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Tuesday, 26 January 2021
Open Letter to Attachment Professionals Print
Dear Attachment Professionals,

Several years ago, I learned that my sweet toddler was suffering from the effects of separation from birth mother, foster mother, moves and transitions. After successfully parenting several other children, I thought I knew how to parent. I DID know how to parent. I just didn’t know how to parent a child who’d been adopted…and especially one who’d experienced a lot of change in a short life.

I was scared. I’d tried every parenting trick I’d successfully used with my other kids and many that were new to me. Nothing worked. And my child’s behaviors were escalating. I knew I had to find some help. But where?

I started reading; this helped and stressed me out at the same time. Many of the books made it clear what I should not do: no spanking, no time-outs, no isolating the child, no verbal reprimands, no talking during tantruming. I quickly became overwhelmed by all the things NOT to do and wondered what I SHOULD do. Family members looked at my child's escalating behaviors and wondered when I was going to discipline.

I did learn a few techniques in the books that seemed to improve our situation. But the books weren’t enough. I needed someone to teach me how to become a therapeutic parent. It didn’t take me long to understand that attachment therapists were hard to find. I read about parents who couldn’t locate one in their state and had to fly in a professional. I also learned that some states without attachment therapists wouldn’t accept professionals from out of state, leaving the parents without options.

Luckily, we eventually found a GREAT therapist. Attachment therapy, neuro work, therapeutic parenting, and a lot of hard work have brought healing. Several years have passed but I still remember the panic I felt.

So why am I telling you this? I’m speaking out because I regularly hear from folks just like myself. They need HELP. They are GOOD PARENTS. They are not having problems with their kids because of their own past “baggage”**; they are having problems because no one has taught them how to parent a child who began life in very stressful circumstances.

(**Once in a great while I do encounter a parent whose past is preventing them from helping their child to heal. But this is the extreme minority.)

Then I receive a book for review, hoping that this will be another resource I can recommend to struggling families. Yet what do I find? A book filled with negative comments about other attachment professionals. But I’m hearing that this is becoming the norm. Professional X is publicly distancing himself from Professional Y who does “that outdated form of attachment therapy.” Professional Y is distancing herself from Professional Z because “his methods aren’t proven.” Professional Z wants nothing to do with Professional O because Professional O is aligning himself with Professional X…and it goes on and on and on.

And meanwhile, I continue to hear from desperate families; families that are on the verge of implosion because they have NO ONE TO TURN TO. It’s very hard to find good attachment therapists and the job is made even more difficult by the leaders in the field who, like the group of kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar, all point to one another and scatter like bugs when someone yells RAID!

It’s obviously very stressful to be an attachment professional right now. You have very hard jobs that are being made even more difficult by both outside pressures and by infighting. But WE NEED YOU. We need you to teach us concrete ways to help us to heal our families.

I am always on the lookout for good therapists…in any state, in any nation. And I am looking for professionals who choose to focus on building their knowledge, helping their families, and healing, rather than on tearing down others in the field who are trying their best to do the same thing. My only goal is to help children and the families that love them. I hope to find more professionals who are striving to reach the same goal.


Cynthia Hockman-Chupp

therapeutic Parenting Specialist
Written by Nancy Thomas on 2007-03-23 11:46:49
Right ON!! Thank you! It is time for the Attachment Professionals to ATTACH to each other and stand together. Any fool knows a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We are letting egos and outside, untrained, influences weaken and eventual destroy our Attachment Community. We need to stand together. I don't have all the answers and either does anyone else. We need to stand together and help each other as we search for the missing pieces to healing the hearts and minds of our wounded children. I believe in Parents!!!! Thank you for speaking up for all of us!
Total agreement!!!
Written by MeDenne Jones on 2007-03-25 14:21:59
Thanks Cynthia. I wholeheartedly agree!! We don't need more fighting or tearing down, we need help and healing for our homes, families and much loved children.  
50 Years of Research & the Big Controver
Written by Guest on 2008-01-01 13:09:53
Excellent article! 

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