Family Attachment Narrative Therapy Intensive Program

Our Family Attachment Narrative Therapy Program is designed for children and adolescents between the ages of three and twenty-one who are suffering the long term effects of maltreatment experienced early in life. Their behavior is often unusual and may be described as withdrawn, clingy, dependent, anxious, aggressive, defiant, violent, oppositional, and destructive. Lasting behavioral improvement is likely to occur only after underlying attachment, trauma and developmental issues are addressed.

The program starts with a thorough assessment to determine a treatment plan. If the intensive program is indicated, the family meets two to three hours daily with a team of therapists, usually for a 2-week period. Toward the end of the intensive period the therapist makes specific recommendations for follow up therapy, which may include our day treatment program, weekly follow up or other options.

Our treatment approach is gentle and nonintrusive, yet intensive and powerful. The program is guided by the belief that parents are the primary healing agents for children, and builds on parent knowledge about the child's internal motivations. Our therapists train parents to create narratives that increase feelings of security, address issues in the child's history and help the child reach new conclusions about his or her life experiences.

With the necessary support, parents are able to attune to their child and provide the sensitive, caring experiences missed in their early years. This helps the child take a new perspective on life and provides a pathway for an improved future. Parents, along with the therapists, create four types of attachment narratives, unique to the child.

  • Claiming — Used to communicate that from the beginning the child deserved love and care. Also used to impart family traditions and history.
  • Developmental — Helps the child to progress properly through necessary stages of development.
  • Trauma — Addresses trauma history and helps the child gain a new understanding of life events.
  • Successful child — Teaches positive core standards for behavior.

Other therapeutic techniques may be used, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), audio-visual entrainment (AVE), non-directional play therapy, and family or individual counseling. The environment of physical and emotional nurturing permits powerful healing in both the child and parents.