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.


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.  

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

Attachment Disorder Around The World

I checked out the stats on my blog and was blown away when I saw that there are visitors from all over the world.  The good news is that there is an awareness of Attachment Disorder all over the world.  How much so, I do not know.  I have a friend who lives in France and is a therapist, but she says they are just glad to be addressing the ADHD issue, while here, we are seeing many more psychological issues with children, those adopted internationally and locally within the states.  Again, even as in the states, people do not want to see Attachment Disorder, or they want to call it something else like “conduct disorder” or oppositional defiance disorder, among other things.  But then I say, what’s at the source of that diagnosis – where does the behavior come from.  When I study the abandonment issues, and understanding attachment and early child development, the theories behind how attachment disorder develops, and how children’s brains and personalities develop around an early abandonment – fear of death.  No one is here to take care of me and love me, so I must take care of myself.  This can develop in the uterus if it is a poor, neglectful pregnancy, or even right away at birth. Even if the baby is adopted early, some of those children still have it.  I believe the fact that some children have it and some don’t is their personalities and resiliency, just like all other children. 
I had a family with 2 children – one had been nursed by birthmom for a few weeks and the other child was abandoned right away, and what a difference in the 2 children.  But it wouldn’t be the only criteria.  As you all know, it is a very difficult diagnosis, and resistant to treatment.  I don’t know what kind of treatment options exist in Europe.  I know that Colorado has sort of been a center for training for therapists, but there arent very many of us in this country either.  Plus, we become a target for anyone who doesn’t believe in attachment disorder, just like the caregivers of the children – no child could act like that, the adults must be the problem. This is all for now.  Feel free to comment. Sign up for my blog postings.
Chris Appell-Naff, LCPC
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And Attachment Disorder Continues!

As I start to write this, I realize I haven’t written in a while. I have done other blogs but this one as gone by the side. My energy in attachment disorder therapy has waned somewhat. My clientele in this area is down as I have quit working with the state of Illinois post-adoption clients as they seem not to be paying me. I donated many hours at this point only to have the state decide not to pay me, much to the disservice of the families and children they have placed in families for adoption. I’m guessing services have been cut everywhere, every state. I’ve worked with families who have the breadwinner lose their jobs, had insurance cut, wages cut, etc. Meanwhile they have to live with kids who are sometimes impossible to live with. I know I get frustrated with the media, but I’m sure the families do even more so, because the perspective is not taking into account the actual behavior of these children, and how it impacts families. I remember when the woman put her adopted son on a plane back to Russia, with her mother’s support. They were in fear for their life, but the perspective of the press was “what a terrible thing to do, how could any mother give up on a child, etc.” Totally one sided. Those of us who knew what these children could behave like understood why she did it. Sometimes, it’s a basic case of survival. I don’t know that the world every will understand, and why are the families living with this disorder’s impact living that life. What is the purpose of it? Why them? I know sometimes they have something to learn from it, but I try to see some of this from a larger spiritual perspective, and I don’t really understand. What does a child gain from living such a life without a conscience, without love? Is their journey to learn to be loved, but they make it impossible? At least any intimacy in their relationships, as they will not let ANYONE in. And then what is my purpose? How much can I help? As I know I can’t often fix things as these kids are VERY resistant to therapy. I know I’m there to help parents and family members, and even the kids with AD, but… And how to continue with clients not having money to pay or subsidy money. Afterall, the DCFS director in Illinois cheated the state out of a great deal of money – better him than helping the kids and families, right?
So, at this point, I will continue online and will continue with consultation help. I am beginning to write digital books and articles. I am one of those people who does understand this behavior and it’s impact, and those of us who do need to be there to support the families and children. I will do what I can. I know there are many parents who are giving it their all, also in helping other parents survive through support networks. Thank you.

In the mind of the CWAD

Remember – CWAD is short for child with attachment disorder. As a therapist I often get involved in some mental gymnastics with my CWAD clients. They are OFTEN very intelligent and yet are very rigid in their thinking. The point of challenging them mentally is to help them see the illogical, irrational thinking they engage in. I certainly don’t expect results from this challenging, but I have seen some results. With these children, they often need frequent repetition to re-train their brain. My parent clients are always very frustrated at how these children do not get the message even though they may have heard something 1000 times or more while other children only need instruction a few times.
CWAD often enjoy manipulating people and triangulating and these issues often come up in therapy. One of the things I am best at is not being manipulated and this tends to make my child clients very angry. I tend to be pleased when children do not like me as a therapist, because that indicates that they know I know their tactics and the damage they are doing in the family. They also know they cannot come into my office and expect traditional therapy where they are listened to for their “sad” story, and getting off the hook for their bad behavior. That is not the case with a good RAD therapist. However, when my clients have moments of genuineness, the approach is very different.
Check out and

What’s happening out there?

I haven’t heard much about what is going on in the world as the therapy world has been very slow due to the economy. Insurance companies are failing to provide reimbursements, the states are cutting their budgets, etc. and people have less money to spend on therapy, even though it is probably more necessary now than ever. I have had a number of families I have seen and then one of the adults lost their job and so they could not see me any more.
Since I have been working in schools, the focus is much different. I have previously done trainings for staff in the schools to identify the disorder and that made a huge difference. So, when they identify it, they know something else is called for. From the larger perspective, I have not been involved on the national scene lately, so I do not hear much. There is definitely a great deal more research going on. I saw the story of a young boy – probably not a CWAD – but he grew up in Russia very afraid of his father, begging on the streets, and was adopted as an older child with his siblings. He is a football star and very talented. He went from living under bridges to avoid his dad to being a success in the United States. He didn’t even speak English until high school.
Check out for more goings on. I’ll work on updating my site. Too much to do, too little time.

RAD in school…

So school has begun. That always bring up many different dilemmas for parents of children with attachment disorder (p-cwad). Some of those issues: The school thinks the mom is crazy, the mom feels very alienated from the school, the child can be cute and charming in school setting,
child manipulates at school and comes home feeling empowered, getting homework done becomes an issue, if child is homeschooled there are issues in that, parents have to struggle to decide what their responsibilities are in their child learning, and there is always the possibility that there will be those DCFS calls when the school hears things from the CWAD that makes them question what is going on at home.

So, what are the parents to do? Stay tuned.

Just about ready………

So, I’m in the process of developing new products – for me there has been a great deal of education on internet marketing and in that I’ve learned new ways to do things – efficient, etc.
I tried audacity for my audio but had to purchase sony audio to use instead. Tim wasted and frustrating. Hopefully this week. CD session 1 for parents will be out. I have 10 editions of my brief newsletter for follow-up if you sign up on my website.

I believe my next training to be submitted will be for professionals and another audio for parents. There is so much need for help to get out there and in these financial times, families do not have as many resources.

So, pay close attention and see what’s coming next. I also have submitted articles on
Ezine Articles online, free for your perusal.
Hang in there. Remember, you are not alone.
Remember our mission is “More peace and joy in your life” because of what we can offer.

Christine Appell-Naff, LCPC
“attachment disorder – Session 1”