Who We Are

At ABC of PA, we believe in hope for healing. The Attachment and Bonding Center of PA specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with attachment difficulties – children who are suffering from a seeming inability to form an attachment or bond with those who love them most.

It is the nature of humans to want love, safety and closeness with others. In our first 3 years of life, a foundation is laid. We each must learn “is the world safe? caring? predictable?” In a loving and consistent relationship with a primary caregiver, we develop a sense of well-being, and a trust in others and a growing sense that we are capable and lovable.

But, for children who have suffered early experiences of neglect, abuse, hospitalizations, institutionalization, painful illness, or separations from a primary caregiver, relationships are frightening and unpredictable. These children become reluctant to trust or love others.

And, they become driven – driven to control every aspect of life in an effort to control their pain and fear. They grow up believing they are unlovable and that others must not be trusted. Life is empty and survival is the only goal.

At ABC of PA, we believe in hope for healing. We believe we are all inherently designed to desire relationship, and even children who are very reluctant to trust can be reached. We believe our job is “to work ourselves out of a job”, enabling children to access the love and care and teaching that their parents are offering them. In this way they will find the joy of family and the growth that comes with receiving teaching and discipline.

ABC of PA was founded in 1999 to provide such treatment services. Each of our clinicians brings a specific passion to our work with families struggling with issues of adoption and attachment. Bringing powerful personal and professional experiences in the fields of attachment, trauma, adoption and foster care, we seek to have every family we serve feel supported and equipped to be all that a family is meant to be. Each of our therapists, Cheryl Nitz, ACSW, LCSW, Jill Knudsen, MSW, LSW, Kelly Raudenbush, MA, and Colleen Klym, MA, has responded to a sense of specific personal calling related to this work, and has received extensive training in the field of trauma and attachment work. Feel free to ask us about it!