ATTACHMENT AND BONDING
TREATMENT OF ATTACHMENT DISORDER
The treatment of RAD is arduous and complex. Treatment of less severe attachment problems is also difficult and challenging. The goal is to increase empathy and attunement. Although traditional therapy presupposes that the child had the readiness and ability to form a therapeutic relationship that may be used to resolve past trauma, children with attachment problems are not likely to enter into a relationship with a therapist.
Most theories of treatment attempt to replicate normal attachment sequences at some level. In the "developmental attachment" model, children must develop a relationship with their primary caregivers who then provide a secure base from which to resolve their earlier trauma. This is promoted by "playful, engaging interactions that provide the attunement essential to forming a relationship and help the child come to terms with experiences that have left him feeling shame and isolation". "Theraplay" is attachment-based play that purports to help with anger, aggression, depression, attentional difficulties, and developmental delays.
From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.