The concept of attachment difference within Attachment Theory has offered a truly valuable framework to understand many of the serious mental health care risks associated with childhood difficulties. This attachment seminar extends this focus to addressing a relatively new set of adult differences identified as ‘attachment disorganisation’, something potentially influenced by ‘early and ongoing’ trauma and associated with adult personality disorders. In addition to clarifying current knowledge of ‘attachment disorganisation’ into adulthood, the seminar will also introduce more integrated approaches to treatment that include attachment and might also provide greater direction to our work.
The first half of the seminar will focus on updating current empirical understandings of ‘attachment difference’ and identifying manifestations of ‘disorganised attachment’ in adulthood. The aim is to provide a more realistic picture of adult disorganization that will enhance initial assessment and evaluation of ongoing clinical progress. Historically, the traditional adult identifications of maladaptive attachment—Unresolved/Disorganized/Cannot Classify Attachment (categories from the ground-breaking Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)) and Fearful-Avoidant Attachment (a continuum quadrant emerging from well validated self-report tools in Social Psychology)—have proven too broad to adequately inform clinical concerns; the two measures have also proven difficult to integrate. However, researchers have begun to identify greater specificity in the more disordered adult ‘disorganised attachment’ through the employment of new and expanded measures. Participants will be introduced to currently proposed specifics for ‘disorganised attachment’ in adulthood, drawing on important updated measures of attachment difference. Groups will consider these perspectives in light of their work with clients who are confronted by longer-term mental health challenges. ‘Disorganised attachment’ will also be considered in light of early and ongoing experiences of trauma, dissociation and personality disturbances.
The second part of the seminar focuses on clinical skills for addressing ‘disorganised attachment’. Focus on the clinical alliance and ongoing development of attachment will be addressed. Attachment Theory has greatly contributed to
therapeutic relationship assist healing. The seminar will also clarify ‘what’ we may treat in therapy: ‘changing attachment’—a lifespan dynamic personality construct—, ‘resolving trauma’—a causal contributor to disorder—, ‘modifying dissociation’—a consequent symptom—and ‘enhancing’ reduced functional capacities typically associated with personality disorders’—especially emotion- and self-regulation. Attachment work will be situated within two integrated models for treatment [The Sequential Model of Emotional Processing (Pascual-Leone & Greenberg, 2007) and the recent Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual 2nd Edition or PDM-2 (Lingiardi & McWilliams 2017)]. Case studies will be explored seeking to practically apply theoretical insights. Finally, attention will also be given to the practical considerations involved in working in a world of limited resources: How can we best respond to the need for longer-term work where clients may lack resources?
In summary, the seminar will explore how even disorganised attachments evolve across the lifespan, are not set in stone, and may be expected to demonstrate both continuity as well as change. This may serve as a beacon of hope for clients and therapists alike.
|File type||File name||Number of pages|
|Text Document||Handout 1 - Pre-reading resources (0.01 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout bundle - Working with disorganised attachment (2.16 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Handout - Video links (0.09 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Presenter Slides (2.43 MB)||Available after Purchase|
Kevin Keith PhD BBA (Hons) (University of North Texas 1973); MA and STL (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1986 & 88); MPhil (Oxford University, 1991); Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2005); PhD (University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, 2017). Kevin is a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and academic. He divides time between private practice, education/academic activities, and an emerging retirement. Kevin has practiced counselling in Australia for 16 years. He has previously been a lecturer at the Jansen Newman Institute (JNI) and Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP). In 2017, he completed his PhD at the University of Sydney (School of History and Philosophy of Science) with primary research interests in Attachment Theory. His thesis—The Goal-Corrected Partnership: A Critical Assessment of the Research Programme—brings a focus to attachment development post-infancy. This work also rearticulates Attachment Theory in light of advances in the lifespan developmental sciences, especially approaches to biological complexity. He remains a research affiliate for the School of HPS at the University of Sydney. Kevin presents regularly on Attachment Theory and other matters to a wide range of audiences. He is member of several professional and academic societies, including ones with focus on emotions research, trauma, psychiatry, and philosophy. He is acclaimed as an engaging and inspiring presenter whose seminars change the way therapists perceive and work with their clients in ways that surprise and delight.
Learning objectives of this training:
"Recent research into Disorganised Attachment has provided valuable insights into how ‘early and ongoing’ attachment develops through adolescence and into adulthood, offering greater specificity from which to identify client difficulties and apply more informed responses." Kevin Keith
How will you benefit from attending this training?
Morning Session (includes a short morning tea break)
Afternoon Session (includes a short afternoon tea break)
Evaluation and post-test - your payment includes a free post-test which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.
To complete the test, please log into your account at pdp-catalogue.com.au and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title.
For live webcasts, post-tests must be completed within one week of viewing the program. (There is no deadline to complete the post-test for digital downloads)
This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.
9:00am - 12:45pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 10:45am
12:45pm - 1:45pm
1:45pm - 5:00pm
Includes a 15 minutes break at 3:15pm
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