A practical handbook in therapy for children with severe Attachment Disorder

About Niels Peter Rygaard

Born at Yale Hospital, New Haven, Conn. 1952.

Graduated as clinical psychologist from Aarhus University, Denmark 1981. Authorization as a specialist in 1987 by DPA (the Danish equivalent to the American Psychologist Association).

1981-83 Skive County, Department of child institutions (development for all child institutions and supervisor for staff members).

1983 – 91: Chief psychologist at state treatment foster home and special school for children suffering from Attachment Disorder (Himmelbjerggaarden). Performed a study of 48 AD children and control group (maternal psychiatric diagnoses, birth weight, birth complications and scores in WISC, see literature).

1991: Consultant at private psychologist company, working with executive leadership development.

1991 – 94: Education program for county staff in Denmark. A cross-professional education in work with mothers from the onset of pregnancy until the child is age 2. For frontline workers: practicing doctors, pediatric doctors, health nurses, social workers, midwives.

1995: Member of ISSPD (www.isspd.com). The International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders.

1996: Private practitioner. Fields: supervising professionals (psychologists, social workers, child psychiatric wards, etc.) and adoptive parents, foster families, youth prisons.

1998: Speaker, presenting scientific results at the ISSPD Congress on Psychopathy, Copenhagen.

2006: At present I work with an education program and supervision for staff in all state youth prisons. The intention is to change the culture from old fashion prisons towards treatment facilities.
Also, I work in orphanages and treatment facilities with the simultaneous development of knowledge about attachment related issues and organizational development.

My books have influenced political debate, and recently one political party has made my recommendations their social policy program (to focus on preventing personality disorder development by massive help to threatened mothers).


1999: Speaker at The Psychopathy Conference in Copenhagen, arranged by ISSPD (see: www.isspd.com ).

2006: Arranged The Copenhagen Conference on Attachment in cooperation with Copenhagen University, psychology Dpt. and ITPT (Institute for Personality Studies).

2006: Speaker at the International Child and Youth Care Conference, Montreal, Québec (see:
www.icycc2006.com ).

2006: Speaker at Peru conference, University of Lima: Introducing the Secure Base Model in the organization of orphanages.


1991 (reprints 1994, 1998): Early Frustration – the Organization of the Self in Deprived Children.
Munksgaard, Copenhagen. ISBN: 87-16-10646-6.

1998: Psychopathic Children: Indicators of Organic Dysfunction. IN: Millon, Simonsen, Birket-Smith and Davis.: Psychopathy – Antisocial, Criminal and Violent Behavior, p.247-260. The Guilford Press NY. ISBN: 1-57230-344-1.

1999: Sexual Abuse and Attachment Disorder. Psyche and Logos, 2, p. 508-521. Danish Psychological Association Publishers. ISBN: 87-7706-284-1.

2002 (reprints 2004, 2006): Attachment Disorder – treating Children and Youth with Attachment Disorder. Forfatterforlaget, Denmark. ISBN: 87-90969-10-3.

2003: Leadership Development. Chapter one IN: Digmann & Dall: Public Leadership Development.
Boersens Forlag, Copenhagen. ISBN: 87-7553-947-0.

2005: Family Therapy with Adopted Children. Dansk Psykolognyt (Journal of the Danish Psychological Association) 7, April 15, p. 21-26. DP Forlag, Copenhagen.

A number of articles in public debate, such as Therapy with Adoptees in Puberty April 2005 at:


2005: Lénfant Abandonné- Guide de traitement des troubles de l’attachement. DeBoeck Université, Belgium. Translated as:

2006: Severe Attachment Disorder in Childhood – a Guide to Practical Therapy. Springer Wien/ New York.

2006: Schwerwiegende Bindungsstörung in die Kindheit – eine Anleitung zur Praxisnahen Therapie. Springer Wien New York.

2007: Editions in Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. The Spanish, Russian and Chinese editions will have an extra section on the subject of Organizational Development in Orphanages –facilitating Early Attachment in Young Orphanage Children by the Secure Base Model.

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