Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI )
Sensory Attachment Intervention is an integrative approach to the treatment of children and adults who have suffered abuse or severe neglect. Negative experiences in the womb and in early childhood impact on one's capacity to cope with stress throughout life. Children early on develop behavioural strategies in order to survive their attachment environment. Their pattern is either to freeze and dissociate or to flee and fight. Traumatised children and adults tend to operate in persistent fear mode. They maintain a state of hyper-vigilance. This impedes filtering out "irrelevant" sensory experiences such as background sights and sounds. There is a tendency to be sensory defensive, as the sensory systems have become sensitised to the possibility of danger. Anything that vaguely represents their core fears reactivates the trauma response.
Sensory Attachment Intervention recognises the need to target the areas of the brain that are the source of the dysfunction. The first requirement is to establish regulation of arousal states i.e. to shift from the Autonomic Nervous System bias of either freeze dissociation or flight fight responses (Schore 1994). It then focuses on facilitating modulation of the body senses through the just right combination of regulating experiences. This in turn enables both sensory and emotional discriminative functioning.
SAI follows the neurological principle of use dependence i.e. patterned, repetitive activation of the neural systems (Perry 2009). This is achieved through changing daily living routines such as how to eat, wash, play and socialise, in ways that are regulating. For example briskly washing and drying the skin is highly alerting and can inadvertently add to stress levels. In the case of children, the sensory and attachment patterns of Carers are also addressed, as attachment is a co-regulation process.
For more detailed reports; Click below to download;
Trauma FFCwv Adoption UK Article CAMHS Paperws.doc
Just Right State Review
We regret we cannot reply to questions about treatment and clinical intake. Assessment is required for safe practice. Referrals are currently only accepted from Social Services Offices or Health Service Departments.
SAI Level 1:
SAI Introductory Course for Professionals:
Just Right State:
Training also now taking place in Australia and New Zealand.
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