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Bindung und Migration
21st International Attachment Conference
Disordered Attachments in Digital Ages
September 16th - September 18th, 2022
Bindung und Migration

Knafo, Hannah (New York/ USA)

Preventing child maltreatment. A report on the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI) in the Bronx (New York)

The primary goal of GABI is promote secure parent-child attachment and to prevent the development of disorganized attachment patterns in children. The development of GABI has been primarily informed by attachment theory as well as research on the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE; Felitti et al., 1998).

This theoretical context has guided the frame and structure of GABI, keeping in mind crucial aspects of trauma-informed care for these vulnerable families. 

GABI groups are held twice a day, three times per week and are two hours long, creating a relatively flexible therapeutic frame which allows for more intensive treatment and support when needed. The structure of the GABI groups include a parent-child, parent group and uniquely a child-therapy component. These provide the opportunity for intervention at multiple levels, treating the parent-child relationship, as well as creating group spaces where the parent’s mental health and the child’s social-emotional development can be addressed. The group context not only make GABI cost effective but also provides is a powerful intervention milieu in and of itself, to combat the serious social isolation faced by these families.


Hannah Knafo
is a clinical psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York where she delivers the Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI). At the clinic - the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Montefiore - Hannah also works individually with school-aged children and parents. Hannah is a recent graduate of The New School for Social Research, where she conducted her research at The Center for Attachment Research with Drs. Howard and Miriam Steele. In addition to her work with GABI, Hannah conducts research on the role of attachment in the intergenerational transmission of body representations.