Some of the most challenging children to help are those who have been injured early in life in their first relationships through disrupted or injured attachment. These children can be both hurting and hurtful to others. They are often anxious and depressed, yet push away that which they most need for healing. Traditional child therapies are largely ineffective, and parents or caregivers often feel hopeless in the face of their child's needs.
This book brings new hope for healing to these children and their families. Catherine Young brings over 20 years of experience working with attachment injured children and their families to a new, structured and easily applied attachment therapy model: Multi-Modal Attachment Therapy (M-MAT).
With compassion and respect for children and families, M-MAT blends a number of modalities to create a powerful, cohesive, and comprehensive therapy that integrates both right and left brain interventions. In clear, concise language, Young lays forth for the reader an easy to follow roadmap for understanding and implementing M-MAT with children and their caregivers. She additionally outlines how to work with those children who are most at risk: children who do not have a permanent, committed caregiver.
M-MAT Multi-Modal Attachment Therapy: Healing Attachment Injuries in Children and Families provides a brief overview of attachment theory and a discussion of children with attachment injuries or attachment disorders, but focuses primarily on the how-to of implementing this therapy model to provide healing to children and families. Many interventions and examples are included throughout the book. This Book is intended as a practical manual for therapists but also holds some use for parents and other professionals in understanding attachment and approaches to working with children with attachment injuries.
"M-MAT is a two-pronged approach with both a play and a talk component. The play component utilizes largely non-verbal forms of communication, connection and nurturing, such as mirroring, rhythm, touch and eye contact. The talk component engages the power of language and the child's thoughts by addressing cognitive distortions, responsibility, and self-concept through re-storying, skill building and psychoeducation, creating a new narrative in which the child can organize and make sense of his/her experiences in a healthy, adaptive way. The two components together reinforce each other, allow for deeper integration and healing, and are far more powerful than either alone. Together they access many parts of the brain and harness the incredible healing power inherent in both left and right brain modalities."
"The main tools for engagement and buy-in for the child are playful engagement, fun, deep empathy, reflection, and truth."
Excerpts from M-MAT Multi-Modal Attachment Therapy: Healing Attachment Injuries in Children and Families