Trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions in which a person’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed. The person experiences (either objectively or subjectively) a threat to his/her life, psychological safety, bodily integrity, or that of a caregiver or family member. Trauma experiences are emotionally painful or distressing, and frequently result in lasting mental and physical effects.
Basic Trauma includes Acute (single incident) and Chronic (multiple incidents) Trauma - (definition for the purpose of this Guideline).
Complex Trauma includes chronic trauma by caregiver entrusted with child’s care with onset in early childhood - (definition for purpose of this Guideline).
According to psychologist
Mary Ainsworth, attachment "may be defined as an affectional tie that one person or animal forms between himself and another specific one – a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time." Attachment is not just a connection between two people; it is a bond that involves a desire for regular contact with that person and the experience of distress during separation from that person.
Attachment serves a number of important purposes. First, it helps keep infants and children close to their caregivers so that they can receive protection, which in turn helps boost their chances of survival. This important emotional bond also provides children with a secure base from which they can then safely explore their environment.
Researchers including Ainsworth, Bowlby, Main and Solomon also suggest that how a child is attached to his or her caregivers can have a major influence both during childhood and later in life. They have identified a number of different
attachment styles to describe the affectional bond children have with their parents or caregivers.
The failure to form a secure attachment with a caregiver has been linked to a number of problems including conduct disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder. Researchers also suggest that the type of attachment displayed early in life can have a lasting effect on later adult relationships.
In this context, it is assumed that therapists working with children and youth identified to have an attachment disorder understand their goal is not to have their own primary relationship with the child/youth, but to foster the growing bond between the child/youth and the primary caregiver.