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A Video Series on Attachment Disorder:

Children with Disrupted Attachment

Alexandra Cook, PhD"When a child has a poor attachment to their parent, it leads to all kinds of problems, because they have not learned how to regulate their emotions, they have not learned self-control, they have not learned self-reliance in a positive way. So all these problems come out in every other relationship in their life."– Alexandra Cook, PhD

A secure attachment system forms the foundation for a child’s development.  The often devastating impact of attachment disorder on children’s sense of self, and on their capacity to form attachments with new caregivers, can pose major challenges for foster and adoptive parents, as well as for therapists and group home staff.

In this four-video series, the presenters describe the impact of attachment disorder on the ways that children see themselves and interact with others, and how adults can respond most effectively. They explore such topics as setting limits, avoiding power struggles, providing structure, and building a trusting relationship.  Their observations are reinforced by the accounts of foster and adoptive parents, group home staff, and former foster children.  The presenters emphasize the importance of understanding what drives children’s behaviors, rather than simply reacting to them, and provide concrete suggestions for containing negative behaviors and improving adult-child interactions.  Released 2006.

Understanding Children with Disrupted Attachment
(#275, 42 min.)
This introductory video explains the internal effects of attachment disorder, and the behaviors that children lacking a “secure base” may display.  Intended for parents, residential care workers, and therapists.
Secure Attachment
Disrupted Attachment
Violence and Abuse
Internal Effects of Attachment Disorder
Behavioral Effects of Attachment Disorder
Obstacles to Rebuilding Attachment
Reactive Attachment Disorder Diagnosis

Denise, Adoptive Mother"You can tell them that you love them, you can tell them that you're going to keep them safe, you can tell them all these things, but it takes them years to really believe that that’s actually what you're doing. They have no trust. They can’t trust themselves, let alone trust anybody else."– Denise, Adoptive Mother

Parenting Children with Disrupted Attachment
(#276, 45 min.)
This video examines issues encountered by parents, including foster parents, adoptive parents, or family members who are caring for a child with attachment disorder.
Understanding Behaviors
Testing Limits
Ongoing Repair and Crises
Developmental Level
Developing Trust
Routine, Consistency, Predictability
Limits and Control
Containment and Self-Regulation
Building Basic Skills

Frank Grijalva"In order to create attachment with a child, the staff have to be safe. You're not going to have access to them unless you present in a way that appears to them safe. So you cannot create an attachment with the kids unless you're aware of your own self-care. "– Frank Grijalva, Residential Care Consultant

Caring for Children with Disrupted Attachment
(#277, 44 min.)
This video discusses issues affecting residential staff, including child care workers, camp counselors, and group home supervisors.
Importance of Attachment
Understanding Behaviors
Testing Limits
Ongoing Repair and Crises
Developmental Level
Developing Trust
Routine, Consistency, Predictability
Limits and Control
Containment and Self-Regulation
Building Basic Skills
Strengthening Families
Maintaining Connection

Vivienne Roseby, PhD"If the child ultimately is going to come to trust the containing relationship, at some point in that containing relationship, they're going to have to hate you, and find out that their hating you doesn’t break the connection between you, doesn’t cast them out into the darkness, doesn’t cast you into your dark place, doesn’t make you punishing or abandoning."– Vivienne Roseby, PhD

Treating Children with Disrupted Attachment
(#278, 43 min.)
This video discusses therapeutic issues, and is intended for counselors, social workers, and therapists.
Therapist as Coach
Therapeutic Interaction
Building a Sense of Self; Safety
The Therapeutic Relationship
Structuring Therapy Sessions
Therapeutic Issues
Therapeutic Techniques

Purchase price: One VHS/DVD $95, two $175, three $250, set of four $325
Rental price: One VHS/DVD $40, two $70, three $95, set of four $120
TO ORDER - phone or fax 800-345-5530

Customers who bought this video series also bought:
    The Traumatized Child
    Complex PTSD in Children
    Vicarious Traumatization

About the Presenters

Margaret E. Blaustein, PhD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children and families impacted by chronic trauma. She is Director of Education and Training at The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Alexandra Cook, PhD is Director of Development and Evaluation Services at The Trauma Center.  She is also co-author of With the Phoenix Rising: Lessons from Ten Resilient Women who Overcame the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Richard Kagan, PhD is Director of Psychological Services at Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York.  He is author of Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children, Real Life Heroes, and Wounded Angels.

Vivienne Roseby, PhD is in private practice in Davis, California, where she specializes in working with attachment and character disorder.  She is coauthor of In the Name of the Child and Helping Children in Highly Conflicted and Violent Divorced Families.

Thomas Young, MFT was a school psychologist and special education director, and has been in private practice since 1985, specializing in children with attachment disorder.

Joseph Benamati, EdD is Director of the Residential Treatment Facility at Parsons Child and Family Center.  He was a medic in Vietnam, and has been at Parsons for 22 years.

Dawn Flagler is Residential Treatment Facility Transition Coordinator at Parsons Child and Family Center, and has worked in residential care and special education since 1984.

Frank Grijalva is a clinical consultant in adolescent residential services, an international trainer in Classroom-Based Intervention, and trained dolphins for the US Navy for 8 years.

Forrest Hurd is supervisor at a residential facility for 9- to 11-year old boys near Modesto, California, and has worked in childcare since 2000.

Kathy Ryan, LCSW is former Director of Mental Health Residential Services at Parsons Child and Family Center, where she was a childcare worker, social worker, and clinical supervisor.

Raymond Schimmer, MAT has been at Parsons Child and Family Center since 1982 as Director of Education, Day Treatment, and Residential Services.  He currently serves as Executive Director.

Denise and her husband Joe have been doing therapeutic foster care since 1992, and have adopted four children.

Mary has been a foster parent for 12 years, and has cared for 98 foster children.

Mary Ann has been a foster/adoptive parent for 10 years.

Sue and her husband Lee have been therapeutic foster parents for 17 years.

The Trainer’s Guide

The 60-page trainer’s guide includes objectives, reproducible viewer handouts, review and discussion questions, and a resource list.  The appendices include a journal article, a book chapter, and a parent checklist, described below.

Kinniburgh, Kristine, & Blaustein, Margaret. Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC): A Comprehensive Framework for Intervention with Complexly Traumatized Youth, Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 2005, p. 424-430.  The Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) model provides a component-based framework for intervention, and is grounded in theory and empirical knowledge about the effects of trauma.  It emphasizes the importance of understanding and intervening with the child-in-context, with a philosophy that systemic change leads to effective and sustainable outcomes.

Chapter 6, "Reparenting the Hurt Child", from Richard Kagan’s book, Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children: Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect (Haworth Press, 2004), discusses community support, countertransference, misbehavior, developing trust, giving directions, choices and consequences, life skills, affect management, matching children and families, reality-based expectations, and psychotropic medications.

Vivienne Roseby’s checklist for parents, “The Two Step For Managing Limits, Disappointments and Other Upsets:  Relate And Contain,” discusses noticing your child, opening up and being available, verbalizing the limits, and enfolding with safety.

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