Compassionate Reactive Attachment Disorder Treatment in Sunny Malaysia

Reactive Attachment Disorder

When a young person in your family shows signs of reactive attachment disorder, navigating daily life can be really hard. You may experience frequent conflicts and tensions that are stressful for everyone involved. You may also struggle with a lack of emotional connection, closeness, or sense of a relationship with the young person. At the same time, you may worry deeply about their well-being and their future. Reactive attachment disorder is associated with many other mental health conditions and can prevent young people from reaching their full potential.

At The Wave Clinic, we’re here to let you know that you’re not alone. RAD is a treatable condition and, with the right support, young people can learn to form close attachments with others and build fulfilling futures. Family and group interventions help parents and other important figures to develop healthy relationships and positive, safe environments that support mutual love and care.

The Wave’s programs offer long-term care for young people with RAD, providing a supportive environment where they can learn secure attachment patterns, stability, and structure. Our clinic provides a safe haven for children, teenagers and young adults, supported by specialists in teenage and adolescent care from around the world. The Wave is a place where young people learn to love themselves, connect with others, and plan for the future.

We are here to help

The Wave Personality Disorders Admissions Team can be contacted on:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Wave Clinic: Specialists in Personality Disorders
+60 327 271 799 (General Enquiries)
+60 125 227 734 (Admissions)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Wave International Group LLC
+971 438 354 01

What Is It and How Does It Work?

Treatment for Reactive Attachment Disorder

At The Wave, we understand what young people need to overcome reactive attachment disorder. We focus on providing care and stability, supporting young people to form secure attachments while creating a safe space to heal from past trauma. Our programs offer a whole-person approach that teaches young people a range of skills, including managing anger, developing connections, and choosing friendships.

Our trauma-focused care for RAD includes:

  • Psychotherapy, including EMDR, relational therapy, interpersonal therapy, MBT-A, MBT-F, MBT-ASPD, and many more
  • Support in finding appropriate ways to manage anger and rage
  • Supporting in developing connections and reducing conflict in friendships, relationships with adults, and relationships with figures of authority
  • Psychoeducation to help young people understand and avoid high-risk behaviours, such as hyper-sexuality or risky sexual behaviours
  • Support for young people – who may find it difficult to make friendship choices or be negatively influenced by peers – to understand and develop appropriate friendships
  • Bullying-focused education and support for young people who have been bullied or bully others
  • Development of life skills and social skills
  • Gentle encouragement of accountability and responsibility in a supportive environment
  • Assessment and treatment for co-occurring disorders, including concerns and difficulties surrounding food and body image
  • Dietician assessments and meal planning with additional support for parents at home
  • Parent skills training and reflective parenting groups over eight sessions
  • Collaboration with an educational psychologist and schools liaison to help young people engage in their studies, find placement in schools and begin further education

Supporting Young People to Build Hopeful Futures

The Seven Core Elements of Treatment

At The Wave, we aim to empower young people to plan and build better futures. Our treatment method is based on seven core elements that underlie a transformative, life-changing experience.

Young people who show signs of reactive attachment disorder have usually experienced a lack of care or an unstable environment early on in life where they haven’t been able to develop attachments to others. These experiences can have a lasting impact, preventing young people from forming relationships that they need to feel loved and develop a secure sense of self. Young people with RAD may struggle to form emotional connections and experience intense episodes of unprovoked sadness or fear.

At The Wave, we believe that no young person should be held back by their mental health or past experiences, whatever their presenting issues may be. We want every young person to leave our centre inspired by life, ready to begin a journey where they can be their true self. We offer young people the space and the tools to explore different paths, reconnect with their passions, and develop the skills they need to reach their goals.

Our seven core elements of treatment include:

Our clinical approach offers a range of evidence-based therapies that help young people to understand their feelings and behaviours and make positive changes for the future.

We support young people with RAD to safely and sensitively work through past trauma that may affect how they experience the world today. At the same time, we help individuals to develop skills to manage their emotions and build secure, stable, and supportive relationships with others. We also assess for and treat any co-occurring mental health conditions, including eating disorders.

Our range of psychotherapies includes:

  • EMDR
  • relational therapy
  • interpersonal therapy
  • internal family systems therapy
  • creative arts therapy
  • animal assisted therapy
  • dyadic developmental therapy

Our medical team at The Wave includes leading psychiatrists and medics from around the world who specialise in teenage and adolescent mental health. While RAD itself doesn’t usually require medication, recovery from common co-occurring disorders may include pharmaceutical treatment.

Our expert team offers young people in-depth and accurate diagnoses, prescriptions, and continuous evaluation to ensure that each individual receives the right medication for them.

Young people who show signs of RAD offer struggle to navigate school and academic studies. They may find it hard to develop productive relationships with teachers and other figures of authority, leading to breakdowns in trust, withdrawal, or a tendency to rebel. 

Part of the Wave’s program involves supporting young people to engage in their studies, with the help of our educational psychologist. We liaise with schools, assist young people in finding placements, and support them to take part in further education.

We also offer young people the chance to try something new, offering several vocational courses that can enrich a young person’s present and future. Our vocational options include qualifications from:

  • The Royal Horticultural Society
  • The London School of Art
  • Leith’s School of Cookery
  • The British Horse Society

True healing involves more than just talking or support. Meaningful recovery involves taking action, realising ideas and values through experiences, and feeling the effects of your actions on the world around you.

Our global citizenship program works with young people to give back to the community as a step in their journey. By helping others, young people can experience a special sense of purpose, fulfilment, and belonging. Young people may explore emotions and notions of support and mutual aid that are important for their own lives and the lives of those around them.

Experiences of trauma affect the mind and body. Young people who show signs of reactive attachment disorder hold these past experiences within them and express them through their interactions with the outside world.

Our trauma-focused treatment program considers the duality of the mind and body, supporting young people to develop internal and external resources and helping them to heal from within. We work with young people to develop resilience, cultivate mindfulness, and improve emotional regulation so that they can take steps forward inside themselves and within the world around them.

Recovering from reactive attachment disorder involves building patterns of secure relationships. These relationships can form in many settings – in therapy, through shared activities, and by working towards common goals driven by mutual values.

At The Wave Clinic, young people have the chance to build relationships through a range of incredible experiences, interacting with nature, developing skills, and working together with others. Our centre is surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of Malaysia, amid hundreds of parks and diverse wildlife. Some of our experiences include:

  • Horse riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Drama and dance productions
  • Pottery
  • Gardening

Every young person deserves long-term, stable recovery and a fulfilling future. From the start of our treatment program, we work with young people to prepare them for the road ahead, helping them to plan and realise their goals.

When young people first enter our centre, they may lack motivation for the future or struggle to know what is right for them. Our centre offers a supportive environment where young people can explore themselves, discover their passions, and reconnect with their love of life. We give young people the chance to try out different life paths until they find the one that’s right for them.

When a young person’s visions are formed, we help to make them a reality. We’ll build pathways to further education, vocational courses, or wherever they need to be to learn the skills they require. We offer support to parents and other important figures in a young person’s life to ensure their transition from our centre is as seamless as possible.

“I came to The Wave about 2 ½ years ago, and I can’t speak highly enough about their service, support, and love I received (and still do) from the team. They have helped me build stable foundations for a life that now feels worth living. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their amazing help, and I am lucky enough to call them my family.”

Reactive Attachment Disorder Options

Recovery From Reactive Attachment Disorder

Effective treatment for reactive attachment disorder requires considering the unique needs of each young person. The Wave’s programs create a new life experience for every young person that walks through our door, combining the highest levels of clinical care with education and dynamic therapeutic practice.

Trauma-Focused Therapy

Young people with RAD have usually experienced trauma early on in life. Lasting recovery involves healing from these experiences in a safe and supportive space.

At the Wave, we sensitively and carefully support young people to acknowledge past trauma and process difficult or suppressed memories. Therapies like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) use movement to process traumatic experiences in the body and the mind. Creative arts therapy can help young people to express suppressed emotions non-verbally, through different forms of creative outlets.

Interpersonal Therapy

Young people who show signs of RAD struggle to develop attachments to other people. Sometimes, they may withdraw from social interactions or be emotionally absent. At other times, they may respond with unprovoked rage or anger.

Interpersonal therapy helps young people address these issues, teaching them the skills they need to build more secure relationships. Therapy may involve learning appropriate ways to cope with anger or skills for reducing conflict between themselves and others. Young people may learn about relationships with friends, adults, and authority figures like teachers or managers.


Understanding plays an important role in recovery from radical attachment disorder and other mental health conditions. It helps young people to recognise why certain thought patterns or behaviours may be harmful and how things could be different. Understanding can give young people the motivation to change that they require to commit to treatment and recovery.

Psychoeducation for RAD may cover several topics. Some sessions may focus on high-risk behaviours such as hypersexuality or risky sexual behaviours. Others may focus on bullying, exploring why people might bully others and the harm it can cause. At The Wave, psychoeducation is tailored to the experience of each young person, focusing on issues that affect them.

Parent Interventions

Our families usually constitute some of our closest relationships. Forming a secure bond with their parents can be an important part of lasting recovery for a young person with RAD, especially when they move away from our centre.

The Wave’s programs provide support for the entire family, including parents in the recovery process. We offer parent skills training and parent reflective sessions focused on developing healthy attachments, positive behaviour management, and coping strategies for any triggers that arise. We emphasise building trust through empathy and compassion, developing a nurturing relationship that supports young people to overcome past traumas and look into the future.

Frequently asked questions

Reactive Attachment Disorder FAQs

It’s difficult to assess exactly how common reactive attachment disorder is. Recent studies suggest that around 1-2% of children in the general population have RAD. However, in some settings, RAD and other attachment disorders are much more common. A study among young offenders attending specialist services found that 52% showed met the criteria for a borderline or actual attachment disorder.

Reactive attachment disorder develops when young children aren’t given proper care by stable caregivers. This can happen when a child moves between many caregivers or when they don’t receive enough attention, comfort, and affection in their early life. RAD may be more common in young children who have experienced foster care, institutional care, or have parents who were unable to give them the care they need.

Young people with reactive attachment disorder have usually experienced trauma that can affect all aspects of their daily lives. 

Without effective support, young people may struggle to develop a secure sense of self, experience persistent states of stress, and have a lower capacity for resilience. Emotional trauma can also change the way that a young person’s brain develops, affecting areas involved with emotions, learning, and memory. This means that young people with RAD are more vulnerable to experiencing other mental health disorders like anxiety or depression.

Professional associations and memberships

We are here to help

Have any questions or want to get started with the admissions process? Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    London, United Kingdom