the causes of Attachment Disorders?

We've gone over how Attachment Issues begin at a young age, between a child and primary caregiver(s). Here are some common reasons for why attachment disorders form :

  • Neglect from Parent or Caregiver
  • Physical, Emotional, or Sexual Abuse of Caregiver
  • A caregiver who is exposed to drug or alcohol use in a child
  • Frequent Changes in Caregiver (For example, children who are in the Foster Care System, or who may have lived with different family members over short periods of time)

Attachment Based Therapy FAQ

Some of our most frequently asked questions about Attachment Disorders. 

Attachment Based Therapy focuses on the foundation of how we form relationships, and how this begins with the relationship we have with our caregivers during infantry. Over time, the way humans have connected hasn't changed, we still crave human touch and social connection. Since ancient times, we've lived in community settings, as the saying goes "taking a village to raise a child". Nuclear families are relatively new, and have created new social dynamics. In modern times, some people may crave that social connection and community but find it painful.

The Foundational belief of ABFT therapy is that humans want to attach and feel validated, having a healthier reaction to our environment.
ABFT therapy attempts to rebuild how we create and maintain relationships in a healthier way using psychotherapy and utilizing therapist and client relationship to solidify broken bonds, helping our clients feel heard and seen and how to better understand that the "Flight or fight" response we feel is connected to lack of human attachment, or the feeling of support.  
Being able to create and maintain healthy relationships can impact both our physical and mental wellbeing. Unhealthy relationships cause trauma and can lead to long-term mental health issues, while healthy relationships create a feeling of trust, security, and can lead to healthier habits. Having the feeling of support can lead to being better able to manage and cope with life stressors.
Individuals who experience signs of Attachment Issues should reach out to our specialized staff for evaluation. Both children and adults can experience Attachment Issues, and can greatly benefit from both individual, group, or family therapy using this method.

It's important to highlight that both children and adults can experience symptoms of Attachment Therapy. Some common symptoms include : Difficulty regulating emotions, creating boundaries, and forming emotional bonds. Common symptoms also include feelings of isolation, anxiety, mood swings, intensive anger, and social withdrawal.