“Fundamental happiness and freedom are the
birthright of every human being.”
What Is Attachment Repair Therapy?
Attachment repair trauma therapy is a highly effective form of trauma treatment that combines psychodynamic therapy, somatic therapy and relational therapy. This multidimensional, cutting edge trauma therapy is based on the NeuroAffective Touch™ model of Dr. Aline LaPierre, developed over decades of experience working with somatic therapies and further supported by current neurobiological research. This innovative approach can be instrumental in the healing of developmental trauma, complex trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also be particularly effective for people suffering from attachment disorders, especially those formed very early in life. Based in safety, kindness, containment and connection, this approach uses both touch and verbal narratives to support the healing, awareness and self-regulation needed to increase confidence and develop deeper, more fulfilling connections with self and others.
Understanding Attachment Disruption
Early traumatic family experiences are imprinted in our minds, bodies, nervous systems and in our very cells. When left unresolved, the early childhood trauma caused by fear, threat, neglect, abandonment, conflict and stressful situations manifests through mind and body reactions, such as chronic hypervigilance, bracing or chronic weakness, volatile and vacillating emotions and the inability to engage in the present moment. It can also impact self-esteem, confidence and feelings of safety and lead to unhealthy, even abusive relationships in adulthood, along with ongoing crises and trauma. It can be difficult for those who experienced childhood or developmental trauma, especially preverbally, to understand and express why life seems perpetually more difficult for them than others. They often struggle with symptoms of depression, anxiety, shame, an ongoing sense that there’s something wrong with them and might even question their right to exist.
We all carry some level of attachment disruption that impacts—either subtly or grossly—how we engage in our adult relationships. Attachment generally begins between infant and mother and serves as a blueprint for all future relationships. When the primary attachment with mother or an alternative primary caregiver is disrupted—which can happen through abuse, neglect or abandonment or through circumstantial stressors, such as financial pressure, death, an ill parent and various forms of oppression—the developmental skills needed to connect to others and manage emotions is compromised. The lack of consistent, loving and supportive connection in childhood causes shocks to the heart and often results in adults with trust and self-worth issues, a fear of getting close to anyone, a need to be in control, anger (either inwardly or outwardly expressed) and a lack of the skills needed to foster meaningful relationships.
Generally people who experienced attachment disruptions in early childhood struggle in their adult relationships. For instance, you might stay too long in an unhealthy and/or abusive relationship, striving to fix it and believing that the problems are your fault. You might continually date the wrong kind of person and wonder why you can’t sustain a meaningful relationship. You may have experienced a long string of betrayals and now struggle to trust anyone, even—or especially—yourself. Or, you might avoid relationships all together. You might also be quite functional, partnered with someone whom you love and loves you, but still feel a lack of aliveness, sexual fulfillment and overall joy and ease, which leaves you feeling confused, frustrated and/or guilty.
The Attachment Repair Process
In order to create feelings of safety, the attachment repair process helps to restore the connection that was interrupted early in life. In sessions, your therapist may use gentle touch to provide a somatic sense of safety and connection, which research indicates may be the missing link in trauma treatment. Touch, along with compassionate support and attentive listening brings attention to places in the body where trauma is stored, including the Heart Center. Rather than only relying on verbal communication, this approach is guided by what the body has to say and the underlying emotions that there may be no words for. Touch is also shown to help us access our primal and nonverbal needs, and this process, which is much slower than talking, allows our bodies to tap into innate wisdom and find a different, more vibrant rhythm and pace.
The attachment repair trauma therapy process is a body-mind collaborative process focused specifically on what you need and what you feel comfortable and safe with. Your therapist may not use touch initially, but rather help guide you in healing self-touch. For example, she may gently guide you in placing your own hand on your face, abdomen or heart. Props, such as a massage table, heating pads, supportive pillows and blankets, can also be used to provide added support, warmth and safety. Throughout the process, you will be asked specifically where it is that you need support, helping you connect your Mind, Heart and Body Centers in new, comforting and empowering ways.
Our Trauma Therapy And Attachment Repair Practice
For more than two decades, we have been on the cutting edge of trauma research, providing safety, kindness, connection and compassion to our clients as they engage in the powerful journey of healing trauma. We know both personally and professionally how fragmenting and scary trauma and its aftereffects can be, and provide ongoing, compassionate support. We draw from proven, effective trauma treatment approaches that focus on the integration of mind, heart and body and create a trauma therapy plan that best addresses and supports our clients’ unique experience with trauma, needs, history, values and therapy goals. Basing sessions on what resonates with you, we may also incorporate EMDR, Mindfulness Therapy and other forms of Somatic Therapy into sessions as we create a trusting, safe relationship and healing experience tailored to you. Rather than continually feeling like you’re in the danger zone, you can tap into your innate strength, resilience and resources and connect with the wisdom and integrity of your body and your innate vitality and aliveness.
We also know through years of experience that, while challenging, healing from trauma is possible and that there is joy, ease and openness to be accessed. After resolving trauma, it’s even possible to awaken a life force within that might have not otherwise been accessible. With skilled, guided and compassionate support and an approach or combination of approaches that resonate with you, you can resolve the trauma of the past and feel whole and safe. You can cultivate a beautiful self-intimacy and develop the openness, confidence and ease needed to be intimate with others and flourish in your own life. Rather than continue to live your life from a place of fear, it is possible to heal old wounds, create habits of happiness and be clear and confident in who you are today.
You Can Heal Trauma Of The Past And Move Into A Brighter Tomorrow
You no longer need to try to manage painful feelings or make sense of trauma on your own. If you’re in Los Angeles, CA or the surrounding area, we can help. We invite you to call Stephanie at 310-391-5851 or Lee Ann at 310-915-5950 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation. We’re happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about attachment repair therapy, NeuroAffective Touch™, other approaches to trauma treatment and our practice.