Our early childhood experiences with our primary guardians and caregivers shape have a great impact on our overall personality. These encounters shape our thinking and later on determine the kind of adults we become. Healthy early attachments result in healthy adult lives. However, if we have negative early attachment experiences, it impacts our ability to make strong relationships and how we cope with certain problems in adult life.
Attachment-based therapy is a brief form of psychological counseling. The goal of attachment-based therapy is to address these limiting effects of this negative early attachment and strengthen a person’s ability to create bonds and deal with hardships in life. It focuses on the client’s expression of emotions while establishing a trustworthy bond between the client and the therapist.
This form of therapy examines the attachments and relations between infants and their caregivers and focuses on the infant’s ability to develop appropriately. This results in the formation of healthy emotions and better physical connections in the infant’s adult life.
How to find an Attachment-Based Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Attachment-Based therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find an Attachment-Based therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Who can benefit from Attachment-based Therapy?
Attachment-based therapy is for people who have had bad relationships with their peers and guardians in the past. It is for treating adolescents who have developed issues because of their damaging relationships in childhood and are now undergoing depression or contemplating suicide.
Alongside individuals, this form of psychotherapy is also used in public health programs to interventions specifically designed for foster homes and caretakers.
How does Attachment-based Therapy work?
The primary goal of this therapy is to help the client recover and mend from their damaged family relationships and the effects it has had on their lives. The gist of attachment-based therapy is that a good early attachment to a caregiver in infancy is essential to instill a sense of security and confidence in the infant. This allows the infant to explore, learn, and grow from their experience.
This whole therapy is based on the Attachment theory by the famous British Psychologist John Bowlby. According to this theory, humans have an inherent biological desire for meaningful relations. By this theory, when parents are attuned and present to the needs of their children, a strong attachment develops. Such attachments have a positive impact on a child’s development. Children that are securely attached have a better chance of regulating their emotions and developing a sense of self-worth and confidence.
However, if you face abandonment, neglect, abuse, or criticism during childhood, this can result in insecure attachment. People with insecure attachments may grow up to be fearful, confused, and insecure, thus finding it difficult to cope with adversities in a healthy manner. A good client-therapist relationship is important for the client to fully disclose how they feel. Attachment-based therapy is designed to secure this attachment between a parent and child so the relationship can provide a good strong foundation to protect the person against mental health problems like depression and suicide.
What to expect from receiving Attachment-based Therapy?
Attachment-based therapy may be individual based or it can be performed in the presence of family, couples, and group therapy. Therapists normally undergo the following main tasks when performing Attachment-based therapy.
- The first task is the relational frame. It usually takes one session to complete. This phase focuses on shifting attention away from the disorders and symptoms of developing a good relationship between the parent and child. Either done individually or with family, this task is to find out what exactly damaged the relationship between parents and children.
- After the primary reasons for damaged alliances are cleared. The next few sessions focus on rebuilding these alliances. The therapist does this by learning about the child’s strengths and interests and also by explaining to them what damaged their bond with their parents.
- If you are undergoing individual therapy, then this part will be skipped. In the third step, your parents will have a separate discussion with your therapist in what could have gone wrong in maintaining those early bonds.
- After these alliances are built and important discussions are made between the client and therapist, the whole family comes together to discuss the concerns of their adolescent. This task may take between one and four therapy sessions. This phase is meant to lay foundations for a correct attachment experience for a more secure relationship between the parent and child.
Your therapist might introduce some other approaches as well, but an Attachment-based therapy session will usually follow the standard procedures above.
What makes Attachment-based Therapy unique?
Attachment-based therapy is solely focused on your past relations with your parents/caretakers. Unlike general psychotherapy that focuses on your present symptoms, this form of therapy goes back into your past to determine the deep-rooted issues from your childhood that are now causing you distress in your adult life.
It is designed to treat depression and suicide in adults typically between the age of 12 and 18. While other forms of therapy use Cognitive Behavioral approaches to treat depression, Attachment-based therapy uses family interventions to treat depression, trauma, and suicidal behavior in adults.
The developers of ABT believe that this approach changes family interaction in a positive way thus relieving many mental illnesses. It focuses on the attachments we have with others and how we can solely use this primary mechanism for change.
If you have had a distressing childhood and are experiencing depression or self-harming thoughts in your adult life, it could be due to unresolved deep-seated issues you have with your past. Seeking ABT can help you uncover those problems and develop better bonds so you can strengthen your relationships and overcome depression and suicidal thoughts.
Further Readings on Attachment-Based Therapy
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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