Attachment is defined as a deep emotional connection to another person. Most families could benefit from strengthening their attachment relationships. The attachment relationship is based on the strength of the attention or what is referred to as attunement a parent or caregiver provides for the child. This is especially important when the child is sick, hurt, or scared. Attunement is when a parent or caregiver is aware and is positively responsive to the child and the child’s needs. The attachment relationship is based on the attunement of the caregiver to the child.
There are two main types of attachment, secure and insecure. Secure attachment occurs when a caregiver is sensitive and responds positively to the child’s needs. The child learns that the parent or caregiver will provide them comfort and safety. The second type of attachment is insecure attachment. Insecure attachment happens for a number of reasons. What happens with insecure attachment is that the parent or caregiver is unable to respond positively in an attuned way to their child’s needs. We know that no parent is able to be attuned all of the time but generally if parents or caregivers are able to be attuned 75% of the time the child will have secure attachment. Insecure attachment untreated, results in a number of mental health disorders. Often children are diagnosed with mental health disorders that are in reality based in insecure attachment. The most common behavioural and emotional concern of a child with insecure attachment is self-regulation difficulties.
We at The Phoenix Centre offer the Modified Interaction Guidance model which is a behaviourally based therapy that uses videotaping to strengthen the parent/caregivers attunement for the child. The MIG works with children from 2 years to twelve years of age. We will also offer adult attachment work additionally to the Modified Interaction Guidance when necessary. The adult attachment explores the insecure attachment style that was learned in the parent’s or caregiver’s own family of origin resulting in negatively influencing their parenting and preventing them from being the best parent or caregiver they would prefer to be.