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Attachment Therapy

Deena McMahon on Attachment Therapy

I work with children and the caregivers of children who have experienced multiple disruptions, neglect, abuse, or loss of family. Attachment repair in children is geared toward repairing the relationship between the parent and the child while facilitating the child's ability to trust. The strategies I use have been effective in helping children from challenging backgrounds learn to experience pleasure in the context of a caring relationship. I am considered an expert in the arena of attachment both in assessing and in working therapeutically with children who have attachment wounds.

Attachment wounds form early in a child's life. A new protocol has been established to assist mental health professionals in correctly diagnosing attachment problems and overall functioning in children under three years old. Called DC: 0-3R, this assessment tool allows mental health professionals to intervene early in a child's life and introduce strategies to alleviate the most immediate symptoms.

I have been trained to use DC: 0-3R and have established an expertise in working with very young children. It is widely known that the earlier we intervene in a child's life, the better the outcome.

Attachment wounds are most typically seen in children who have been adopted or who have histories of abuse, neglect or trauma and/or in cases where parents have mental illness or addiction.

Working with children who have experienced multiple losses of their attachment relationships is long-term and intense. It requires an understanding of typical child development, developmental delays, and methods to assist the parent/caregiver in helping the child achieve their full capacity to engage in satisfying relationships.

"I like the idea that by the end of the day I've made some sort of difference." — Deena McMahon, MSW,  ICSW