The Professional Development People

Supporting Relational Security - Practice-focused interventions and approaches for specific developmental periods.

Presenter: Kevin Keith, PhD

Attachment consists of diverse lifespan phenomena. Studies have now expanded including all age cohorts: younger and older children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Both understanding and responding to attachment needs of each group requires knowledge of important differences and similarities, continuities and discontinuities. This seminar provides a unique overview of practical interventions applicable across the full attachment lifespan. For each age group, one evidence-based approach will be engaged whereby specific skills and activities are explored with a focus on applicability for practice. Although fewer practitioners work with every lifespan age group, awareness of the full spectrum remains valuable for understanding clients, their families and their relations. After an initial introduction to Attachment Theory, the seminar focuses on six specific age groups:

(1) The initial glance takes in earliest pre-language attachments where implicit patterns of interaction dominate. Some of the greatest clinical progress in the attachment world has occurred in supporting first attachments with key caregivers.

(2) The emergence of goal-corrected partnerships between ages 2 and 5 has historically received less attention than earlier attachments. Indeed, we have only recently been able to fully measure. But social work home visit interventions are producing valuable evidence for shifting less optimal attachments.

(3) Middle childhood attachment includes greater integration within the family system and new attachments possibly formed with key mentors such as teachers and sports coaches. The practical value of promising combinations of attachment and system interventions will be considered, especially as regards school performance.

(4) Adolescence sees the emergence of an individual’s first peer or symmetrical attachments as adulthood beckons. This period remains the most challenging as our grasp of these immense changes remain only partially understood. Again, a look at the more efficacious interventions for the world of the adolescent will be explored: both parent-child and peer.

(5) Adulthood sees the emergence of new long-term relationships, both romantic and close friendships. The application of attachment to couples work as depicted in Susan Johnson’s important work with Emotionally Focused Therapy [EFT] for couples takes the next focus. [Please not more in-depth work with adult maladaptive attachment is considered in Seminars 2] (6) Finally, the seminar concludes with a vital glimpse of emerging research on shifts in attachment in later life. Existential and familial considerations will also be taken up for this period.

In summary, the seminar seeks to skill up mental health workers by providing a relatively focussed but still comprehensive picture of the most current research and available practical interventions by lifespan period.

CPD Hours: This event counts as 7 hours of category A CPD for PACFA’s membership renewal requirements.

PACFA MEMBER DISCOUNT * PACFA members can avail a discount of 20% off the registration fees for all live events and digital seminars on our website by applying the code ‘PDP20PACFA’ at the checkout.

For full details regarding the event and registration please go to the website.


5/08/2021 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time

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