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Attachment, Trauma, and Healing: Understanding and Treating Attachment Disorder in Children and Families Paperback – January 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: CWLA Press (Child Welfare League of America); 1 edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878687092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878687091
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I learned more from this book about Attachment disorder than from all the therapists my adopted children have seen combined! This book is a must for parents who have adopted children, foster children, or for those even thinking about it! It is a wealth of information on understanding what happens when the parent-child bond is interupted or not fostered, and the many ill effects of this, from ADD to oppositional defiance disorder. I finally understand why my children are the way they are and why conventional therapies have not and will not work!
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Format: Paperback
Reactive Attachment Disorder, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment are explained clearly for both laymen and professionals. Adoptive parents, foster parents, and mental health professionals will all find this an essentiall resource for information if they have any contact at all with children suffering from RAD. PARENTS of kids with RAD - Buy this for your child's therapist and/or caseworker and it will help them understand you, your family and the problems you are facing much better!!!!!!!!! It could also save you thousands of dollars in therapy because you will stop working with people who think they understand but don't. It will help lead you to effective treatment. Lastly, if you are being charged falsely with abuse due to the actions of your child with RAD this will help you get the legal information you need to fight the charges.
1 Comment 37 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is well organised and a very easy read. Moreover, it contains assessment tools and resources to actually help these children. It is helpful to have an overview of this controversial therapy before the family and child takes part.
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Format: Paperback
Many children who were abused, neglected, or exposed to domestic violence in early childhood have attachment problems. This may lead to violent and other anti-social behaviors. Any clincian helping youth with these problems should read this book. It is helpful, clear, and a great resource.
Dr. kathy Seifert
author of
How Children Become Violent - Parent Version
1 Comment 11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
After a decade of psychiatric appointments, medications, calls from principals, IEP meetings, and the heartache of having a beautiful, smart child who was so filled with anger that I was afraid I might be raising a serial killer, I finally found this book and the validation of what I knew was really at the heart of my son's issues. He did not have ADHD, which I had allowed him to be labeled with so that we could get help from the school and the legal protection of his IEP: he had an attachment disorder. We had seen at least a half dozen mental health professionals who had failed to identify the attachment disorder, even after hearing our detailed family history and an accounting of his behavior. Each of those professionals needs to read this book. Labeling a child with ADHD just because it is easier than figuring out the real problem is not acceptable, and I'm sure such misdiagnosis is a widespread issue across the country. Parents, if your gut is telling you that there is something more going on with your child than can be explained by all those ADD/ADHD books that I know you are reading, you need to read this book. This book has strategies that really work. After a lot of hard work, I no longer fear for my son's future, and this book had a lot to do with that.
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Format: Paperback
The authors outright promote a highly abusive practice, i.e. Holding Therapy (which the authors have renamed the "Holding Nurturing Process"). This is physically and/or emotionally-enforced restraint with the goal of making children feel vulnerable: "This tension is discharged via physical and emotional release (sobbing, screaming, kicking)." (pp.182,134) This additionally indicates quite clearly that the authors justify such treatment of children by invoking the long-discredited notion of "catharsis."

Author Michael Orlans takes credit for inventing the brutal "two-week intensive" used in Attachment Therapy in which survivors report being subjected to 3-8 hours a day of Holding Therapy. "The Holding Nurturing Process (HNP), introduced in the [second day of the 'two-week intensive'], is used throughout the remainder of the treatment. The child's oppositional and controlling behaviors typically escalate as a result of deliberate therapeutic confrontation and structure. In contrast to other modalities, where the expression of the child's intense affect is discouraged, our goal is to encourage the release of these emotions..."(p. 183)

The authors also promote highly authoritarian parenting that includes forced age-regression, an emotionally abusive practice typical of Attachment Therapy parenting: "Mother-child attachment experiences are repeated many times during treatment....The regressive experience enables the child to simulate that original mother-infant attachment. We often use baby bottles and blankets during the attachment exercises to enhance authenticity." (p.191)

The authors use an unrecognized definition of Reactive Attachment Disorder, one that has a long, catch-all list of signs. (p.
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2 Comments 13 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This book has many useful items in it, not least of all chapters on effective means of diagnosing attachment disorder. But for parents who have been dealing with attachment issues for many years, the book is really not great. The unfortunate fact is that kids with attachment issues tend to need a lot more help than one can find in a volume like this, and it's doubtful that even two weeks or a month-long family stay at the authors' very expensive attachment treatment center would be enough, on its own, to reverse the problem.

Having said that, the book definitely provides an important contribution to the literature on this issue, and I do wish that more mental health professionals, particularly among psychiatrists, would familiarize themselves with its contents. Very often the symptoms that accompany attachment issues and the related post-traumatic stress syndrome look like those of bi-polar disease or psychosis. But they're not "serious mental illness" in the way that traditional psychiatrists understand, and trying to plug these round pegged children into such square holes does an enormous disservice to the children, their parents, and society as a whole.

An important book for all affected by this problem.
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