Attachment therapy has a bad reputation. When it was first conceived and implemented, attachment therapy was very different from what it is today. On one hand there is a specific branch of psychology devoted to attachment (often referred to as attachment-based therapy as to avoid confusion); on the other, there is a range of techniques and various therapies to help deal with attachment disorders. While they are, quite literally, forms of therapy for attachment, they are not “attachment therapy” in the old sense of dangerous and even abusive treatments. In our time, therapy for attachment is a caring and safe way to help struggling girls find their connections to family.
Recognizing Attachment Issues
Before any sort of attachment therapy can begin, it is important to be certain that there are, in fact, attachment issues present in your daughter. While there is a wide variety of potential symptoms and behaviors that could point to attachment issues, most girls fall into one of two overall categories.
The first category – the so-called “inhibited” type – typically occurs with the child being withdrawn from everybody. Often, the child is emotionally detached and resists comforting; if someone gets too close, the child may ignore them or even lash out aggressively.
The second category, otherwise known as the “disinhibited” type, causes the child to seek comfort and attention from anyone, including strangers. In this case, the child shows no preference toward the parent and may act much younger than their age.
Both types of attachment disorder have certain similarities as well. Many children with attachment issues don’t like being touched, have control and anger issues, and often act like they don’t have a conscience. The most significant sign of attachment issues is the lack of the ability to form meaningful connections – children with attachment issues may have difficulty showing affection.
Is Attachment Therapy Right for My Daughter?
Therapy for attachment disorders seek to make these issues better. Although no healing journey is easy, with professional help, the family can once again be whole. Also, as hard as it may be to remember for a parent, attachment issues aren’t for lack of love – they are a real, psychological issue that must be addressed. Benefits include:
- Individualized care. Since every person is different, no two cases are alike. Therapy for attachment disorders focus on these differences and figures out a game plan based on the child, not a label.
- Looking deep. Attachment issues don’t begin and end with a child; they are complex problems stemming from the environment and the past. Therefore, therapy for attachment doesn’t simply “patch up” the symptoms; instead, it looks for the cause.
- Helping family. At the end of the day, therapy for attachment is about making your daughter better. By involving the family in the process, your daughter will know she is not alone.
- Teaching skills for the future. Lessons learned from therapy for attachment can be applied for an entire lifetime and in many different situations.
- Fun. Therapy is more than just healing – it is about getting better. Through various fun and education activities, therapy can feel less like a chore and more like an adventure.
Asheville Academy can help
Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 10-14, can help your daughter find success.
For more information about Asheville Academy, please call 800.264.8709 today!