Healthy attachment behavior is critical in order for any relationship to survive. Children that suffer from early abuse, neglect, loss of a parent because of death or divorce, emotionally distant parents, or shaming parents struggle in their adult relationships.
Attachment difficulties are on a continuum of disturbance that range from attachment issues all the way to attachment disorder. Typical adult diagnoses for adults who suffer from attachment difficulties might be borderline personality, histrionic personality, antisocial personality, narcissistic personality, dependent personality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other DSM Diagnoses in the Axis II category. Attachment difficulties present as a condition in which individuals have trouble forming loving, lasting intimate relationships. Attachment disorders vary in severity, but the term attachment disorder usually is reserved for individuals who show a nearly complete lack of ability to be genuinely affectionate with others. These people typically fail to develop a normal conscience and do not learn to trust.
Some Common Dynamics of Adult Attachment Problems are as follows:
- Difficulty handling conflict with other adults. Tendency to deny responsibility for wrong-doing.
- Extreme control problems, manifested in covertly manipulative or overtly hostile ways.
- Difficulty showing empathy, remorse, trust, and compassion with others.
- Lack of the ability to give and receive genuine affection or love - often relating sexual behavior to feelings of acceptance or closeness.
- Resistant to efforts to nurture or guide them.
- Lacking cause and effect thinking, especially when around normal thinking.
- Acting out negatively, provoking anger in others.
- Lying, stealing, cheating, and/or manipulating.
- Destructive, cruel, argumentative and/or hostile.
- Lacking self-control - impulsive.
- Superficially charming and engaging.
- Feelings of sadness and fear that are usually protected by angry behavior shown either overtly or covertly.
- Feelings of isolation and depression.
- Feelings of frustration and stress.
- Addictive behavior i.e. substance abuse, sex addiction, work addiction, gambling addiction, etc.
- Hyper-vigilant behavior, agitation and difficulty concentrating.
- Confused, puzzled and obsessed with finding answers.
- Feeling blamed by family, friends, and professionals.
- Feeling helpless, hopeless, and angry.
- Feeling that their family's problems are minimized by the helping profession.
As children, our brains organize relative to the environment in which we grow up - either safe and secure or scary and sad. Our feelings are stored in the limbic system or midbrain. On the other hand, our right orbitofrontal cortex performs abstract reasoning. One of the most common adaptive behaviors in which humans engage is "pain avoidance". Thus, a child who grows up in a maladaptive environment (painful environment) organizes his brain in a maladaptive style that involves emphasizing survival behaviors rather than feelings of security and love. This organization of the brain results in intelligent adults with a maladaptive upbringing to have a tendency to function more from a reasoning place of denial of feelings (which is a function of the orbitofrontal cortex) rather than integrating the limbic system feelings into appropriate responses. In these adults with maladaptive upbringing, when the emotions residing in the limbic system are triggered, the frontal lobe jumps to attention with a strategy to defend or deny those feelings rather than integrate the limbic system feelings with their cognitive response. The two most common feelings triggered in these adults tend to be fear and sadness. Once these feelings are triggered, their defenses go into action to protect them from those feelings. Adults with attachment difficulties want to be loved and accepted but don
't have the "tools" to achieve that goal. Their cognitive distortions sabotage what they want and need. This is why traditional therapy usually does not work for these adults. In traditional therapy, the adult client with maladaptive upbringing usually functions more from his frontal lobe. This is because talk therapy tends to be more of a cognitive process for them. They never access and deal with their limbic-stored emotions. The more intelligent the client, the better they are at defending their stored up feelings of inadequacy. As a result, they tend to get frustrated by traditional therapy and don
't believe that it helps.
At IACD, the term Attachment Therapy describes a wide range of therapeutic processes which may include inner child work, cognitive/emotional restructuring, nurturing touch, and psychodramas (role playing), among others. The emotional recovery is intense because the limbic system of feelings is tapped into through the interventions mentioned. A highly skilled team of clinicians create a safe environment for the client to feel their vulnerability and develop healing strategies to recover. The goal is to help the client develop the capacity to trust and love, and by doing so, to live a happy and productive life. The treatment approach may also involve psychiatric care by our consulting psychiatrist. This is because some clients also may be suffering from a mood disturbance or other chemical imbalance that prevents them from engaging in the therapeutic process. We require a supportive adult chosen by the client to attend therapy sessions. This person could be a spouse, relative, or friend that would be accepting of the client's vulnerability and still be supportive. The intensive therapy experience is a six-day process of intensive therapy conducted three hours a day. Therapy occurs on multiple levels - cognitive, affective, behavioral, interpersonal, and spiritual. We know that each client is unique. Thus, a thorough assessment of the client within his/her life forms the basis for an individual treatment plan. This assessment includes social history, family assessment, review of previous treatment, psychiatric evaluation, etc.
- Identification of feelings
- Validation of feelings
- Encouragement of appropriate and safe expression of those feelings
- Education as to origin of feelings
- Resolution of early trauma through revisiting the circumstances, reframing the trauma, healing the trauma, empowering the child to grow beyond the trauma
- Working through grief and loss issues
- Cognitive restructuring of faulty thinking patterns, attitudes, and perceptions
- Increasing client
's self control abilities
- Reshaping behavior to more appropriate and socially acceptable levels
- Enhancing a self esteem
- Helping the client to develop a positive sense of identity
- Improving social interaction patterns by focusing on respect for others and reciprocity in relationships
- Helping the client to develop thoughtful decision-making skills
- Helping the client to accept responsibility for his/her own behavior
- Helping the client to develop the capacity for joy
- Helping the client to experience and accept loving, nurturing care
Although this therapy is sometimes intense, it is always sensitive to the client. Self-defeating behaviors are confronted. Individuals are asked to work very hard to face the difficult issues which perpetuate these self-defeating behaviors. Confrontation and intensity are important parts of the therapeutic process, but the process includes so much more. We prefer that the client has established a therapeutic relationship in their community so follow-up services can be coordinated with our treatment team.
BASIC FEE For Six-Day Treatment Process $5,610.00** Back to Top
Fee includes the following services:
Application for Assessment and Treatment Recommendation 250.00*
(If accepted for treatment this fee will be applied towards IACD
's Basic Fee for Treatment)
(Hour and Half Evaluation and Oversight of Treatment)
(18 hours with two clinicians present)
Supervision of Hometown Therapist
After-care Treatment Planning & Coordination
Additional Therapy/Special Therapy/
Post Intensive Consultation via phone or in-person $ 125.00/hour
*Application Fee payment is expected at the time of submittal of an application.
**A $2,000 Deposit is required in order to reserve treatment dates.
Please contact Director Forrest Lien at 303-674-1910 X11 to schedule an intake or access more information.
Forrest can also be reached via email at email@example.com
No duplication or altering without specific permission of the Institute for Attachment & Child Development