Understanding Attachment Disorder

The Father of Attachment Theory, John Bowlby, described attachment as the “lasting psychological connections between human beings.” The way in which humans attach to others has been proven to influence the way an individual relates to others, themselves, and the world. Understanding attachment serves as a solid foundation for understanding the development of ineffective coping strategies and the underlying dynamics of a person’s emotional health and difficulties. Research has found that attachment style impacts behaviors throughout life. Failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behavior in later childhood and throughout adulthood. Disruption in the parent-child relationship, adoption, and early trauma are all factors that negatively impact an individual’s attachment style.

Here at Chrysalis, we understand the importance of attachment and the devastating effects unhealthy attachment styles can have on individuals and their families. Many of the girls that come to us have experienced attachment disruptions early in their lives. These situations have impacted their ability to connect with others, form a healthy self-esteem and self-concept, manage their own emotional states, and form healthy and secure relationships. We treat attachment issues by helping individuals understand how past experiences with caregivers, significant others, and previous life experiences have shaped our students’ coping patterns. We show them how these patterns work to protect them initially but then later contribute to their feelings of distress.

Chrysalis seeks to heal attachment wounds by working with the individual to find alternative ways to meet their unmet needs and learn how to form long lasting healthy attachment bonds to themselves, others, and the world around them. We hope to not only modify their ineffective coping strategies, but also better understand the underlying unmet needs that are satisfied by their ineffective coping strategies. We want to help them learn alternative ways to satisfy their psychological or emotional needs. Our focus on relationships and providing consistent, warm, and nurturing care creates a safe place to look at attachment issues, begin to heal old wounds, and find healthy patterns of attachment.

Remember, there is hope for healthy attachments and relationships. To find out more about how we work with attachment disorder at Chrysalis, call us at 888-317-9297 or visit our website, http://www.chrysalisschoolmontana.com/.

By: Amy McClung, LMFT and LPC