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March 23 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm AEDT

$249 – $315

Theory, Evidence and Practice

Professional interest in the clinical applications of attachment theory continues to grow and evolve, due to its increasing recognition as a primary key to understanding the development and relational dynamics of vulnerable clients – whether they be children, young people or adults. Yet for many practitioners the current use of attachment focuses only on four categories based on secure and insecure attachment. This workshop takes a deeper look into how attachment styles can be used in therapeutic settings by offering a practical and sophisticated exposition for evidence based assessment, formulation, planning and treatment that is sure to transform attachment focused interventions.

Patterns of attachment are formed in response to the caregiving that we receive in our earliest relationships and impact on our emotional and physical wellbeing across the lifespan from the ‘cradle to the grave’. Helping vulnerable parents raise their children adequately is of crucial importance for parents, their children and child protection. Parents that have complex needs have often been endangered themselves and, as a consequence, sometimes endanger their children either through abuse, neglect or the effects of parental mental illness and addiction. It is possible to repair attachment difficulties, but first it is necessary to recognise the attachment style, unhealthy relationship patterns, and the impact they are having, so that targeted interventions can be developed to support struggling parents and endangered children. Traditional interventions, which do not teach parents how to understand their attachment history (and subsequent style) or to successfully engage the child, often fail to provide the necessary support required to form secure attachment that underlies behavioural change.

This one day workshop shows how to work successfully with emotional and behavioural problems rooted in deficient early attachments. It introduces the Attachment Style Interview (ASI), an evidence-based accessible instrument that reveals how attachment disorders may be properly conceptualised, to inform more targeted planing and treatment. In particular, it explores the emotional difficulties of children in out-of-home care who struggle to form secure attachments. In this concise, accessible introduction to attachment styles and their application to therapeutic practice we will explore:

Attachment history, research base, and key figures and concepts of attachment theory
Implications for our neurobiology and the intergenerational transmission of trauma

The key concepts of attachment styles, including:
Continuum and contexts – going beyond secure, anxious and ambivalent attachment styles into specific behavioural styles such as: withdrawn, enmeshed, angry-dismissive and fearful
Utilising evidenced based instruments and process techniques for assessment, formulation, planning and treatment/intervention
Implications for relationships and practice, including the practitioner–client relationship
Practice strategies and solutions:
How to identify whether a caregiver will recognise and access the need for support
How to determine a caregiver’s capacity to meet the emotional/physical needs of a child in their care
How to gauge the potential effectiveness of various treatment options and identify potential barriers
How to support placement matching and improve placement stability
How to build trust with a young person and work with them to build their capacity for secure attachment
What strategies are needed to best engage and provide meaningful and targeted scaffolding for individuals and families
Using a number of illustrative case vignettes, the presenters provide guidance on the application of attachment styles in different contexts and with various client groups, including child protection, foster care, residential care, youth work, juvenile justice, mental heath, family and children’s courts. New formulations are offered for problems that have resisted treatment and cases demonstrate how the ideas can be applied in real therapeutic settings.
This workshop is suitable for a range of professionals including Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Teachers, Case Managers, Legal Professionals and Researchers. Foster and adoptive parents, and those with an interest in attachment theory will also find it of interest. You will gain a new, deeper way of looking at different attachment styles.

Presented by:
Liz Sanders has a background in Social Work and Family Therapy and over thirty years experience working with vulnerable children and adults for whom the experience of early abuse, trauma and insecure attachment continues to impact negatively upon their lives. Originally from the UK where she managed mental health services across London along with experience at adoption agencies, schools and Newpin UK. She previously managed Uniting NSW/ACT’s Newpin program, leading its transformation into a successful re-unification program, that became Australia’s first Social Benefit Bond. Liz has presented on working therapeutically using an attachment model at a number of national and international conferences and provides consultations and supervision in NSW, QLD and ACT.

Lisa Gardiner has a background in psychology, mental health and trauma over thirty years working across the health, human and education sectors. Lisa specialises in working with vulnerable populations, early childhood trauma and disrupted attachment and works collaboratively with individuals and agencies to develop better practice. She does this through specific developmental training and supervision. Lisa has presented in the areas of trauma, attachment and neurodevelopment in Australia, UK, Canada and USA.


March 23
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
$249 – $315
Event Categories:
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Compass Seminars
0455 544 577


The Glen Hotel
24 Gaskell Street
Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113 Australia
0455 544 577

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