Attachment-based Therapists in Philadelphia, PA

Photo of Justin Voss, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Justin Voss
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19107  (Online Only)
Justin utilizes an eclectic approach to therapy, blending models of solution-focused, narrative, and attachment-based therapies.
Justin Voss is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Pennsylvania, with a master's degree in clinical social work from Temple University. He has completed training in motivational interviewing, trauma-focused CBT, attachment based family therapy, and extensive workshops in trans related care following his graduate education. His primary area of expertise is working with young adults/adults that identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Justin's clinical interests include LGBTQ, sexual identity, gender identity, kink, polyamory, and non-monogamous relationships.
Justin utilizes an eclectic approach to therapy, blending models of solution-focused, narrative, and attachment-based therapies.
Justin Voss is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Pennsylvania, with a master's degree in clinical social work from Temple University. He has completed training in motivational interviewing, trauma-focused CBT, attachment based family therapy, and extensive workshops in trans related care following his graduate education. His primary area of expertise is working with young adults/adults that identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Justin's clinical interests include LGBTQ, sexual identity, gender identity, kink, polyamory, and non-monogamous relationships.
(267) 310-1638 View (267) 310-1638
Photo of Sari Fleischman - Sari Fleischman, PsyD, PLLC, PsyD, Psychologist
Sari Fleischman, PsyD, PLLC
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Many find themselves at a point in their lives where external support is necessary to navigate life's challenges. My clients seek therapy for a variety of reasons. Some may come to therapy to deal with a specific struggle, such as anxiety or depression, while others initiate therapy during a difficult life transition. Even positive transitions, such as getting a new job or starting a new relationship can be stressful. Together, we will merge our resources to address these challenges in a safe environment by exploring patterns, processing events from the past, and creating plans for change in the future.
Many find themselves at a point in their lives where external support is necessary to navigate life's challenges. My clients seek therapy for a variety of reasons. Some may come to therapy to deal with a specific struggle, such as anxiety or depression, while others initiate therapy during a difficult life transition. Even positive transitions, such as getting a new job or starting a new relationship can be stressful. Together, we will merge our resources to address these challenges in a safe environment by exploring patterns, processing events from the past, and creating plans for change in the future.
(484) 938-1307 View (484) 938-1307
Photo of Jessica Harris-Gray, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Jessica Harris-Gray
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19128  (Online Only)
I use emotion-focused and attachment-based lenses to address diagnoses such as anxiety and depression.
It is my belief that as people we strive to live happy, fulfilling lives. However, there are times when barriers get in the way of us actualizing this goal. Whether it is a recent change, persisting anxiety and depression, or difficult relational dynamics, my aim is to empower you with the tools to overcome these barriers.
I use emotion-focused and attachment-based lenses to address diagnoses such as anxiety and depression.
It is my belief that as people we strive to live happy, fulfilling lives. However, there are times when barriers get in the way of us actualizing this goal. Whether it is a recent change, persisting anxiety and depression, or difficult relational dynamics, my aim is to empower you with the tools to overcome these barriers.
(484) 497-0042 View (484) 497-0042
Photo of Johanna Agnew, MSEd, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Johanna Agnew
Licensed Professional Counselor, MSEd, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19134  (Online Only)
One of the greatest sources of distress and unhappiness comes from the inability to attach and feel full authenticity in our relationships. Whether the relationships are family based, interpersonal, or intimate; the ability to openly communicate and achieve safety is a major key to mental and emotional fulfillment. However, generational, complex, and individual traumas can impact how we function in our lives and relationships. Therapy with me allows for you and/or your partner build healthy skills to communication, heal, and begin to rebuild your story individually and together.
One of the greatest sources of distress and unhappiness comes from the inability to attach and feel full authenticity in our relationships. Whether the relationships are family based, interpersonal, or intimate; the ability to openly communicate and achieve safety is a major key to mental and emotional fulfillment. However, generational, complex, and individual traumas can impact how we function in our lives and relationships. Therapy with me allows for you and/or your partner build healthy skills to communication, heal, and begin to rebuild your story individually and together.
(215) 996-7784 View (215) 996-7784
Photo of Brighid Shea, Pre-Licensed Professional
Brighid Shea
Pre-Licensed Professional
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Brighid aims to tailor treatment to meet the unique needs of her clients; rooted in the internal family systems model, she incorporates acceptance and commitment therapies, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral and attachment-based approaches into treatment.
Brighid Shea is a Resident Professional Counselor with over 5 years of experience in the mental/behavioral health field. She is committed to creating a safe and collaborative space for adolescents, adults, and families to deepen their understanding of themselves and those around them. Brighid is passionate about supporting clients with complex trauma histories, attachment and relationship concerns, life transitions, and mood disorders. She believes that lasting change is only possible when clients feel seen and understood for who they are, and she is committed to nurturing a therapeutic relationship to meet the needs of each client.
Brighid aims to tailor treatment to meet the unique needs of her clients; rooted in the internal family systems model, she incorporates acceptance and commitment therapies, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral and attachment-based approaches into treatment.
Brighid Shea is a Resident Professional Counselor with over 5 years of experience in the mental/behavioral health field. She is committed to creating a safe and collaborative space for adolescents, adults, and families to deepen their understanding of themselves and those around them. Brighid is passionate about supporting clients with complex trauma histories, attachment and relationship concerns, life transitions, and mood disorders. She believes that lasting change is only possible when clients feel seen and understood for who they are, and she is committed to nurturing a therapeutic relationship to meet the needs of each client.
(267) 719-1851 View (267) 719-1851
Photo of Dese'Rae L. Stage, LSW, MSW, BS
Dese'Rae L. Stage
Licensed Social Worker, LSW, MSW, BS
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19125  (Online Only)
Hi, I'm Des! I'm a social worker and suicidologist, and a queer, white, cisgender single parent. My practice is trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and person-centered. Using an eclectic approach, mainly rooted in relational and attachment-based work, alongside some CBT techniques and DBT skills training, I work with teens and adults experiencing suicidal ideation and self-injury, grief/traumatic loss, ADHD, depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, fertility challenges (especially for those who are visibly queer), queer family-building, and pregnancy loss—many of which I have personal experience with.
Hi, I'm Des! I'm a social worker and suicidologist, and a queer, white, cisgender single parent. My practice is trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and person-centered. Using an eclectic approach, mainly rooted in relational and attachment-based work, alongside some CBT techniques and DBT skills training, I work with teens and adults experiencing suicidal ideation and self-injury, grief/traumatic loss, ADHD, depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, fertility challenges (especially for those who are visibly queer), queer family-building, and pregnancy loss—many of which I have personal experience with.
(215) 631-8350 View (215) 631-8350
Photo of Jamie Manser, MFT, Pre-Licensed Professional
Jamie Manser
Pre-Licensed Professional, MFT
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19145  (Online Only)
I utilize a trauma-informed approach and draw from therapeutic models including Attachment-based, Experiential, Emotion-focused, Contextual, ESFT, and was trained in Person of the Therapist under founder Dr.
When life feels messy, out-of-control, even unbearable, it's easy to forget that the human experience is inherently a messy one. Much of the mess is our best attempts at functioning under a deeply flawed and oppressive system. If you seek to understand yourself and your relationships to people and systems around you, to grow and heal, and to explore being human, I would love to share this experience with you. I work with individuals, couples, and families struggling with challenges such as individual/generational trauma, sex/intimacy, adoption/fostering, interracial couples/families, ADHD/Autism, and LGBTQIA+ challenges.
I utilize a trauma-informed approach and draw from therapeutic models including Attachment-based, Experiential, Emotion-focused, Contextual, ESFT, and was trained in Person of the Therapist under founder Dr.
When life feels messy, out-of-control, even unbearable, it's easy to forget that the human experience is inherently a messy one. Much of the mess is our best attempts at functioning under a deeply flawed and oppressive system. If you seek to understand yourself and your relationships to people and systems around you, to grow and heal, and to explore being human, I would love to share this experience with you. I work with individuals, couples, and families struggling with challenges such as individual/generational trauma, sex/intimacy, adoption/fostering, interracial couples/families, ADHD/Autism, and LGBTQIA+ challenges.
(215) 918-4612 View (215) 918-4612
Photo of Melissa Sziga Dessereau, LMFT, MA, CST, Marriage & Family Therapist
Melissa Sziga Dessereau
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, MA, CST
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Their clinical orientation is client-centered, systemic, anti-oppression, narrative, and attachment-based.
Sziga is a perceptive and nuanced therapist with a refreshingly frank style. For over 25 years, they have been working with individuals, couples, and families to foster personal growth and satisfying relationships. They have a way of making clients feel comfortable, understood, and at ease — like no matter what you say they get it and don’t judge you. And they're funny.
Their clinical orientation is client-centered, systemic, anti-oppression, narrative, and attachment-based.
Sziga is a perceptive and nuanced therapist with a refreshingly frank style. For over 25 years, they have been working with individuals, couples, and families to foster personal growth and satisfying relationships. They have a way of making clients feel comfortable, understood, and at ease — like no matter what you say they get it and don’t judge you. And they're funny.
(267) 705-6288 View (267) 705-6288
Photo of Makenzie Pacocha - Trauma and Attachment Therapy- Makenzie Pacocha, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Trauma and Attachment Therapy- Makenzie Pacocha
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19130
My approach to therapy is trauma informed, relational, and attachment-based.
If you are dealing with the impact of past or current trauma, all while trying to keep it together and manage the stress of daily life- you are in the right place. I work with adults and teens (16+) who yearn to heal, but feel like they can never quite find a therapist that they can be real with. You may be facing relationship challenges and attachment wounds, anxiety and low self-worth, past patterns resurfacing, or approval seeking and perfectionism. You deserve time and space to navigate these complexities, to untangle the threads of your experiences, and to rediscover profound self-compassion and connection.
My approach to therapy is trauma informed, relational, and attachment-based.
If you are dealing with the impact of past or current trauma, all while trying to keep it together and manage the stress of daily life- you are in the right place. I work with adults and teens (16+) who yearn to heal, but feel like they can never quite find a therapist that they can be real with. You may be facing relationship challenges and attachment wounds, anxiety and low self-worth, past patterns resurfacing, or approval seeking and perfectionism. You deserve time and space to navigate these complexities, to untangle the threads of your experiences, and to rediscover profound self-compassion and connection.
(215) 709-5930 View (215) 709-5930
Photo of Jotie Mondair, MA, LPC, ATR-BC, CCTP, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jotie Mondair
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, ATR-BC, CCTP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19121  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Jotie is a licensed professional counselor located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with many years of experience working with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and trauma-related disorders. Jotie uses an attachment-based model to identify and address distorted thought patterns and improve relationships (between people, with themselves, or with food).
Jotie is a licensed professional counselor located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with many years of experience working with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and trauma-related disorders. Jotie uses an attachment-based model to identify and address distorted thought patterns and improve relationships (between people, with themselves, or with food).
(215) 974-0190 View (215) 974-0190
Photo of Amy DeSmidt, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Amy DeSmidt
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19102
My approach is relational, collaborative, and attachment-based.
I work with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, life transitions, and relationship issues. I understand how trauma, childhood attachment, family of origin dynamics, and harm within our social/cultural/political systems underly many of these struggles. And I know how these painful experiences can disconnect you from yourself, your loved ones, and the joys of life. Together, we will explore the patterns that keep you stuck, understand their roots, and learn new ways of navigating life's challenges. Our work will help you restore a sense of agency and reconnection to your authentic, grounded Self that's innate to us all.
My approach is relational, collaborative, and attachment-based.
I work with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, life transitions, and relationship issues. I understand how trauma, childhood attachment, family of origin dynamics, and harm within our social/cultural/political systems underly many of these struggles. And I know how these painful experiences can disconnect you from yourself, your loved ones, and the joys of life. Together, we will explore the patterns that keep you stuck, understand their roots, and learn new ways of navigating life's challenges. Our work will help you restore a sense of agency and reconnection to your authentic, grounded Self that's innate to us all.
(267) 478-4185 View (267) 478-4185
Photo of Mary Chen, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Mary Chen
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19109
I work from an attachment-based, trauma-informed, systemic, and existential lens.
I specialize in working with those who have difficulty in their personal relationships. That might mean you've been "chronically single" all your life and don't want to be. Or it might mean that your current relationship is painful in ways that feel both familiar and confusing somehow, or your last one ended painfully. Maybe you've been betrayed, or you betrayed someone. Maybe you're worried that you have a sexual problem that makes you unlovable, or you struggle with boundaries. Or, maybe you feel like you've only ever really been attracted to the ones who don't love you back.
I work from an attachment-based, trauma-informed, systemic, and existential lens.
I specialize in working with those who have difficulty in their personal relationships. That might mean you've been "chronically single" all your life and don't want to be. Or it might mean that your current relationship is painful in ways that feel both familiar and confusing somehow, or your last one ended painfully. Maybe you've been betrayed, or you betrayed someone. Maybe you're worried that you have a sexual problem that makes you unlovable, or you struggle with boundaries. Or, maybe you feel like you've only ever really been attracted to the ones who don't love you back.
(215) 436-9382 View (215) 436-9382
Photo of Isabelle Barker, LAMFT, PhD, Marriage & Family Therapist Associate
Isabelle Barker
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate, LAMFT, PhD
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19119
Over the course of life, we accumulate hurts and wounds that impact how we function in our day to day lives. We can feel flooded by a range of difficult, often overpowering thoughts & emotions. We also can experience challenges in our relationships as well as in our efforts to process and respond to overwhelming life events. Integrating experiential aspects of Internal Family Systems (IFS), mindfulness, and somatic therapies along with relational/attachment-based therapy, I will partner with you to help you locate and strengthen your inner resources of healing and resilience.
Over the course of life, we accumulate hurts and wounds that impact how we function in our day to day lives. We can feel flooded by a range of difficult, often overpowering thoughts & emotions. We also can experience challenges in our relationships as well as in our efforts to process and respond to overwhelming life events. Integrating experiential aspects of Internal Family Systems (IFS), mindfulness, and somatic therapies along with relational/attachment-based therapy, I will partner with you to help you locate and strengthen your inner resources of healing and resilience.
(267) 930-1809 View (267) 930-1809
Photo of Tressa Dabney, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Tressa Dabney
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19103
In my work, I pull from different models, including ACT, psychodynamic therapy, relational and attachment-based, and somatic approaches.
Therapy is one avenue to building a life that is more authentic, connected, and filled with meaning. My goal as a therapist is to co-create a space that is warm and safe where you can approach issues from a strengths-based lens, and where curiosity and creativity can flourish. As a therapist, I value my unique relationship with each client, and I am deeply grateful to be able to witness growth, meaning-making, and changes that positively impact a client’s life. Therapy is a unique, personal, and specific journey, and I am humbled and eager to be on that journey with each individual client with whom I work.
In my work, I pull from different models, including ACT, psychodynamic therapy, relational and attachment-based, and somatic approaches.
Therapy is one avenue to building a life that is more authentic, connected, and filled with meaning. My goal as a therapist is to co-create a space that is warm and safe where you can approach issues from a strengths-based lens, and where curiosity and creativity can flourish. As a therapist, I value my unique relationship with each client, and I am deeply grateful to be able to witness growth, meaning-making, and changes that positively impact a client’s life. Therapy is a unique, personal, and specific journey, and I am humbled and eager to be on that journey with each individual client with whom I work.
(484) 446-2519 View (484) 446-2519
Photo of Josie Albrecht, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Josie Albrecht
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19103
I enjoy working with clients who want to get to the root of their struggles. These clients would like to gain insight into their symptoms, something difficult that has happened to them or to explore cycles and patterns that aren’t serving them. The clients I see often have attended therapy in the past. The clients I see also often present with attachment-based traumas, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and difficulties in their personal and work relationships.
I enjoy working with clients who want to get to the root of their struggles. These clients would like to gain insight into their symptoms, something difficult that has happened to them or to explore cycles and patterns that aren’t serving them. The clients I see often have attended therapy in the past. The clients I see also often present with attachment-based traumas, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and difficulties in their personal and work relationships.
(267) 609-5721 View (267) 609-5721
Photo of Francesca Papazis, LAPC, MPhilEd, Pre-Licensed Professional
Francesca Papazis
Pre-Licensed Professional, LAPC, MPhilEd
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19102
I view therapy primarily through an attachment-based and psychodynamic lens.
I believe you know yourself better than anyone else. I also believe humans are built for connection, and when you find a therapist that is the right fit for your needs, therapy can be healing. I specialize in working with anxiety, relationship challenges, sexuality/identity exploration, past/childhood trauma, and attachment healing, though I am here to support you with any topics you choose to bring to session. I encourage safety and empowerment with my clients, compassionately challenging them to work toward their individual goals and embrace their intuitive sense of self.
I view therapy primarily through an attachment-based and psychodynamic lens.
I believe you know yourself better than anyone else. I also believe humans are built for connection, and when you find a therapist that is the right fit for your needs, therapy can be healing. I specialize in working with anxiety, relationship challenges, sexuality/identity exploration, past/childhood trauma, and attachment healing, though I am here to support you with any topics you choose to bring to session. I encourage safety and empowerment with my clients, compassionately challenging them to work toward their individual goals and embrace their intuitive sense of self.
(267) 651-0660 View (267) 651-0660
Photo of Varney Glassman, LCSW, LICSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Varney Glassman
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, LICSW
Verified Verified
Philadelphia, PA 19107
People come to therapy for many reasons, sometimes it’s an unexpected or painful transition, other times it might be conflict in important relationships. Often, people have tried to help themselves feel better, and are unsure of where to go next. Regardless of the reason you are seeking help, you are likely looking for relief from pain or suffering. I’m glad you’ve taken this important first step. My role is to offer you a warm and non-judgmental space to process life’s complexities and create meaningful change.
People come to therapy for many reasons, sometimes it’s an unexpected or painful transition, other times it might be conflict in important relationships. Often, people have tried to help themselves feel better, and are unsure of where to go next. Regardless of the reason you are seeking help, you are likely looking for relief from pain or suffering. I’m glad you’ve taken this important first step. My role is to offer you a warm and non-judgmental space to process life’s complexities and create meaningful change.
(267) 497-2525 View (267) 497-2525
Photo of Sylvie M Beauvais - Sylvie Beauvais, LCSW, MLA, MSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Sylvie Beauvais
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MLA, MSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19102
I incorporate narrative strategies, attachment-based therapy, mindfulness, and your creativity.
Finding the right therapist can be intimidating. My goal is to make the therapy process welcoming and transparent. I work particularly well with people who've been told they are "too sensitive" or who identify as Highly Sensitive People. My talent lies in treating anxiety, trauma, and attachment/relationship wounds, as well as self-esteem. I support those who care for their communities: healers, caregivers, artists or those with creative practices, and activists. I've worked with ages 3-90 across class, race, gender, sexual orientation, & health status. Together, we can explore hard topics with sensitivity and humor.
I incorporate narrative strategies, attachment-based therapy, mindfulness, and your creativity.
Finding the right therapist can be intimidating. My goal is to make the therapy process welcoming and transparent. I work particularly well with people who've been told they are "too sensitive" or who identify as Highly Sensitive People. My talent lies in treating anxiety, trauma, and attachment/relationship wounds, as well as self-esteem. I support those who care for their communities: healers, caregivers, artists or those with creative practices, and activists. I've worked with ages 3-90 across class, race, gender, sexual orientation, & health status. Together, we can explore hard topics with sensitivity and humor.
(267) 433-4435 View (267) 433-4435
Photo of Julianna Fomenko, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Julianna Fomenko
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19119  (Online Only)
I utilize psychodynamic, family systems, attachment-based, cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness approaches.
Making sense of your anxieties, fears or depression can feel overwhelming. We all have the need to be connected and challenged so that we can grow into our best self. I believe that therapy should be hard but rewarding work that can be translated into actionable behavior outside of treatment. The cornerstone of making change is finding a therapist who promotes a sense of safety, compassion and respect to allow your true self to emerge and thrive. I have over 15 years of clinical practice experience in New York City and Philadelphia and value working with diverse individuals and families.
I utilize psychodynamic, family systems, attachment-based, cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness approaches.
Making sense of your anxieties, fears or depression can feel overwhelming. We all have the need to be connected and challenged so that we can grow into our best self. I believe that therapy should be hard but rewarding work that can be translated into actionable behavior outside of treatment. The cornerstone of making change is finding a therapist who promotes a sense of safety, compassion and respect to allow your true self to emerge and thrive. I have over 15 years of clinical practice experience in New York City and Philadelphia and value working with diverse individuals and families.
(215) 278-4425 View (215) 278-4425
Photo of Emily Sullivan, LSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Emily Sullivan
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Philadelphia, PA 19103
I use an integrative model in my work that emphasizes psychodynamic and relational elements, as well as attachment-based therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, family systems therapy, and exposure therapy.
I love to offer my clients a reflective listening ear and a holding space that truly feels warm, affirming, and safe. I think in that safety is where the depth of the work can happen, and change becomes possible. I believe that clients have an innate sense of strength that can be channelled through psychotherapy. I work with teens and adults on a variety of issues that expand from trauma and mood disorders, to anxiety, grief, OCD, and eating disorders. I hope that through our work together that I will be able to gain deeper insights into who you are, and what your struggles might be, and share those insights with you.
I use an integrative model in my work that emphasizes psychodynamic and relational elements, as well as attachment-based therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, family systems therapy, and exposure therapy.
I love to offer my clients a reflective listening ear and a holding space that truly feels warm, affirming, and safe. I think in that safety is where the depth of the work can happen, and change becomes possible. I believe that clients have an innate sense of strength that can be channelled through psychotherapy. I work with teens and adults on a variety of issues that expand from trauma and mood disorders, to anxiety, grief, OCD, and eating disorders. I hope that through our work together that I will be able to gain deeper insights into who you are, and what your struggles might be, and share those insights with you.
(484) 978-9681 View (484) 978-9681
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Attachment-based Therapists

Is attachment-based therapy the same as attachment therapy?

Attachment-based therapy may be confused with what is called “attachment therapy” (sometimes called “holding therapy”), a discredited and dangerous approach to treating children with attachment disorders, autism, or other mental health concerns. Attachment therapy—not attachment-based therapy—may involve restraining a child, forcing eye contact, and other coercive or abusive techniques. None of these practices are used in attachment-based therapy and the two modalities are in no way related.

What should I expect from attachment-based therapy?

Attachment-based therapy is based on attachment theory, which posits that children’s early relationships with their caregivers strongly influence their ability to navigate the world later in life. Thus, adults who seek attachment-based therapy should expect to deeply explore their childhood, identifying the dynamics or experiences that disrupted their attachment and the steps necessary to overcome challenges that arose as a result. Parents and children should expect to explore the possible factors that disrupted the parent-child relationship and work toward restoring trust and connection.

How long does attachment-based therapy last?

Certain forms of attachment-based therapy, especially those designed for parents and children, last for a set number of sessions; for example, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up, a specific attachment-based approach for young children who have undergone early adversity, unfolds over 10 one-hour sessions. When attachment-based therapy is practiced on adults or combined with other modalities, it may not last a specific length of time; clients may wish to ask prospective therapists how long they expect treatment to take.

Does attachment-based therapy work?

Most of the research on attachment-based therapy focuses on children and adolescents. Some of this research shows a positive effect, especially for attachment-based family therapy (ABFT). Other studies, however, have found that attachment-based therapy is no more effective than other approaches to childhood depression, anxiety, or suicidality. Less is known about the therapy’s efficacy on adult populations.