to people about reactive attachment disorder or
attachment therapy, even among those who are
parenting children with RAD, I find that there
is a certain amount of confusion as to what
attachment therapy is.
refer to the various well-known attachment
therapists and authors, such as Nancy Thomas,
Dan Hughes, Gregory Keck, Foster Cline, Martha
Welch and others, as if each were doing
something unrelated to the other.
also appears to be some confusion about
attachment therapy itself, in part due to some
high profile scandals a few years back.
in any other profession, attachment therapy has
evolved over time.
been a paramedic and emergency medical
technology instructor for many years, I can
appreciate that. Techniques that were standard
practice in the 1980s could result in a
malpractice suit, or worse, if practiced today.
Rather than implying that paramedics were
negligent 25 years ago, the field of emergency
medicine has evolved.
is a good thing, and not something to be
thing to consider is that evolution in the field
of attachment therapy, as in any other field,
requires the existence of pioneers - learned
professionals who are willing to try new things
in search of better results. Those that work can
be expanded upon, while those that fail may be
too, is a good thing, and not something to be
was once warned that I could be sued for using
duct tape to secure patients to a spineboard
during a mass casualty situation, yet that is
now a standard practice in many systems, with a
modified form of duct tape marketed specifically
for such a use.
with paramedicine, attachment therapy has
evolved over time. Therapeutic techniques that
worked 25 years ago have evolved into new
techniques that are even more successful today.
Techniques that showed promise in the past have
been abandoned for methods that show even
greater promise today.
Daniel Hughes, who trained our nephew?s primary
therapist, and whose books have been very
helpful to us, has changed his methodology
somewhat even during the time that we have been
acquainted with him.
this mean that he was wrong before? Certainly
not. Constant research, evaluation, and revision
is necessary in order to find the best ways of
reaching children with reactive attachment
is a certain amount of confusion about some of
the techniques used in attachment therapy, in
part due to misinformation from well-meaning
child rights activists and an opportunistic
example, an attachment technique called ?holding
therapy? has been given an undeserved bad name.
Welch, one of the pioneers in attachment
therapy, empathized the importance of holding in
attachment therapy, developing a technique where
a mother would hold her child in a comfortable,
nurturing position, as a means of promoting
took this technique and added to it, some
including a technique that involved
intentionally inducing rage in the child. As far
as I am aware, this has never been the standard
in holding therapy, yet it is often used to
typify the procedure.
it is used today, holding therapy involves the
child being cradles in his mother?s arms, in
much the same way as you might hold a small
infant. All of the key ingredients of bonding
are present, including eye contact, smiles,
touch, movement, and voice. This recreates the
feeling of security that an infant would
experience from a nurturing mother, taking the
child back to a time when bonding should have
taken place, in effect giving him another