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What can an attachment-based therapist help with?

Attachment-based therapy can be helpful for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or trauma; foster or adopted children; or children whose parents struggle with mental health difficulties. It is also often used to help teens struggling with depression or suicidality. Adults who are anxiously or avoidantly attached as the result of a difficult childhood—who may struggle to trust others, fear abandonment, and have poor self-esteem—can also benefit from attachment-based therapy, as might those struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety.

Who can practice attachment-based therapy?

Psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and other licensed mental health clinicians can practice attachment-based therapy. Therapists who wish to practice attachment-based therapy, or incorporate some of its techniques into their practice, typically seek specific training in the modality before doing so.

How can I recognize a good attachment-based therapist?

Prospective clients should ask whether a therapist has sought additional training and certification in attachment-based techniques before initiating treatment. It can also be helpful to ask whether the therapist has dealt with the client’s specific concerns in the past and what sort of progress the client could reasonably expect. In attachment-based therapy especially, rapport is key; because the modality calls for deep introspection and vulnerability, it’s critical that the client feels comfortable with the therapist and able to communicate with them openly.