Attachment Trauma

Kate Bartlett
2 Jan 2023
2 min read

Attachment trauma refers to the psychological and emotional harm that can result from disruptions or problems in the attachment relationship between a child and their primary caregivers, such as a parent or other family member. Attachment trauma can profoundly impact an individual’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. It can lead to a range of mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Attachment trauma can occur when a child does not receive emotional and physical support from their primary caregiver or when the attachment relationship is characterised by abuse, neglect, or other types of maltreatment. This type of trauma can be particularly damaging because it often occurs within the context of a person’s primary relationships. It can have a lasting impact on an individual’s sense of self and their ability to trust and form healthy relationships.

Symptoms of attachment trauma may include problems with self-regulation, such as difficulty managing emotions or controlling impulses, as well as problems with interpersonal relationships, such as difficulty trusting others or forming healthy attachments. People who have experienced attachment trauma may also have difficulty with memory and concentration, and they may tend to dissociate or disconnect from their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

EMDR therapy for attachment trauma focuses on the correction and repair of the early trauma experiences allowing the memories to be processed and integrated.