Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice

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An Outline of Training Courses on Attachment, Developmental Trauma and Mentalizing

Secure attachment is a basic human need of all infants, but is not always met.  An infant whose attachment becomes disorganised can experience high levels of stress and anxiety without necessarily showing outward displays of distress which would signify that something is wrong.  In many ways this remains a “hidden” health need.  To meet this need we need we to do three things

  1. Improve the general understanding of the issue of attachment
  2. Improve the skills and awareness in the workforce so that attachment problems  are recognised and  addressed
  3. Improve access to specialist support where necessary

Introduction to Attachment in Foster-Care

This one day workshop combines teaching and experiential activities to introduce and develop reflective, attachment-informed foster-care.

Learning points include

  • Reflection on our own experiences of attachment
  • An outline of the theory of attachment
  • Understanding attachment behaviour and the attachment system
  • Promoting the development of secure childhood attachment
  • Supporting attachment and separation
  • What happens when things go wrong: insecure attachments
  • The mind’s models of attachment
  • Organization and disorganization of attachment
  • Key elements for attachment-informed foster care
  • Nurturing attachments through secure caregiving

Introduction to Attachment and Trauma

Secure base 150x150 Attachment and Trauma Informed PracticeThis one day course provides the learning needed for professional to understand the development of attachment patterns and the impact of early abuse and neglect.  It is an essential basis for building attachment –informed practice, and is invaluable for staff at all levels in education, residential care, foster care, social services and health services who work with children or young people identified as  needs  associated with attachment.

Learning points include

  • Understand Attachment Theory and the development of infant attachment
  • Understand the importance of healthy, secure attachment for the well-being of children and young people
  • Know about the impact of trauma, neglect and rejection on the brain and behaviour
  • Understand how resilience can reduce vulnerability of children and young people to separation and loss
  • Be able to promote healthy attachments for children or young people
  • Be able to develop own practice in supporting healthy attachments for children or young people
  • Understand attachment in adolescence
  • Understand the importance of healthy, secure attachment for the well-being of children and young people

Mediating Old and New Brain 150x150 Attachment and Trauma Informed PracticeAttachment and the Social Brain

Therapeutic practice is rooted in a clear understanding of the difficulties faced by the individual.  This one day course supports that understanding by  introducing current evidence on the effect of early experiences on brain development, the significance of early attachment and the development of mentalizing.

Learning points include

  • Basic understanding of the developing human brain
  • How emotional experiences mediate between “old” and “new” brain
  • The importance of play in brain development
  • Developing a social brain and the foundation of attachment
  • The impact of trauma on brain, development and trauma
  • Attachment security-insecurity and organization-disorganization
  • Attachment representation
  • What is mentalizing and why do it?
  • Changes during adolescence
  • The basis for attachment-informed practice

Working With Attachment in Mind: Developing Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice  

Proximity Seeking 150x150 Attachment and Trauma Informed PracticeThis is a five day course, written to support challenging placements and of relevance to frontline staff, managers and social workers working in or with residential care, fostering, special education and health.  It provides the essential basis for understanding attachment and developmental trauma, and provides practice skills for a holistic supportive approach to caring for traumatized children and young people.  The programme is interactive and experiential.  The first session of the training is used to establish learners own goals; making sure training is relevant to participants.  These goals are also used for course evaluation.

Module 1: The Social Brain

  • Brain development, genes and environments
  • Neurons and hormones
  • Effects of stress on brain development
  • The importance of play in brain development
  • Developing a social brain and the foundation of attachment
  • Changes during adolescence

Module 2: Attachment and Trauma

  • Attachment Theory and the development of infant attachment
  • Developmental pathways and categories of attachment
  • Attachment representations
  • Dynamic model of attachment
  • The impact of trauma, neglect and rejection on the brain and behaviour
  • Attachment in adolescence

Module 3: A Planned Environment

  • Anxiety and attachment difficulties
  • Basis of a psychosocial method for developing greater security
  • Building hope
  • Addressing emotional arousal (stress, anxiety and fear)
  • Addressing pre-existing experiences of need
  • Addressing attachment representation

Module 4: Attachment-Informed Caregiving

  • Establishing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance
  • Beliefs and assumptions
  • A re-parenting model
  • Engagement
  • Curiosity
  • Effects of acceptance and rejection
  • Scaffolding development
  • Matching approach to attachment style

Module 5: Nurturing Attachments by Responding to Behaviours

  • Consider the meaning of behaviour
  • Meeting needs
  • Reflection in action
  • Developing and using empathy
  • Listening skills
  • Prioritising change
  • Strengths perspectives
  • Parenting skills for managing behaviour
  • Shame
  • Dealing with power struggles
  • The drama triangle
  • assertiveness
  • Resistance approach

What Is Mentalizing And Why Do it

Mentalizing 150x150 Attachment and Trauma Informed PracticeA one day course that introduces the umbrella term “mentalizing”.  Mentalizing is not a therapy technique, but a way of approaching and augmenting the daily work of practice through an active process that all humans do.  Mentalizing is not a new idea; rather it is the drawing together of older ideas from psychodynamic theories and attachment theory with emerging evidence from neuroscience.  It is something that humans do naturally, to varying degrees; a process that can have immense therapeutic value once it has been noticed and thought about.

Learning points include

  • Origins and development of the concept “mentalizing”
  • Mentalizing in residential / foster care
  • Mentalizing social groups and therapeutic communities
  • Core functions of attachment
  • Effects of developmental trauma
  • Social brains, attunement and intersubjectivty
  • Broad scope of mentalizing
  • Applying the mentalizing stance
  • Increasing resilience through mentalizing

The Residential Task: Working with Attachment in Mind

The Residential Task 300x114 Attachment and Trauma Informed PracticeA one day workshop presenting an underlying theoretical framework for working with children and young people with attachment difficulties, and providing opportunities to work through and problem-solve case specific examples

Learning points

  • The transactional nature of development
  • The role of temperament
  • Development of attachment
  • Patterns of attachment
  • Anxious attachments
  • Attachment organization
  • Fear without solution – early trauma
  • Trauma and attachment disorganization in later childhood and adolescence
  • Jealousy and threatened attachment
  • Mentalizing – the ability to think about self and others
  • Recovery – parenting and a planned environment
  • Secure base experiences
  • Managing behaviours to develop security
  • Adult attachment – Supporting adults to help
  • The “holding environment”
  • The “Drama Triangle”

Attachment in Adolescence

This one day course provides insight into important lifespan developments in attachment, focussing on adolescence as the gateway to adulthood

Learning points include

  • The evidence for a link between early experiences of care and protection and outcomes
  • The implication of neurological and endocrinal changes in adolescence
  • The shift in attachment relationships in adolescence
  • Adolescent attachment styles
  • Working with the “surprising” quality of adolescent attachment needs
  • Working to promote healthy and adaptive changes in adolescents

Attachment, Trauma and Recovery

A five day programme for foster-carers working with complex and enduring needs.  The programme aims to develop foster carers to provide high levels of support and enriching relationships for fostered children who have experienced early trauma and help make sense of their often fragmented and traumatic past, whilst safely managing behavioural difficulties.  The programme is interactive
and experiential, helping foster carers apply theory to practice.  It is structured on the principles of active learning, including self-directed learning, learning through practice, case-based “learning in context” and small group interaction.

 

More training courses

Child Development, Complex Behaviours, Self-harm, Mental Health and WellbeingReflective Practice, Supervision, Recording and Report Writing

 

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