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Attachment Disorder - Supporting the journey!

Over the years, I've worked with many young adults who presented, or occasionally had a diagnosis of Attachment Disorder. For so many of these young people it is almost impossible to attain a valued role in their community, or to develop secure intimate relationships, and they frequently become fringe dwellers with higher than average incidents involving Police and Correctional Services. Although it would be easy to believe there is no hope supporting these young people, this is just not the case. Progress can be excruciatingly slow, filled with minute wins and monumental explosions, but with a solid understanding of Attachment Theory and a long term approach, changes can happen. My experience has taught me to be consistent about what are the realistic expectations for progress both for myself and the young person. It may seem simplistic, and harsh, but think of it not as a relationship but a contract, mostly one sided with frequent setbacks, in which you steer towards their grand plan, but all the time expect to battle for the smallest of day to day goals.

Finally, to be effective and to affect change for these young people you have to look after yourself and stay resilient. Get support if you need it, learn what is needed, and most of all be kind to yourself. Respect that although you may feel responsible, at the end of the day you are the persons guide, not their carer. I don't have the answers as I'm still learning myself. However I invite you to begin a conversations about this topic.


This article from the New York Times is my recommended read. Yes, It's your Parents' Fault

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