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ATTACHMENT-FOCUSED THERAPY

Attachment-Focused Treatment is grounded in attachment theory and the neurobiology of interpersonal experience.

This therapy approach uses methods and principles from Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) in order to effectively treat children and adults. DDP is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment that is grounded in current thinking and research on the etiology and treatment of Complex Trauma or Developmental Trauma Disorder and disorders of attachment. It is now recognized as a general approach to treatment. Treatment is primarily experiential. Teaching parents about attachment-facilitating parenting methods and the importance of attunement and responsive, sensitive parenting is essential (Attachment Focused Treatment Institute, n.d.).

The infant-caregiver relationship is essential to a child's emerging personality and their early care giving relationship determines the child's developing cognitive and emotional abilities and even influences the shape and functioning of the brain. John Bowlby’s research posits that the attachment system was as important to our species’ survival as feeding and reproduction. The infant's range of attachment behaviors are complimented by a reciprocal set of care giving behaviors in the mother. A strong affectional bond develops between caregiver and infant when the infant’s need for protection and security are attended to forming the template for an infant’s future relationships. Over the years, attachment behaviors change as the child’s development progresses (Greenspan, 1997; Schore, 1994; Siegel, 1999; Bowlby 1969-1982; 1973; 1980).

The following describes the different attachment styles that are formed based on early childhood relationships:

Securely Attached types are often comfortable displaying affection and being alone and independent. They are also able to maintain boundaries within their relationships.

 

Anxious Attachment types are often nervous and stressed in their relationships, need constant affection and reassurance from their partners, and have difficulty being alone. They may even form unhealthy or abusive relationships.

 

Avoidant Attachment types are extremely independent, self-directed, often uncomfortable with intimacy, and they often construct their life in a way they can avoid too much commitment or intimate contact.

Anxious-Avoidant Attachment types (also known as the “fearful type”) are not only afraid of intimacy and commitment, but they may be distrustful of others and lash out emotionally at anyone who tries to get close to them (Manson, 2019).

Dr. Authur Becker-Weidman Interview

Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman is the Director of the Center for Family Development with offices in Western New York and New York City.  He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and workshop leader and consults with therapists and organizations throughout the US and internationally about the evaluation and treatment of disorders of attachment, attachment-focused treatment, and prenatal exposure to alcohol. He has achieved Diplomate Status in Child Psychology and Forensic Psychology from the American Board of Psychological Specialties, and is a Certified Therapist, Consultant, and Trainer by the Attachment-Focused Treatment Institute and by the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute. Dr. Becker-Weidman was Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children and was the founder and first president of the Board of the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute. He is an adjunct Clinical Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and The Academy for Human Development in Singapore, and Medellie College.  Dr. Becker-Weidman has published many papers and research reports in peer-reviewed professional journals.  He is the author and co-editor of seven books including Attachment Parenting: Developing Connections and Healing Children and The Attachment Therapy Companion: Key Practices for Treating Children & Families, as well as four training DVD’s and many articles in professional peer-reviewed journals.

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Click the links below to find out more about Attachment-Focused Therapy.

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