In short, Reactive Attachment Disorder is caused when a child is unable to form the fundamental bond to their attachment figure, causing a general mistrust of others, especially adults. This mistrust and lack of attachment presents itself in aggression, stealing, affect dysregulation, self-harm and several other symptoms. RAD Children differ in the way they try to maintain control. I ramble on in detail about this in my blog to better explain why I advocacy and raising awareness is so important for these kids. There are also links and resources you can review to can a better understanding if your new to the RAD world.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) has become a clinical focus and need I’m working to raise awareness about in our community. I go into more detail about this in my blog regarding how correct diagnoses and early intervention is key in helping these kids and families having more successful outcomes. Please click here if you want to read more about my clinical experienced with RAD.
Attachment and Bonding Treatment
If you’re a parent interested in attachment based treatment, it’s important to understand my focus generally will be on the Primary attachment figure and their spouse/partner versus simply working with the child individually. In my experience and training, when a parent has support, training, and learns how to manage the bonding process, the desired behavioral outcomes are achieved faster. Many of the RAD parents I’ve worked with are drained, burnt out, and feel misunderstood. However, the situation changes very quickly when they learn to work smarter and not harder with RAD. This removes unnecessary complications from the bonding process, decreases friction, and more support progress. As the bond progress, the child’s behaviors become more manageable, helping re-stabilizing the family.
Depending on the specifics of the case, this treatment will likely take place in home so that the parents can have more time getting feedback and support in the context of their living environment. In home treatment allows me the opportunity to see what the family is seeing and provide interventions specific to their dynamic and needs. Any parent who currently has their own “Raddish” at home knows the frustration of trying to get others to understand the experiencing of parenting children with attachments issues to only to be invalidated, labeled dramatic, or simply not believed by other adults and sometimes professionals.
Again, I’m no play therapist and you’re child may be at the place where they are ready for their own individual treatment. Luckily I know or have worked with other RAD informed practitioners with training in play therapy and/or Theraplay to link you with if needed.
Adult Attachment Issues
Adult attachment issues exist. Attachment, like other disorders, exist on a spectrum. This meaning there are severe presentations but there are also more subtle and less severe versions that we call “trust issues” or “rebellious.”
Many children who don’t meet the criteria for a “diagnosis” of RAD may still have moderate to significant attachment issues that go untreated. Those children grow up to become adults who continue to struggle with those same issues. So many of the problematic behaviors adults demonstrate but can’t quite explain often stems from unresolved attachment issues.
If you’re curious about Adult Attachment, Email or give me a call about setting up Adult Attachment Therapy or come in for a consult to explore the topic more.