Find an Attachment-based Psychotherapist

A good attachment-based therapist is hard to find – especially for we with Adult Attachment Disorder.  We do need a real therapist to recover, make no mistake; that’s why my book’s titled “Don’t Try This at Home.”  We can not do it ourselves, it’s bio-physiologically impossible.

Also, we all need Support Groups; click to check it out, but don’t get too distracted from finding your therapist!

Note: I’m talking about “attachment-based therapists,” psychotherapists trained in John Bowlby’s attachment theory; see  I don’t support the type of “attachment therapy” based on physical restraint of a child, such as here:

Yet I also disagree with claims that there are only two issues, Radical Attachment Disorder (RAD) as recognized by the DSM – vs a phony term “attachment disorder” promoted to physically abuse children.  In fact, there is a third set: legitimate, actual attachment disorder. Just because the DSM only recognizes RAD, doesn’t mean the rest of us are happily securely attached. I wasn’t RAD, but I had a bad case of legitimate attachment disorder! I got almost no parenting. I wasn’t sick enough to fall into DSM’s official RAD category, so I got no treatment until my life fell apart after age 50. How to ruin half a life!

The 2006 Report on Attachment Therapy by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), written to warn against “attachment therapy” based on physical restraint, also notes a third type of legitimate attachment disorder. “Attachment problems extending beyond RAD, are a real and appropriate concern for professionals working with children,” it says.

For me, I started with both an attachment-based psychotherapist and body work therapy to heal. Then I continued with my therapist and  added neurofeedback with a certified, attachment-conscious provider.

How to Hire a Therapist? My take:

New! Psychiatrist and trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, posted a webinar on neurofeedback 8-9-16 which knocked me out. It changes the whole map on trauma healing:

Van der Kolk has graphics of how Sebern Fisher introduced him to neurofeedback. “Nothing I know can do that,” he said, on seeing her results. “Can my psychoanalysis do that?  Can acceptance  and commitment therapy do that?  Nothing I know of can do THAT.  Time to learn new things.”

Find a Neurofeedback Practitioner Online:
–EEG Spectrum International [Sebern Fisher’s husband’s co.]
–EEG Information Provider Directory:

Find an EMDR Practitioner Online:  If you have early trauma, be sure EMDR providers have specific training in infant/early trauma.  EMDR International Association therapist directory:

Attachment-based Therapists for Adults and Children:
–Somatic Experiencing, Dr. Peter Levine (enter zip) :
–Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Dr. Pat Ogden
Find a sensorimotor therapist:  read the intro first:
–Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN) database. Good for adults:
–International Society for Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD):
–Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, Get Help & Locator page:
– directory:
–International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS):   To specify Attachment as specialty, enter zip and distance range you can drive, then below under “Advanced Search,” select “Special Interests” and  check box marked “Attachment Disorders.”

For Los Angeles, CA area, see Comments below for LA attachment-based psychotherapists here:  Then here’s a link I’ve not tried but you might try: Psychology Today – Attachment-based Therapists in Los Angeles:

For any city, for example Chicago, IL, try plugging the new city and state into the link above, replacing “Los+Angeles&state=CA.”  It yields Psychology Today’s list of attachment-based therapists (“spec=496”) in that city. I  tried “Chicago&state=IL” and it works:

For Orange County, CA, ask in Comments at bottom of this page for my personal list of OC attachment therapists.

In San Diego, call San Diego Access and Crisis Line 888-724-7240 (24×7) and ask for attachment specialty therapists (See also Comments at bottom of this page, including meetings in San Diego).

Attachment-based Psychotherapists for Children:
–National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN):
–Dr. Bruce Perry, MD – ChildTrauma Academy-trained clinician list:
–Assoc. for Training on Trauma & Attachment in Children (ATTACh):

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) has an excellent guide on how to find a trauma therapist (but no locator page other than those above):

USA’s Top Attachment Authorities

Below are the top US authorities on attachment. I don’t know if they provide referrals to therapists outside their areas.  They lead the field in research and publishing solutions; that’s enough to keep anyone busy 24×7.  Click on their names to see my blog on each one:

Dr. Allan N. Schore, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, 9817 Sylvia Ave, Northridge, CA 91324  (818) 886-4368 –

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel – website: –  assistant Whitney Stambler <>

Dr. Bruce Perry, ChildTrauma Academy,  Houston:

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Trauma Center, Boston:  –  personal assistant Angela Lin <>

More resources:

Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN) is  “action central” for adopted children and related childhood attachment trauma. I’m not sure if they have a directory:

What else can I do to get help?

1.  Go to and take the ACE Survey to see how many ACEs you have. Then bring your ACE report to your family doctor, and say you want to see a specialist because you are a normal human facing very abnormal childhood experiences and you feel awful.

2. Regardless of your age, if you had any childhood trauma or severe childhood experiences, you can contact the National Children’s Advocacy Center’s local office and ask for help. Go to, enter your zip code and visit an agency in your area today.  I tried it out and found 4 agencies all within five miles of my home.

3. If you do not have health insurance, no matter your age, if you had childhood trauma or severe childhood experiences, contact the nearest children’s hospital and tell them what is troubling you.

Report/Get Help for Child Abuse:
–The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
–National Children’s Advocacy Centers:
–HelpGuide:  under –Child and Parenting Services, see Attachment Disorders
State Locator for Early Intervention Services (NICHCY): 800-695-0285
–Zero to Three National Center for Infants and Families: (202) 638-1144
–New York Foundling 24-Hour Parent Helpline: 1-888-435-7553
–California First Five:
–Michigan Assoc for Children’s Mental Health: (

Comments are encouraged with the usual exceptions; rants, political speeches, off-color language, etc. are unlikely to post.  Starting 8-22-16, software will limit comments to 1030 characters (2 long paragraphs) a while, until we get new software to take longer comments again.

15,678 total views, 10 views today

Share Button

66 responses to “Find an Attachment-based Psychotherapist

  1. Do you have a referral for an attachment-based therapist in the LA area? San Fernando Valley or Westside would be best. So glad I found your page! I’m desperately trying to find help for my young adult daughter who was adopted from foster care and had five placements by age 2. She seems to have classic symptoms of attachment disorder. We have tried a couple of therapists but focused on depression. Now I realize her attachment issues are underlying.

  2. One of the major problems for children is the misdiagnosis of “Reactive Attachment Disorder,” i.e. confusing it with “Attachment Disorder,” which is very different: “RAD vs. AD”
    And evidence-based practices:

    • As I wrote at the top above, I never support “attachment therapy” based on physical restraint of a child, such as here: htps:// I regret that dubious practitioners have spread a phony use of the term “attachment disorder.”
      Yet I regret that your links seem to imply there are only two issues, Radical Attachment Disorder (RAD) vs phony “attachment disorder” used to abuse kids. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and DSM restrict the term “disorder” to the clinically visible radically ill, and that means RAD, period.
      But in fact, there is a third set with a lot of us in it, almost half the population: legitimate attachment disorder. Mine wasn’t visible, but I got almost no parenting and it nearly killed me. To me, that’s a disorder. Just because the DSM only recognizes RAD, doesn’t mean the rest of us are fine. Real attachment disorder goes unrecognized, and I wasn’t sick enough to fall into the DSM’s RAD category, so I got no treatment until my life fell apart after age 50.
      The DSM refuses to recognize Developmental Trauma Disorder, too. The DSM refuses to recognize lots of issues because it’s backed by the insurance companies who don’t want to pay to treat people.
      Your links mention the key 2006 Report on Attachment Therapy by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), written to warn against “attachment therapy” based on physical restraint of a child. I again agree.
      But APSAC’s Report, which I’ve studied, does not say that we’re either RAD or we’re happily securely attached.
      It says a third type of real attachment disorder needs study. “Attachment problems extending beyond RAD, are a real and appropriate concern for professionals working with children,” says APSAC. “Many leading [legitimate] attachment theorists,”say Wikipedia, “recognized the limitations of the DSM… and proposed broader diagnostic criteria. There is as yet no official consensus;” see

  3. Kathy, do you know of any good therapists in the Chicago area for adult attachment disorder?

  4. Your website has been a God-send, finally feel like words can explain what I have been experiencing. Can you email me a list of attachment therapists in OC?
    I’m a little concerned because I cannot trace any overt abuse in the first 1000 days. My early childhood seemed to be at the very least ok with parents being together. However around age 8-9, my parents got divorced and my life took a major change. As the younger of 2 boys, I suddenly became the emotional care taker for my Mom, and chasing Dad’s love/attention. I am certain this has lasting affects for my unsuccessful personal relationships, but unsure how early attachment may play a part. Do you have references/studies for those who had a “good enough” early years but had trauma later in childhood that could affect relationships? Sure appreciate your work. If you’re ever hosting a MeetUp in OC, please let me know!

  5. can i have the list of OC attachment therapists?

  6. May I have the OC list of RAD therapists?

  7. What a great topic and discussion. I have been in treatment for so many years with 19 different diagnosis, hospitalizations, getting a Ph.D. my functioning is 0-100. I realized on December, the 24th 2015 as I was leaving my therapist’s office I was not going back, it came to me that the treatment was not going to help, I felt sad and upset leaving the session and I was not going to continue always feeling the same. She is extremely well trained, has written books, travels nationally and internationally to lecture, still, I did not go back, nor get a new therapist right away. In March 2016 I chose an IFS therapist who was CERTIFIED. I had been watching Bessel van der Kolk’s lectures, and had the gift of reading the BEST book written in the field, “The body keeps the score.” He recommended at one point Sibern F. Fisher’s book,”Neurofeedback in the Treatment DevelopmentalTrauma”. I got it, and could not stop reading, I really thought I was done, that I was never going to have a life or relationships. Be…

  8. Can you please forward me your list of OC attachment thereapists for adults? Thanks

  9. Hi Kathy, I think you should also list here Ray Castellino of Do you know of his brilliant work with infants, children, and adults, helping to repair traumatic experience of the past, for the sake of our intentions for our present and future? I’ve experienced deep and lasting support from his synthesis and unique presentation drawing from most of the trauma therapy leaders you list (Schore, Levine, Siegel…) and incorporating his experience as a chiropractor, polarity therapist and craniosacral therapist. I came to his work as a bodyworker 15 years ago and now am certified myself through his training, deeply appreciating what skilled support can do for us all in relation to our attachments histories. Thank you for your website, a great discovery!

    • Thank you so much. I’m just sharing what little I do know, not meaning to be comprehensive. Would you like to write a Guest Blog on Dr. Castellino’s body work therapy?

  10. Three more wonderful resources for attachment therapy: For adults and children, the Internal Family Systems model, praised highly by Bessel VanDerKolk, is used by therapists at his Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. It is still necessary to do a thorough interview to see if that particular IFS therapist is also familiar with attachment issues and works with the adult or child population. IFS therapy is a highly collaborative model. The client and therapist are a team, and the client’s internal world is respected as much as a fragile ecosystem where everything is of value. I also highly value Theraplay which is internationally known and embraced for attachment work; trained therapists are listed on their website. A third acclaimed model which works well with Theraplay is Daniel Hughes’ Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.

    • Thank you so much! Would you like to write a Guest Blog for my website on Theraplay, TBRI and related modalities you are using? My site can’t be comprehensive, I rely on experts like you to introduce these new ideas clearly to our readers.

      • Kathy, I am so impressed with your website, the compassion and understanding you have for your readers and also the wealth of information which you have thoroughly studied before putting it out there. I’m looking forward to ordering your book! I would be honored to write a Guest Blog on Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems. I will ask a colleague to write about the Trust-Based Relationship Intervention. I am an attachment therapist who works with both children and adults. I am lucky that in the metro Chicago area there is a wealth of attachment resources. Theraplay Institute is internationally recognized and very helpful for child attachment work. The Internal Family Systems model is also internationally recognized and very helpful, and though I read your struggle with the ‘inner child’ work, it does help in a gentle and effective way to heal those wounded inner parts. Brief descriptions of these and so many other therapies are found also on GoodTherapy at

  11. Do you have a list of providers in the Los Angeles area that specialize in Adult Attachment Disorder?

  12. Looking for attachment therapist in Los Angeles or Kona, Hawaii
    Many thanks!

  13. Natalya Kazakova

    I am 26 and from Kansas City. I have been going to therapy for PTSD, I have also been diagnosed with BPD; another therapist suggested bipolar disorder. I’m not sure what’s going on with me but have been reading about getting a SPECT scan. I’m wanting to make sure it was PTSD and not TBI. I’m also curious about the study process and how doctors find people and groups to study?

    • If you could have traumatic brain injury (TBI) (blows to head as a child, car accident), it’s key for your therapist to know. Not sure SPECT can determine; try Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic on SPECT

    • Consider Neurofeedback for both child trauma and TBI; it may be covered by insurance and be a lot more available. Sebern Fisher got into therapy and attachment work in the first place because she herself had developmental trauma. She also had a lot of head and traumatic brain injury. One of the first things to heal when she began neurofeedback herself were her terrible migraines, which never returned. She still does neurofeedback because, she says, “I had a lot of head injuries so I am at a greater risk of Alzheimer’s than other people, but all signs of head injury and traumatic brain injury that I had are gone.” From

  14. Thank you. I too was not adopted. I found a wonderful neurofeedback person and this is really what I need. The missing link! Your site is wonderful; thank you.

  15. I believe there’s no difference; both RADs happen with adoption or hostile parents. But there IS healing for you: psychiatrist and trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, MD, August 9 posted a webinar on neurofeedback which changes the map. When he saw the results in RAD kids, “I was blown away,” he says. “There’s nothing I know that can do that, I thought. When you see something like that, you pay attention. Can my psychoanalysis do that? Can my acceptance and commitment therapy do that? Can my friends who do EMDR or Somatic Experiencing do that? No. Nothing I know of can do THAT. Time to learn new things.” I’ve now done 10 months of neurofeedback and the healing is enormous. Van der Kolk video: My earlier blog on neurofeedback with links to Sebern Fisher interviews and locator pages to find a practitioner in your zip:

  16. Is there a difference between Reactive Attachment Disorder and Radical Attachment Disorder? I’ve only ever hear of the later which I have. Have you found any Los Angeles therapists? I tried Somatic Experiencing, it did not help me. I was too frozen. After many years of spiritual healing I wish to find a support group and therapist. I’ve always been told there is no healing for what I have.

  17. Be cautious with EMDR. Creator Dr Shapiro specified it was for single traumas like a car crash, a rape or other discrete event. It’s not for multiple traumas. My husband had PTSD from multiple physical abuse all through his childhood. He had EMDR with a psychiatrist once and ended up in a terrible state.

  18. Thank you so much for creating this website. This is awesome. You are sharing everything you know. I so appreciate the points you stress such as the fact we *need other mammals* around to help with this. So often overlooked or denied in our hyper individualistic society.I live in Santa Clarita above San Fernando Valley. Do you know attachment therapists north of OC? Or could I have your OC list? Thank you so much for all you are doing with this. I am so happy I stumbled across it.

  19. Looking for Attachment Therapist who does body work, NYC area.

  20. Hi Kathy – I’m a psychologist in San Diego, and I have trained in Attachment Focused EMDR with Laurel Parnell. I really thought her approach was brilliant and I am looking for therapists in the Orange County area with a similar approach to refer someone to. Could you please send me your list? Thanks very much!

  21. Please send me a list of attachment focused therapists in Orange County, thank you very much!

  22. I’m looking for an attachment therapist in San Diego.Thank you.

  23. I’m interested to get your list of OC attachment therapists. I’ve been in therapy for many years with poor results and want to heal my attachment difficulties that I have struggled with for far too long and are impacting my life and relationships. Thank you!

  24. I got your list! Wow thank you Kathy! I am so glad I stumbled onto your page 🙂 Your help is much appreciated! Time to make some phone calls! Have a great day, Lindsay

  25. I live in Southern California, (Seal Beach/Long Beach) and have been on the hunt for a therapist specializing in attachment issues. I recently read about this “anxious attachment” type disorder and was SO relieved to realize there was something out there I could directly relate to! I was almost at the point of relief-related laughter reading over the description because it just describes me to a T. I’ve met with other counselors, but am eagerly looking for someone who can directly help me now since I’ve discovered what is my issue. If you have leads in this area I would be very appreciative! Thanks!

    • I emailed you my OC therapist list. We can learn to attach and find healthy friends and spouses who know how to attach – but first we have to learn it in person from a professional.

  26. I need an attachment disorder/dev trauma therapist near Portland OR. My mother was in labor with me more than a day, couldn’t breastfeed, didn’t want to. At 15 months I was hospitalized for 28 days in two surgeries, sent home in a full-body cast and spent weeks in my crib. My mother was not present. I was isolated from the family, from meals, from interaction.
    I suffer from developmental trauma. This is is a daily suffering, an injury of the self, an obsessive sadness coupled with dissociation, a deep irrational fear that grips me every morning and through the day. It’s a pain that is so absolute it doesn’t have a physical corollary. It’s not that I hurt everywhere; I am Hurt and Fear of Hurt. I don’t know which is worse: blank nothingness without thought or organization – or vagus full alert in which heart, lungs, mind veer wildly. I’m paralyzed in a physiological maelstrom most mornings.
    I have researched trauma steadily since the early 80s and I’ve worked in therapy for many years with several providers. In the last couple of years, finally, there is some good literature.
    What I have learned is that kinship – friends, family, community – is the most important asset. Having even one meaningful relationship can make the difference in self perception. Physical and social isolation makes developmental trauma intolerable beyond words. Your article on developmental trauma is very good. I purchased and started reading the Porges’ book.

  27. Kathy, Do you know any attachment therapists in the Cincinnati area? Preferably, that do neurofeedback therapy? At age 49, time is of the essence. I start EMDR next week, but feel neurofeedback would be very beneficial. Many thanks

  28. Other attachment focused-therapists include (1) Dr. Dan Hughes ( for Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, (2) Dr. Phil Shaver ( – not developmental attachment but focus is on attachment in adult relationships, (3) Dr. Sue Johnson ( for Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy – attachment in romantic adult relationships.

  29. I think Renee Flory may be in Ukraine. Here’s a page on our website about my work with Ukrainian therapists: In the post there’s a picture of the women in Kyiv who direct the Ukraine Process Work Center, and a link to their website. They have a lot of experience helping children and adults with developmental trauma (DT).

  30. Try International Society for Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD):
    Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, Get Help & Locator page: directory:
    International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS):
    To specify Attachment as specialty, enter zip and distance range you can drive, then below under “Advanced Search,” select “Special Interests” and check box marked “Attachment Disorders.”

  31. Do you know therapists in E Europe? I am researching attachment disorder for a family who adopted a girl who is showing disturbing signs. Is there anyone close to here?

  32. Pingback: Resources for Healing Attachment Disorders | Tales of a Boundary Ninja

  33. Thanks so much! “Never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul, when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King

  34. Do you know therapists in San Diego that do this work?

  35. Thanks very much for this website! I found it searching for info about the loss history graph I was working on in the “Grief Recovery Handbook” and I’ve been devouring your articles!
    I’m trying to find a therapist in my area but can’t find anyone trained as you recommend. I did stumble on an approach called Rapid Resolution Therapy and there’s a master practitioner in my area. Have you heard of this? I’m trying to decide if I should try that first or travel across the state to see a Levine practitioner.

    • The Grief Recovery Handbook (GRH) says our lifetime “Loss History Graph” should have 10-20 incidents, but I was dismayed when I had to add dozens and dozens and ran out of space. Still, the GRH did work well for me to “bust my crust” of denial so I could access my childhood feelings.
      But yikes: what an overwhelming mess of childhood feelings!
      I couldn’t find an “inner child;” all I could feel was a yowling inner infant. I’d stumbled into deep kimche. I made it out alive by firing 3 bad therapists until I found a great attachment therapist. I did Levine’s exercises with him.
      Incident trauma aka PTSD, is due to one or any finite number of incidents: battlefield, car accidents, rape. But developmental trauma starts with fetal stress “when the sperm hits the egg” and continues as the brain itself is developing until age 7: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk says that in developmental trauma, there’s a continuum of panic til we become a “frightened organism.”
      I’ve not heard of “Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT); googling, I just saw videos on what it is not. Their web page on training for therapists says it involves hypnosis. Hypnosis has long been used for trauma, but I’ve no experience.
      Seeing a Levine-trained practitioner is great and could resolve a huge amount, enough to start you healing.
      For me that was only the beginning of healing. Then the real healing is “Don’t Try This at Home.” Find a local attachment therapist you can see face to face for weeks and months. Attaching to a real live human being on an eye-to-eye basis is the only real way to heal. The answer is still face time. What was damaged by a human attachment connection can only be healed by a new human attachment connection.

  36. May I have the Orange County attachment therapists for adults?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available