How Are Attachment Disorders Treated at Roots Recovery?

How Are Attachment Disorders Treated at Roots Recovery?

Attachment disorders can appear in all people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. One characteristic of attachment disorders is that they negatively impact relationships with others. Especially when an attachment disorder develops in a child, it can affect them throughout their lives. 

Attachment disorders can result from other mental health disorders or traumatic experiences for adolescents and adults. Those with attachment disorders can struggle to maintain healthy relationships and live fulfilled lives.

It is important to receive help for attachment disorders. When someone heals their attachment trauma, they can more easily develop healthy and happy relationships with others and themselves.

What Are Attachment Disorders?

Many attachment disorders begin in childhood when young children have problems with their emotional attachment to caretakers. In childhood attachment disorders, the following concerns may present themselves:

  • Severe colic or feeding difficulties
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Detached and unresponsive behavior
  • Difficulty being comforted
  • Preoccupied or defiant behavior
  • Inhibition or hesitancy in social interactions
  • Being too close to strangers

Often attachment disorders in children result from physical or emotional abuse or neglect. Attachment disorders often affect children in foster care systems or orphanages. Attachment disorders’ physical, emotional, and social problems may follow children through their life and into adulthood. 

When the attachment trauma is more severe, such as in cases of adoption, a child can develop reactive attachment disorder (RAD) or disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). 

Reactive Attachment Disorder

RAD often causes children to interact with other people less than normal due to negative experiences with adults in their past. They often experience stress, difficulty calming down, trouble feeling and expressing emotions, unhappiness or irritability, and fear when participating in everyday activities with their caregivers. They also may not seek comfort from their caregivers. 

Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder 

Children with DSED are usually more social with strangers, engaging in conversation with, interacting with, and even hugging them. Young children are sometimes open to strangers picking them up, feeding them, or playing with them. DSED often causes children to not look for parental or caregiver approval to spend time with these strangers. This can lead to developing inappropriate bonds with strangers, predisposing them to dangerous situations.

Children can have both insecure and secure attachments. Secure attachment occurs when a parent or caregiver responds to and notices their child and their child’s wants and needs. Insecure attachment occurs when children lack confidence in their caregivers. In avoidant insecure attachment, children isolate themselves and do not express their needs. In resistant insecure attachment, children will be resistant and sometimes act angry. In disorganized insecure attachment, children are often conflicted, disoriented, or fearful and have trouble deciding whether to approach or avoid. While insecure attachments are not disorders, they can lead to RAD or DSED.

How Can Attachment Disorders Be Treated?

For children who experience RAD or DSED, individualized treatment plans are initiated involving both the child and the family. Children and their families begin to understand the attachment disorder with a therapist. Therapy is aimed at strengthening the relationship between the child and their caregivers. It is important to seek treatment as these conditions can impact a child’s social and emotional development. Sometimes a “rebirthing” strategy is necessary.

For adolescents and adults who have insecure attachment issues or are continuing to be affected by their childhood attachment disorders, their relationships can falter and remain unhealthy due to several factors. These adverse effects of attachment disorders can be worked through to help foster a better relationship with oneself and others.

Treating Attachment Disorders at Roots Recovery

To help with attachment disorders, Roots Recovery initiates a treatment plan in which we help people analyze and reflect on their current coping mechanisms in relationships. We also help clients develop an awareness of their emotional patterns. Our trauma-informed staff members also teach clients to cultivate healthy relationships and boundaries, uncovering new habits that could be implemented into our clients’ lives.

In treating attachment disorders, our ultimate goal is for clients to understand what behaviors create a healthy relationship and how healthy relationships can fit into their lives. We help clients foster stronger resiliency, increase their emotional intelligence, and enhance their social competence to advance their relationships positively. 

Alongside healing external relationships, clients and staff work together to heal the client’s relationship with themselves. Attachment difficulties and disorders can be worked through by having a sense of belonging to themselves. Healing an individual relationship with oneself helps give one a new sense of power.

Treatments for Attachment Disorders

We offer a variety of proven ways to address attachment trauma and other traumas. These include trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. We also offer another effective therapy not always found at treatment centers called somatic experiencing. Somatic experiencing is a proven method for addressing trauma. 

In addition, we offer various holistic options to address the roots of attachment trauma, including breathwork, art therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, spiritual exploration, and many other services. We aim to offer a variety of services to help our clients to heal the source of the attachment disorder and live free of the effects of attachment trauma. 

Our Whole-Person Approach

At Roots, we also work to celebrate positive aspects of gender as applicable, gain respect and tolerance for differences, use critical thinking to make healthy lifestyle choices, and gain a stronger sense of self-awareness and self-esteem.

When working on attachment, it is essential to focus on the self first to foster healthy attachment and relationships externally. This is done through the whole-person approach, which helps clients heal the connection between their mind, body, and soul. Repairing an inner connection helps clients heal their relationships externally and create new, healthy, and happy relationships. 

Here at Roots Recovery, we help clients heal from attachment disorders and unhealthy attachment styles to foster healthy relationships with themselves and those around them. In childhood, attachment disorders such as reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) seriously impact a child’s life. With RAD, children are typically more avoidant and less emotional. With DSED, children are overly welcoming and accepting of interacting with strangers. Other difficulties with attachment are also seen through insecure attachment styles. Healing from attachment disorders or difficulties is crucial in fostering healthy relationships in adolescents and adulthood. To learn more about how Roots help you heal from attachment issues, call (562) 473-0827.

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