Attachment disorder is a psychological ailment that is characterized by the incapability of a person to form an emotional attachment with anybody. A person who suffers from this condition fails to form lasting relationships with another individual. This is a condition that develops in children or even infants and does not appear overnight. Therefore treatment should be sought at the initial stage.
Every child needs to be nurtured, shown affection and given enough comfort. Attachment disorder develops when the caregiver or the parents fail to meet the child’s requirements. Psychological counseling is one way to get around this difficulty. Here, not only the child, but also the parents or the person who takes care of the child are properly educated and taught the crux of handling a child soundly.
In a fast-paced life where parents have no option other than leaving their children in the hands of nannies or governesses before leaving home for their respective works, attachment disorder can develop in any child. After all no one can replace the biological parents. Sometimes, even work pressure and stress ill-dispose the parents to render the kind of care that a child needs. Over time the child becomes detached and the filial love never formulates. Psychotherapy can help these children greatly and with time they will show positive symptoms if the intervention is attempted at an early stage.
The first attachment that a child forms is with the mother. The mother tends to the child’s every need, like feeding and giving comfort. The attachment with the father forms through lively activities such as playing and the child should be made to understand that his parents are his constant support system. When the parents fail to do that, the child develops attachment disorder and does not respond to the parents’ urges as well as expectations. Psychotherapy can help these children greatly.
The therapies will show the child how healthy relationships look like through various interventions. Play therapy is a kind of treatment where the caregiver or the parents spends considerable amount of time with the child and engages the child and draw the child’s attention through jocund activities that every child appreciates.
Every child possesses that faculty that elicits the maximum happiness. The therapy revolves around the tapping of that very faculty. Constant interaction with the child is a must, and the child should be responded to at any given situation. Attachment disorder can only be curbed by making the child understand that he/she can depend upon the parents and get their love and approval. If treatment is not done at an early stage the ailment will persist and will have a long-term negative effect on the child.
The parents are also taught about child care where they learn about the various aspects of dealing with a child.
A child who shows symptoms of withdrawal should be treated immediately. Some of the signs of attachment disorder include unexplained sadness, irritability, lack of interaction with other people, not responding positively to affection when it is shown, on part of the child.
Withdrawal syndrome should not be only related to attachment disorder. A child can show signs of withdrawal if he/she has underlying medical conditions like autism, or intellectual impairment. Therefore, proper diagnosis needs to be done before beginning psychotherapy to treat attachment disorder.
There are no known side-effects of psychotherapy approach to treat children suffering from attachment disorder.
The primary aspect of attachment disorder is that the child does not develop this on his/her own. He/she develops it only when the caregivers or the parents fail to meet the various needs of the child. Therefore upon diagnosis the psychotherapist figures out the lapses on part of the parents or the caregiver. After this they are educated about child care and the ins and outs of dealing with a child. The child is also engaged in certain interactive sessions with the caregivers, and coaxed into developing a healthy relationship with them. This includes play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy. Parents or the caregivers should make sure that the interaction with the child thrives and all his/her needs are met with even after the psychotherapy session ends. The home environment must be very healthy where both the parents and the caregivers should make an effort to communicate with the child, and show him/her enough affection to revive the feelings of love that every child naturally has for his/her parents or caregivers.
The time for recovery depends on the psychological condition of the child. Normally, a positive change should be observer within a month. For a child whose condition is serious, it might take longer.
In India, the psychotherapy session could be anywhere between INR 5000 and INR 15000 (per session).
If the parents or the caregivers maintain proper communication with the child as far as affection is shown and all the needs are tended to, the positive effect that this treatment will have will be permanent.