Attachment is fundamental to being human and being able to engage fully in relationships. It is defined as “a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space” (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969). Childhood trauma often affects an individual’s attachment style. Attachment theory has been used for many years to help build connection in families who have found each other through foster care and adoption.
Lisa Haberbusch, MSW, LISW-S, Encompass Regional Director helps children and their families become more secure in the area of attachment. She recommends “Building the Bonds of Attachment – Awaking Love in Deeply Troubled Children” by Daniel A. Hughes, PhD to learn more about caring for the needs of children with attachment challenges. This book, which Lisa called, “a riveting account of how trauma breaks down attachment and how it can be rebuilt,” offers specific parenting and treatment interventions. Lisa said she couldn’t put it down, and you may not be able to either.
The author is a clinical psychologist who has spent more than 40 years helping youth reach their potential and reconnect with others in their lives. His book describes in great detail the fictional figures of a hurting child, a clinician who diagnoses and treats the child’s problems due to trauma and disorganized attachment patterns, and the therapeutic foster parent who creates safety and a new awareness of self for the hurting child following years of abuse and unsuccessful earlier foster placements.
Education, interventions and therapy can help bring healing to this important area of our lives. Attachment styles are adaptable at any age and it’s possible to discover healthy ways to connect and thrive within family and other relationships.