ATTACHMENT Coalition of Michigan
Healing Trauma & Strengthening Adoptive Relationships
34441 Eight Mile, Suite 104
(corner of Gill Road, 2 miles east of I-275)
Livonia, MI 48152
A child who has experienced multiple placements, institutionalization, neglect or abuse has been traumatized. We must acknowledge that such traumas occurred within the context of a relationship (or lack of relationship), leaving a child "attachment traumatized." We understand that asking an adopted child to enter into a new relationship may be both challenging and frightening.
ATTACHMENT Coalition members believe that in changing the experiences of "relating" for a child, the change must occur within a relationship... this is fundamental. If the child does not feel that there is a significant relationship in his/her life then the focus of treatment is to develop that significance. If there is a signficant relationship but the functioning within it is troubled, then the focus of treat-ment will be in creating new interactive patterns. Subsequently, treating clinicians must be trained in multiple modalities in order to provide for many intervention options.
One of the most common interventions used for attachment disturbances, by ATTACHMENT Coalition members, is Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). This treatment approach, for example, creates new meaning for past trauma(s), assists in resolving current struggles, and incorporates the child’s present attachment figure in order to develop the sense of safety that will allow for change. (See “Creating Capacity for Attachment” by A. Becker-Weidman, PhD. & Deborah Shell, MA, LCMHC for treatment details.)
In the life of an adoptee, struggles may come during developmental milestones. Children, adolescents and young adults may experience any of the seven core issues of adoption; loss, rejection, guilt & shame, grief, identity, intimacy and control. Training and sensitivity to these concerns allows Coalition members to assist families, through an array of treatment approaches, to honor the past and develop skills to live in the present.