Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Kellogg

Abstract

Treatment strategies for school age children with disorganized attachment are not well established. This population exhibits a range of difficulties in social relationships and self-regulation. Additionally, children with disorganized attachment generally rely on defense mechanisms and present with other comorbid conditions, adding to the complexity of treatment. This paper explores current research and theories about disorganized attachment and then, on the basis of evidence provided throughout this paper, proposes the concept of attunement needs in relation to working with children with disorganized attachment. The attunement needs described in this paper, derived from the literature, include safety/security, control/power, consistency, affective release, and unconditional attachment. This paper describes expressive arts therapy as a treatment option for disorganized attachment, and proposes several considerations for structuring sessions with this population based on attunement needs.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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