SALEM Digest, Spring/Summer, 2007

Betty J.B. Brouwer

A number of changes and developments have been taking place at Salem as a result of the visioning that Salem’s board and staff have been engaged in over the last couple of years. As a result Salem has begun developing a Building Healthy Attachments program. The intent of this program is to reach out to those struggling with attachment related issues, e.g. foster families, adoptive parents and adoptees, or those dealing with trauma.

Attachment occurs in relationship. It is a learned way of relating to others. Our initial attachments serve as a template or foundation for future patterns of relating to others. The ability of the parent and child to form a secure and healthy attachment influences how the child then navigates other relationships in life. Children who have had traumatic experiences, who have experienced loss, abuse, neglect or relinquishment and adoption may be hampered in their abilities to form healthy attachments.