Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Therapy is not Attachment Therapy

We spent years trying to find a therapist. It was awful. Each time it was the same. I would sit out there reading magazines while my child was behind a closed door with another adult attempting to triangulate. Sometimes I could hear what they were saying but not usually. I would hear "How was your week?" At the end they'd call me in and say "It sounds like he had a pretty good week." Bwahahahahaha. He didn't tell you he was suspended from school for fighting? That he pulled all the woodwork off the wall in his room? That he twisted his glasses around and around? The therapist would look shocked and then would start to ask me about our reward system. How we disciplined in our home. Does he have chores? After many attempts at therapy we decided to go to an Attachment Therapist even though the closest one was an hour and a half away.

I called him on the phone and he began to describe my child to me exactly. I felt a load lifting from my shoulders. Someone knows! My husband was skeptical that this was going to be any different. We went in together for the first visit. Dan started talking. My husband started smiling. He KNEW about RAD. He understood our kids even better than us and he knew what to do. All our lives were changed on that day! On the way to the first visit my boys were so excited. "I'm going to tell him I'm good at blah blah and blah." I just smiled. I knew this guy was not interested in going in that direction. Immediately the work began. The smiles disappeared from their faces as they realized they were not fooling this guy and that he KNEW. It was an exhausting year but Taz has been changed forever. Sure he has regressions. He has issues but NOTHING like before. Bear gets it in his head. He can tell you exactly what is wrong, what he needs to do but he has some other serious disorders that conflict. We are getting treatment for those, a main one being Sensory Integration Dysfunction and the main part of that being Tactile Defensiveness. Anyway....I'm putting some links for information that describe the differences in Attachment Therapy and regular therapy and list where to find them. I hope to become an Attachment Therapist. I still have over a year of classes. I hesitate to mention it because I do not want to be present myself as a therapist in training. I am still just a student at this point and know little about being a therapist. Very little. I'm working on it though. I feel this is my calling after children. I should finish about the time my twins graduate from high school. Here is the information:

If you go about half way down the page it lists the ways attachment therapy differs:

Here are some sites that list Attachment Therapists:

Skim to the lower part of the page and it lists sites to help find a therapist plus some therapist centers:


Our family's therapist and another have just opened this center:

I hope this helps someone. If you have tried other therapy and failed don't be afraid to try again. Finding the right help DOES make a difference.


Queen Mommy said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Attachment therapy is invaluable to a family with a RAD child. I have two RAD children and we went through AT with our more severely RAD child and were able to take the theory home and practice with both children. Thank you for being such a wonderful advocate!


Renee said...

Add my agreements too. The only therapist around here that specializes in attachment, didn't take our insurance. So we are broke now. But we have a healed child.

That first day when he said "I will listen to you, I will listen to your child, and then I will believe and agree with everything you say and do" in front of my child, was like a huge weight rolling off my heart.

Brenda said...

2 of you left comments here. I did not delete them. I have no idea where they went. Just wanted you to know you were not deleted.

Christine said...

We are dealing with this right now. The therapist we found SAID she was familiar with RAD, and said all of the right things to me with our initial conversation. However, I realize now (just two sessions in), that she simply can't break out of traditional talk therapy.

So, basically, we're paying for our ds12 to have a free-for-all chat session every 10 days, and triangulate to his heart's content.

At this point, I think no therapy and just continuing to implement therapeutic parenting, is better than what we're doing, until we can afford to get him into an AT.

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