Core Attachment Therapy©(CAT)

Core Attachment Therapy©: Secure Attachment for the Adopted Child – A Prescriptive Play Therapy Process –
Dorothy Derapelian, M.Ed., LCMHC

Core Attachment Therapy© is a therapeutic play-based process used in play therapy to secure the attachment of the adopted child or any child who has had a disruption in attachment development. Not knowing what do to with healthy relationships, children with attachment disruption bring chaos into their homes. Core Attachment Therapy© shows children how to utilize the love of their new parents through therapeutic games while highlighting the attachment power of play.

Core Attachment Therapy© is a two-component process. Component 1 is The Nurtured Heart Approach®. It is a best practice approach for children with intense behaviors. It takes the intensity and channels it to achieve their potential. This shift in intensity is needed to start the seeds of attachment through play therapy. Component 2 is the attachment games. It is a series of progressive play-based games that replicate the three phases of attachment development. It allows the new parent/child dyad to form their loving bond at the core level. The modality is play therapy based as it is children's natural language and the therapeutic power of attachment is central to change. The play therapy modality also promotes enjoyment of the new relationship which is key to secure attachment. The directive games are followed with non-direct play therapy to help the children process any traumatic memories which may have arisen. The parent is in the playroom while the therapist assists the parents on how to respond in a loving, nurturing, and comforting way. This workshop will allow the play therapist to recognize and utilize neurobiological development patterns to improve attachment relationships through this play therapy approach.

Video Poster Image

Video Testimonial- Nadine

​​Core Attachment Therapy © helps transform the lives of adopted children, even with tele-health consultation.

*Used with expressed permission*


CAT© Session Demo

Video Poster Image

This is a sample of the first attachment game in the CAT sequence.
*NOTE: This is the "Loving Cradle" position unlike the controversial "Holding Therapy".