About The Ainsworth Clinic
The Mary D. Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic provides evaluation, intervention-planning, and intervention-consultation for children from birth through adolescence who have experienced significant challenges or disruptions to their relationships and/or attachment bonds with their parents or other caregivers. Among the children who benefit from these services are those in foster care or adoptive care, those having difficulties with custody/visitation arrangements, and those whose families have experienced a traumatic event.
Fifty years of research internationally has shown that attachment-caregiving problems are among the best early predictors of current and future emotional, behavioral, relationship, educational and legal difficulties. Early interventions based on careful assessment of attachment-caregiving problems, including Reactive Attachment Disorders, are known to reduce the likelihood and severity of these problems. They also reduce significantly the long-term health care, educational, and legal, costs to a family and its community. [It should be noted that the assessments and interventions described in this document are based on academic, basic and clinical research on children and families, and are not affiliated in any way with “Holding” therapies.]
The specialized evaluation and treatment protocols used for families with attachment-caregiving concerns require extensive training and certification, and are available for Virginia communities only through The Attachment Clinic. The clinic operates under the direction of Robert Marvin, Ph.D., a developmental, clinical and pediatric psychologist with over 40 years of experience in research, clinical work, and consultation in parent-infant, parent-child, and family interaction. Both Drs. Marvin and Whelan are also Research Professors at the University of Virginia, where much of the research leading to this program has been developed.