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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is attachment disorder best treated?

    Is clinically diagnosed attachment disorder best treated by a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    It needs to be treated with a psychotherapist, as this is the area psychotherapists delve into. Emotionally Focused Psychotherapy will likely be most helpful.

  • 1


    Bruce Jenkins

    Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    ABOUT BRUCE Registered psychologist since 1991 Broadly Humanistic approach with special interest in Person Centred therapy Over sixteen years experience as a supervisor Taught Counselling … View Profile

    Reading your question, I'm curious about how you received this “diagnosis”. The language used by different helping professionals can sometimes make it difficult to find out what you need to heal.

    No-one can - or should - say what you must have, what you must do, or what is unequivocably ‘best’ for you. What can be said is that finding a therapist (whether a psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor) should be based on what your goals are in combination with the skills and approach of the helping professional.

    The research is clear: the most important factor in achieving a positive outcome in therapy is the relationship between the practitioner and the client. It is not any particular approach.

    I hope you can find a practitioner that you can trust and who is willing to work with you on your relational goals.

    Best wishes.

    Disclaimer: I am writing with the assumption that you are basically functioning OK in your everyday life. These comments are NOT meant to refer to psychiatric illness, crisis situations, or hospital in-patient situations.

  • 1


    Darren Stops

    Counsellor, Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    For assistance with issues including: anxiety & depression, stress, coping & adjustment, personality & relationships sleep & health issues, separation, loss and trauma, post traumatic … View Profile

    A clinical diagnosis should specify Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is a geniune Psychiatric disorder, and best treated with a combination of experienced Psychiatric and Psychological input.

    If the diagnosis is an “Attachment Disorder”, please be careful, this is not a legitimate diagnosis, and is often used by some therapists who engage in questionable practices without an evidence base. Internet searching shows it is very had to differentiate effective treatments from some of the less legitmate information out there.  

    Perhaps google “Reactive Attachment Disorder vs Attachment disorder” or something similar?

    I suggest you clarify your diagnosis and perhaps seek a further opinion before engaging in any treatment.

    Different attachment styles can be an important factor in personality and interpersonal issues, and you need to engage with someone who understands the issues related to these.

    Best Wishes.

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