In this course I look at the evolution of attachment theory and what this means for working therapeutically with people who have experienced relational trauma, and how its impacts can be reversed through the development of a secure base and ‘earned secure attachment’ through psychotherapy. Aimed principally at professionals, this course is in fact relevant to anyone who has been a child, a parent, or indeed a human being … because attachment theory, quite simply, is relevant to everybody.
“I found this training very helpful because of the combination of theoretical and practical clinical aspects. The difficulties and challenges of relational interactions with clients with different attachment adaptions, styles and trauma histories were very well conveyed. I think it was about the right length and usefully challenging me as a therapist in questioning my own attachment style. The course was easy to use, being split into fairly short videos. Exceptional value as it has aspects of attending a workshop rather than just a seminar or talk. Potentially transformative to my practice (and I don’t say that lightly).”
“I have always found attachment theory jarring despite having many lectures/training on it. This course explained it so clearly and enabled me to connect with it in a way I haven’t felt before. I really liked how much it went into the impact of attachment styles during adulthood and how this may be shown in the therapy room. I think what helped me to connect with it was hearing it from Carolyn’s perspective of experiencing DID – it really brought it to life and I could clearly see how and why attachment styles are formed, but also to hear the hope that it can be changed confirmed my beliefs and gave me a sense of pride in the work I do as a counsellor.”
“As a trainee counsellor who’s still working through my own difficult childhood, I found this mind-blowing. So much of my ‘stuff’ now makes sense and I know I’ll be returning to my notes as I continue to move forward THANK YOU!”
Childhood trauma such as sexual abuse, neglect and physical violence inevitably represents a violation of boundaries. It constitutes a profound disregard for our wishes and feelings, as well as an invasion of our privacy and bodies. Rather than growing up with a secure attachment where our personal, physical and psychological boundaries are respected, as trauma survivors we have often grown up in harmful or neglectful relationships. As a result, we may struggle to maintain our own boundaries as well as to respect other people’s. This can manifest in ‘enmeshed’ relationships where we are over-involved in others’ lives, or ‘distant’ ones where we find it hard to draw close to people, especially in intimate settings. In the worst case scenario, in what is called ‘disorganised attachment’, we may develop a dissociative disorder as the outworking of the inability to stay safe in close connection with meaningful others.
This course will look in-depth at attachment theory and how the brain develops based on the thousands of tiny interactions between a baby and its primary caregiver. As a result of these interactions, attachment ‘styles’ develop which continue to play out throughout life and in all of our adult relationships. These attachment ‘styles’ – including ‘disorganised’, which is highly correlated to both dissociative disorders and so-called borderline personality disorder – revolve around the expression or suppression of emotion in order to maintain connection and seek safety in relationships. This training will look at how this develops, and the role that psychotherapy can play in developing ‘earned’ secure attachment through affect regulation and mentalising.
I’ll look at questions such as:
Although aimed primarily at counsellors and psychotherapists, the course is relevant to everyone, because we all have emotions, we all have relationships, and we have all been shaped by our early life experiences.
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