Telemental Health For Illinois Attachment Disorder

Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder

Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder  is now available for families struggling with attachment disorder.  I personally have 25 years of experience with kids with attachment disorder and families.  I have begun doing telemental health counseling because there is such a need. I just met someone yesterday who didn’t know I existed, although we were not that far apart in miles.  But I have had families drive 2 hours for a session because of the need for different kinds of therapy for these children.  

I am aware that the new terminology for attachment disorder is developmental trauma disorder, although it is not currently in the DSM 5.  Many families are just figuring out the old terminology of attachment disorder when trying to understand what is wrong with their child and why nothing they do works.

Symptoms of Attachment Disorder and need for telemental health


Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder

Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder is increasingly available right now from insurance companies because of our social distancing order.  We do not want to endanger children, families, or therapists, but know the need for support is great, even greater now.

The definition for Developmental Trauma Disorder is: Developmental Trauma is a term used in the literature to describe childhood trauma such as chronic abuse, neglect or other harsh adversity in their own homes. When a child is exposed to overwhelming stress and their caregiver does not help reduce this stress, or is the cause of the stress, the child experiences developmental trauma.(

Attachment Disorder: (RAD) is a condition in which an infant or young child does not form a secure, healthy emotional bond with his or her primary caretakers (parental figures). Children with RAD often have trouble managing their emotions. They struggle to form meaningful connections with other people. (Google)

Reactive Attachment Disorder: (RAD) is a condition in which an infant or young child does not form a secure, healthy emotional bond with his or her primary caretakers (parental figures). Children with RAD often have trouble managing their emotions. They struggle to form meaningful connections with other people. (Google)

Various types of attachment Disorder: two main types of reactive attachment disorder: inhibited and disinhibited. Not much research has been done on the signs and symptoms of this disorder beyond early childhood, however as children grow older they may develop either inhibited or disinhibited behavior patterns. (Google)

Illinois Attachment Disorder Telemental Health

Why Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder

Why telemental health – or telehealth therapy, using skype or another service such as zoom?  Ease of access. You need help. I understand that. And traditional therapy is NOT going to help.  This is not knocking traditional therapy, as I use different methods with different issues in an individual.  These kids will not respond to one on one in a room with a therapist. You will not get the truth. They will not change because they seemingly trust that therapist (they do NOT trust the therapist).  

I can provide many ideas, address many concerns you might have online from your home.  Scheduling is much easier. It can be a ½ hour session or a longer session. Some insurances now cover it. Many cover it now in this time of self-distancing with corona virus.    

There are not a lot of therapists working with this difficult issue.  I am one of those due to my experience. I have families that increase their frustration shopping around and at the same time, location is a problem.  With telemental health, it is not a problem.  

Telemental Health for Illinois Attachment Disorder Now More than Ever

So I hope you consider it for your own mental health.  Families living with attachment disorder are often traumatized frequently in many different ways.  It is my sincere hope that I can help a lot more families – often parents, especially mothers, feel better after the first session because someone truly sees them and understands them.  We all know how good that feels. 

Telemental health for Illinois Attachment Disorder – teletherapy – will increase access to services.

You can get services online currently through many insurance companies. Email me at if you would like to set up services.


Covid-19 and Kids With Attachment Disorder

Covid-19 and Kids With Attachment Disorder

Covid-19 and Kids with attachment disorder must be quite a combination in this time of self-distancing.  I’m not entirely sure where this post is going because this issue is very complex, but I’ll do my best.  It’s kind of like the whole self-distancing rule and the current state of our world. None of us know where that is going either.  And there aren’t many answers.

So perhaps the best way to go is to figure out how to help the families living with this situation. There are many jokes about there about families adjusting to homeschooling, etc. and the difficulties.  But for those of you parents living with Covid-19 and kids with attachment disorder, I need to ask “What can I do to help?” Perhaps you know better than I.  I can answer from my perspective as a therapist who understands the behaviors of these children and their goals.  And perhaps because I’m not living in the situation, I can be more objective.  I am offering teletherapy as always and it might be more valuable today than ever.

Why Use Teletherapy
Teletherapy is Available, due to distance or scheduling.

Covid-19 and Kids with Attachment Disorder

When I write this, please remember that I am not talking about children who do not have attachment disorder.  The issues that arise from that will be totally different during this time, and the issues of parents with these kids will still have struggles, but theirs will be different and I am not addressing them here.  If you live with attachment disorder in your household, you know the issues I’m talking about.  Manipulation, abusive behavior, lying, stealing, fighting, to name a few. So imagine having to battle that behavior for at least a month 24/7.  /

Covid-19 and kids with attachment disorder

What can families do when dealing with this covid-19 time? 

Tag team is important if possible, different caregivers taking responsibility and switching it up. Most important to be on the same page at this time, even if you don’t understand what’s going on.  Support the other caregiver.                                   Take time outside for yourself and also for the child with attachment disorder, separate from you.                                             They can be given chores outside.  You can even incorporate outdoor activities with school learning. 

We Can Help You!

You can also have someone else stay with child even though you may not want to because child cannot be trusted.  During this time, I see survival of the parent as primary.  In that case, you might have to break some of your rules i.e. let them play with a tablet, or let them watch a movie.                                                                                                                                    At this time, remember you need to survive first.  So is it more important for you to get a break and let them play on tablet, or is it more important to maintain rule of no electronics during this self-distancing time.                                                                If going to grandma’s means they come home obnoxious, but you can get a break, you have to weigh the consequences.  What if you got the weekend off? Not my decision – it’s one you have to make for you. 

The caretaker that receives the most abuse from the child is the one who needs to be nurtured so she/he is able to take care of the child.  Or able to make the best decisions.   

HELP Is Available.

During this crazy time of covid-19,  I am offering teletherapy services for parents and for children, and for educational purposes.  Please feel free to take advantage of this service during this time.  I use zoom and would be as simple as me sending you a link to your phone or email. You then click on the link.  Payment is best through paypal or google payment.   Call 815-398-8422 or email me at  I will keep an eye on things closely so I can be available.  I am also self-distancing so I LOTS of time right now.    



How Is Reactive Attachment Disorder Treated?

How Is Reactive Attachment Disorder Treated?

Treatment of RAD has two important goals. The first is to ensure that the child is in a safe environment. This is especially important in cases where the child has been abused or neglected. The second goal is to help the child develop a healthy relationship with an appropriate caregiver.

Treatment for RAD often focuses on the caregiver. Counseling may be used to address the issues that are affecting the caregiver’s relationship with and behavior toward the child. Teaching parenting skills also can help improve the relationship with the child and help develop attachment. Treatment may also include play therapy. This technique allows the child and the caregiver to express their thoughts, fears, and needs in the safe context of play.

There is no medication to treat RAD itself. However, the doctor may sometimes use a medication as an adjunct to treatment to help manage severe behavioral symptoms, such as explosive anger or problems sleeping.

Excderpt from>

How is Reactive Attachment Disorder Treated?

How is reactive attachment disorder treated?
Therapy Outside The Comfort Zone

This philosophy is also true in my practice.  The goal for the child is difficult when the behaviors are out of control.  “Loving them enough” is not going to solve the issues.  I believe that it calls for a black or white approach, which provides the structure needed.  Otherwise, the child can be very manipulative and parenting becomes increasingly difficult. *

This is when individuals who are not familiar with the dynamics in a home with children with extreme attachment disorder behaviors show how judgmental they can be.  Other adults  believe there are only certain ways to work with children. Therapists who don’t understand attachment disorder often judge my style of therapy also.  Traditional therapy does not work.

Children often hate me in the beginning of therapy because my allegiance is to their parents and the goal is that the child bond with their parents, not me.  I also do not align with manipulative behaviors. Children need to know that they can trust me to be strong, consistent, and unable to be played.  Again and again, this is with children who fit a certain criteria due to their early attachment trauma.  Children who lack any attachment and/or refuse to allow attachment with their current family. I do not use the same techniques in traditional therapy.

We will continue with more information re: ACE’s – Adverse Childhood Experiences

Attachment Disorder and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Attachment Disorder and Adverse Childhood Experiences

You can go here to take the adverse childhood experiences quiz and check out it’s relationship to attachment disorder.  It will provide insight, and I have heard that the quiz is found to have a great deal of validity, according to IATP/CCTP – certified clinical trauma professional.

I have not attended many trainings, and I know there isn’t much training out there. And what’s current? The list of behaviors probably doesn’t change much. What is the connection with ACES – Adverse Childhood Experiences.

I went to a luncheon with a man who was a nationally respected doctor who helped organize, sponsor, collect data from studies. The conclusion was that HOPE – positive experiences can help overcome some of the negative. A perfect example is a little girl who was in a bombing in Syria – she has been exposed to horrific ACEs. But if she is surrounded by loving family, has been transferred to a safe environment, has a positive experience in the refugee camp, then her ACEs will not have as much negative affect on her adult life, including illnesses, etc. The talk did not focus on attachment, behaviors, etc. There were many CASA workers there, and a CASA worker’s job is to work with foster kids and make sure their case gets the attention it needs.


Some frustrations that I had: the topic or research did not seem to include individual differences – personality traits, coping styles, sensitivity factors, mental health, resilience, among a few. The kids we often work with are not open to positive factors HOPE – this is a major part of the problem. Families and agencies that I have worked with are always focused on giving the child positive things, but the child does not perceive it, or allow it.

Attachment Disorder

So much is being written re: ACEs now, and schools, and trauma. So, I’m trying to see how any of it fits together. I have done training for schools, including Early Childhood, re: kids who show attachment disorder. There is a distinct difference between kids who still live in birth families, and kids who are in adoptive homes re: what the school can do. Also, often different behavior traits. I will be attending another training Friday by a regional CASA – we shall see. Perhaps I will again pursue doing more  trainings to get the word out there. I heard that NAMI does not do a lot with Attachment Disorder either. So, again, the concern is that parents are being

wounds - ACES
Wounds from adverse childhood experiences

abandoned with children with these behaviors.

My experience with Attachment Disorder and Adverse childhood experiences – there is serious overlap but also big differences.

Attachment Disorder in Children

The Attachment Disorder Dilemma

Attachment Disorder In Children

Hi – just a quick comment to let you know I’m out here, trying to offer support when I can.  The news has brought news of relevance to parents of children with RAD – as I lovingly term them, CWAD.  Attachment disorder in children continues to be a very difficult, relently mental health issue.  Anyway, I had a mom say to me after the awful Newtown news, that she could relate to being the mother of that young man that was so “sick.”  I realize that is true.  It was awful to believe that someone has that capacity to commit such a crime,  but some of you parents – P-CWAD – have seen those moments in your children. 

My intention is a therapist is to provide a great deal of direction to the parents.  I work with information in how to provide a great deal of love, consistency, and structure for the child.  I also let the child know I understand and care about them, but I support the parents (if I believe they are safe, reliable parents) and our goal is to unite them all as a family.  Again, attachment disorder in children often gets referred to me because they have been through a great deal of trouble as a family and have found me as a last resort – someone who has this specialty, this diagnosis, etc.  

The second news segment that just happened is about Russia banning adoptions to the US.  As another person said, that’s probably good news for some of the parents, because sometimes the children from Russia have many, many issues.  But there are those children that provide a great deal of joy.  And there are parents who are currently waiting for some of those children but now must suffer the loss of never adopting those children.  We will never know how it would have gone. 

Attachment Disorder in Children (ongoing)                                             

But I am sure some of this news has hit you in a sensitive place and you feel some impact.  Give yourself to feel some grief over these incidents.  PCWAD have many reasons to feel grief over the loss of expectations and other losses in adopting a CWAD. Check out this article in the Daily Mom about the crisis of attachment disorder in children.  

What the Future of Therapy Holds?

Hi – so I’m still working and I haven’t seen a lot of changes in the mental health environment.  I don’t like it.  A lot of it is due to the economy – perhaps things will improve in the future.  I also live in the midwest and that area is not recovering quickly, and Illinois is broke, so…
My heart goes out to the many families struggling with these difficult children but that aren’t getting a lot of help.  I am available for services but families having money to pay for them is a problem, and DCFS seems to claim they cannot pay.
I am working on youtube videos and a  book which may help out there.  Perhaps there will be other ways to get services out there.  I am also available for online counseling services, phone counseling, etc.  There are other ways.  You can also email me at if you have questions and my phone is 815-398-8422.
And my website is here

Therapy for Families Struggling With Attachment Disorder

The economy sure has an impact on the families that have adopted children with attachment disorder.  The services are more difficult to get and finances and promises that were made when children were adopted are no longer being kept.  “They are your problem now” seems to be the demeanor.  I am sorry to see people in power act the way they are.  It seems I have provided a great deal of service because of my ethics and would probably do so again.  I wish more people felt that way.  Check out my website.
So I want you to know you aren’t alone out there, that there are those of us who care.  Unfortunately, free services are hard to come by, and maintain. 
1.There is federal money in some adoption preservation programs, so you might want to look for them in your area – those are free. 
2. For those of you with the medical card for the children, I’m sorry to say that there is not much specific to attachment disorder.  Your only options are the area community health centers that can take the medical card.  Most private practitioners can not. 
3. Insurance is another option, but I know they often do not pay well, and many will not take insurance, but want cash and you turn the bill into your insurance, as insurance companies make it difficult.

No AD Services Can Be Devastating!

How is the media about attachment disorder lately?  I really don’t know even though I do therapy.  When I worked in child welfare the talk was much greater, but I am now in schools and never hear about it.  I believe part of it is the economy.  Families are being abandoned and having to deal with the issue on their own as there are not many resources available anymore. 
I received a perfect email today from someone really struggling and they had tried many available resources but they did not work with true RAD kids – actually i prefer CWAD – child with attachment disorder.  So many options are a waste of time and very frustrating to parents, giving the CWAD even more power. I feel very bad for families when this happens as it is so much wasted time, but more than that, it is energy and emotional health at stake, that of the parents.

Life’s Outlook

Here’s my website.

Well, when I looked at my statistics, the blog that got the most attention was the blog post re: CWAD – children with attachment disorder.  The parents of those children are called PCWAD by me.  I will be writing a book re: this issue.  I have worked in this field for a LONG time and have heard from parents that I understand the issue very well.  I have very much enjoyed helping the families that have adopted these children.  Sometimes I can help the children, and sometimes I cannot.  I believe a lot of it is up to them.

I don’t get many comments from families with attachment disordered children.  I know there are some links, support groups online, etc.  that families have found helpful.  I have found that support has decreased a great deal.  Counseling, etc.  is cut back due to insurance and state support.  Families are left in the position of having to pay for therapy themselves, and cannot often afford this.  Some people have lost their jobs while working together. 

Hopefully more will follow.  I have decided that there is a great need for new info and support. 

Inside The Mind of The Child With Attachment Disorder (CWAD)

I have worked with a number of years with children with attachment disorder (CWAD).  What is their need to be in control about?  That is one of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder and it is a major one that gets in the way of being a part of a family.  I have come to believe that children that have been abandoned and developed attachment disorder have to stay in control of their own life as they feel they will die if they are NOT in control of their own life.  Well, imagine an infant and/or a fetus who is not taking care of, nurtured, fed, changed, held.  Well, if they are going to survive they need to stay in control of their own life and being.  No one else took care of them.  From that perspective isn’t it easy to understand why they need to stay in control.  A matter of life or death for them.
 The need to be in control for CWAD can show up as a refusal to cooperate with anything they are told to do, they will do it their way.  The child will refuse to ask for any help because to ask for help is giving parents power to say no and abandon or reject.  They’ve already been through that once.  Oftentimes their behavior does not resemble that of normally-attached children, they do it their way, living their own life. 
Again, remember without the nurturing and bonding of normal development, the child’s synapses is not the same as the developed child who has received all those benefits.  They do not think the same way.  They often do not have cause and effect thinking so being rational with these children does not help anyone. It just drives you crazy.
Chris Appell-Naff