Skip to main content
Digital Seminar

Disorganized Attachment: Don't Lose Sight of the Child in the Midst of Chaotic Behavior

Daniel A. Hughes, PhD
1 Hour 31 Minutes
May 07, 2021
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Kids with disorganized and chaotic attachment are the hardest kids you will work with – they are simultaneously seeking attachment and terrified of it at the same time. They act in “unlovable ways” because they truly find themselves “unlovable”. Not trusting others, they continuously strive to control others.

This prevents them from getting what they need most – healthy, safe, and secure attachments.

Join me, Dan Hughes, PhD, as I show you how to bridge the knowledge and understanding of maladaptive attachment-seeking behaviours due to a disorganized attachment pattern resulting from past trauma, abuse, and neglect.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the behaviours consistent with disorganized attachment patterns
  • Engage children who resist engagements
  • Begin to trust adults who would teach them a new narrative


Daniel A. Hughes, PhD's Profile

Daniel A. Hughes, PhD Related seminars and products

Dan Hughes, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), the treatment of children who have experienced relational trauma within their family and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma. This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment. Dan presents and trains in DDP internationally. He is also engaged in extensive training and supervision in the certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals. Information about DDPI can be found on

Dan is the author of many books and articles. These include Building the Bonds of Attachment, 3rd Edition (Rown-Littlefield, 2017) and The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy, with Jon Baylin, (W.W. Norton, 2016). His most recent books are Healing Relational Trauma with Attachment-Focused Interventions: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy with Children and Families, with Kim Golding and Julie Hudson as co-authors (WW. Norton, 2019), as well as The Little Book of Attachment with Ben Gurney-Smith (W.W. Norton, 2020).

Dan resides in South Portland, Maine.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Daniel Hughes maintains a private practice. He receives royalties as an author for multiple publishers. Dr. Hughes receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Daniel Hughes is President, Board of Directors for Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  1. Determine why a secure attachment is a protective factor in mental health.
  2. Assess the three main features of intersubjectivity.
  3. Distinguish how you might use each feature of PACE in developing an engagement with a disengaged child.
  4. Construct a story that includes the child’s trauma while reducing the fear and shame associated with the trauma.


Disorganized Attachment in Children/Teens

  • Compassion for the way kids behave (it’s the behaviour, not the child)

Severe Attachment Ruptures Impact on Child Functioning

  • Mistrust and Self-Reliance
  • Dysregulation of affective, behavioural, and cognitive states

Restoring Sense of Self and Developing Ability for Connection and Repair

  • Learning to Trust with Comfort and Joy
  • Transforming stories from despair to hope

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other Professionals Who Work within the Mental Health Fields

Please wait ...

Back to Top