An eight year old girl was referred for counseling by her father who has sole custody of his daughter
since the age of 5. Her mother had addiction problems and was an inconsistent parent figure in her
daughter’s life. Her father did see her throughout her life but during many months had no contact with her due to what was going on with her mother.
The presenting issue was being parentified (there is a younger brother of any father), which my new 8 year old client took care of. He is now with an aunt. Anyway, my client also had difficulty making and keeping friends because she was very controlling of them. She also had very intense tantrums.
With this disruption in her attachment development, I decided to do Core Attachment Therapy with
father and daughter. He is a very emotional available parent, so this was a very natural course of action and gave them back those lost months and years. I encouraged the father and his new wife to come to the Nurtured Heart Approach training (Component 1), but they were not able to make it on the dates it was offered. I decided to proceed forward with the attachment games anyway (Component 2). I do not often do this when there is intense behaviors at home, but decided to do so since there was a history of he parent/child relationship.
This was the right call to make because as the 8 weeks progressed, the girl’s behavior calmed down. Her happiness was becoming more and more evident. As she calmed down, she became less controlling of . She no longer needed to control others because with secure attachment, she no longer had to worry that she was going to be left alone. As a result, people have been gravitating to her and for the first time in her school life, the teacher reported to the father that she now has friends. The father extended this special time with his daughter by going out for dinner, just the two of them after our sessions.
This illustrated to me the power of the attachment games without Component 1. Will I do this each and every time? No, because Component 1 is such an integral part of the process. Each family has its unique set of circumstances that bring them in for counseling. This is evidence that Core Attachment Therapy has a flexibility to meet the attachment needs of children no matter how their attachment development got interrupted.
OCT 28, 2015
I began Core Attachment Therapy with a family who adopted their daughter from China in late infancy. She is currently 11. The reason for the referral was explosive rages. As with most children adopted from China, there was limited to no early history. The mother described those early months as good, but that her daughter would be rigid upon being picked up. At the start of the attachment games, this same dynamic was witnessed. The girl laid flat as a board on her mother’s lap. When we approached the third week of the attachment games, there was “that moment” when the girl stopped and gazed into her mother’s eyes and reached out for her as if seeing her for the first time. Since then, her body has been relaxed, she is genuinely reciprocal in her affection and reports that she has been less angry and when angry, can “get over it” much faster.
Core Attachment Therapy is now available on Kindle! Take advantage of free download from 7/28-7/31! Spread the word!
Also keep checking back for updates on trainings and conferences!
Good News! Copyright has arrived and the book is now in production phase! Stay tuned for updates, release date on the book, and training opportunities!
Please go to HERE to listen to a podcast on Core Attachment Therapy and the Nurtured Heart Approach. Some great information for parents, educators, and other therapists! Please also feel free to provide feedback and comments after you’ve listened. Look forward reading them!
Finished another round of Core Attachment Therapy with a grandmother and granddaughter. The girl’s bio mother is in prison for drug use and selling. At the time of arrest, the girl’s father stepped up to the plate and petitioned the court for custody of his daughter with whom he had little contact for the first 6 years. As it turned out, he was not a reliable, effective parent, so the girl was returned to her grandparents. At the beginning of therapy, she was resistant and very angry. As the week’s progressed, she slowly “allowed” the process. This giving permission so to speak, gave her the opportunity to experience being taken care of on a more intimate, core level. The final session was met with pure joy and happy girl energy-singing, dancing, giggling vs. frowns, demands and tantrums. Such a relief to all involved. She even shouts across the street each morning to her grandmother as she boards the bus “I love you”, which was not the case prior to our work.
Another success story and still counting!