Attachment Based Practice with Adults

Upcoming Dates


Attachment theory is essential for understanding how human beings function in relationships and how people develop social and psychological difficulties. It is also fundamental for understanding what constitutes psychological wellbeing. The course is focused on translating attachment theory into principles, tools and provides practical strategies for working with and understanding problematic behaviour. Exploration of case examples in the course reader ‘Attachment-based Practice with Adults’ introduce participants to the ABC patterns of attachment, the LEARN model and an interviewing guide. The training is designed to increase the confidence of practitioners to act as change agents and to understand and relate to people in an attuned way.

Course Description

This course is for professionals working in child welfare/ child protection settings, safeguarding, adult mental health, social care or counselling services, criminal justice and multi-disciplinary contexts that cross adult and children’s services. This course is also relevant for professionals who supervise staff in the above areas.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the training, participants will have been given the opportunity to:

1. Understand the essential aspects of the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of Attachment and Adaptation across the lifespan.

2. Understand how attachment strategies are formed from the family and systems perspectives with a view to being able to confidently describe the factors that contribute to the development of secure and insecure attachment strategies.

3. Understand the five key memory systems relevant to understanding how attachment strategies develop and function.

4. Understand how to identify attachment strategies in speech and behaviour.

5. Understand how to apply theory in practice through discourse analysis of several case study interviews.

6. Understand how the DMM connects with the emerging fields of interpersonal neurobiology and narrative medicine.

7. Understand the LEARN Model for promoting narrative integration and improving psychological functioning.

8. Understand the impact of unresolved loss and trauma and the implications for assessment and intervention.

9. Understand what it means to be psychologically integrated, and what it means to reorganise one’s mind in relation to perceived dangers.

10. Consider next steps in integrating the attachment-based approach in their practice.

This course is for professionals with some experience of working with adults who are in contact with statutory and voluntary services. This includes professionals working in adult social care, adult mental health or counselling services, criminal justice and multi‐disciplinary contexts. This course is also relevant for professionals who supervise staff in the above areas.