Introduction to Attachment Theory

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 focus of this two day introductory course is to translate the theory into principles, tools and practical strategies for working with children and their families. Exploration of relevant case examples enables participants to move from assessment to formulation to planning and intervention. 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

The course is relevant for all professionals working with children and their families. It introduces contemporary attachment theory, its links with child development, neurobiology and the emerging field of narrative medicine.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course participants will understand:
• Attachment theory and its links to child development and neurobiology.
• Developments in neuroscience and their contribution to social policy.
• The essential aspects of the Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) across the lifespan and how this differs from the ABC+D model of attachment.
• The developmental factors that contribute to the development of secure and insecure attachment strategies (The ‘ABC’ model of attachment) and the characteristics associated with these.
• Attachment theory as a strengths-based, non-labelling and nonpathologising approach.
• How understanding of the attachment experiences of children and adults (assessment) can help practitioners increase their understanding of the roots of maladaptation in family functioning (formulation) and develop attachment informed plans and interventions.
• How attachment can be assessed, formally and informally and the limitations of the various methods.
• Attachment informed practice strongly signals the importance of relationship-based practice as key to successful assessment and intervention.