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Advanced Therapeutic Techniques using Attachment Theory

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Friday, 18 November 2016 at 10:00 - Saturday, 19 November 2016 at 16:00

Advanced Therapeutic Techniques using Attachment Theory

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Individual Ticket 18 Nov 2016 £249.00 £0.00
'Pay in 2 equal instalments' ticket
The second instalment of £124.50 is payable by 8 October 2016
Ended £124.50 £0.00
One day attendance (Friday or Saturday) 18 Nov 2016 £135.00 £0.00

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Event Details

Advanced Therapeutic Techniques using Attachment Theory

A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Gwen Adshead

Equipped with a core understanding of Attachment Theory concepts, practitioners can assess a client’s Attachment representations. An effective incorporation of such assessments in our therapeutic approaches however requires a deeper comprehension of the clinical applications of Attachment Theory. At this practical and in-depth two day training course, that would be of value to psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, health care professionals and psychiatrists, Dr Gwen Adshead draws on her long-standing psychodynamic and clinical experience to help us comprehend the development of Attachment bonds & Psychopathology (Day 1) and the Applications of Attachment Theory in clinical practice (Day 2).

On Day 1 of the course, we review the building process of Attachment patterns, styles and representations; looking at supporting factors, the impact of traumatic events, the relationship with temperament and the rupture and repair of Attachment across the life span. We also look at the development of mentalization as it relates to the underlying Attachment representations and specifically consider parental mentalization; and the relevance of childhood attachment for adult attachments; especially in terms of care giving and care eliciting behavioural systems. We also start looking at connections with psychopathological manifestations as preparation for Day 2 of the course.

Day 2 of the training course focusses on the applications of Day 1’s concepts for therapeutic processes. We compare and contrast the literature on mentalization led therapies and other therapeutic schools, while looking at the relevance of Attachment Classifications for therapeutic interactions, therapy as a ‘Strange Situation’, Attachment and Transference and the implications of ruptures in therapeutic attachments.

The two day course uses theoretical discussions and case vignettes to explain the value and challenges of an Attachment led therapeutic approach and equips delegates with a deeper understanding of practical therapeutic applications.

Course aims

The course aims to provide a CPD training that enables practitioners to apply the elements of Attachment Theory to their existing skills and knowledge so that they can use it in their own work settings. A CPD certificate for 12 CPD hours is provided at the end of the course.

About the speaker

Dr Gwen Adshead is a psychotherapist, group analyst and forensic psychiatrist. She trained as a psychiatrist, and then as a forensic psychiatrist after completing a master’s Degree in medical law and ethics at King’s College, London.  She was lecturer in victimology at the Institute of Psychiatry, where she studied interpersonal trauma and its effects; then trained as a psychotherapist, with a particular interest in Attachment Theory. She first started work at Broadmoor Hospital as a senior psychiatric trainee in 1990; and over the last twenty years has worked as a responsible clinician, as well as a consultant psychotherapist.

Her research interests include moral reasoning in psychopaths and antisocial men; the attachment narratives of abusive mothers; and how psychotherapies work with violent people. Gwen has published over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned papers; co-edited three books and is working on three more.

Gwen’s principle training is group dynamic; but she also has experience of cognitive approaches to therapy, DBT, and mentalisation based therapies.

Who is the course suitable for?

The course is suitable for all psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, health care professionals and psychiatrists practising in health, education and social care settings and in private practice, and who have a core professional training. It is suitable for therapists working in all modalities. Participants are usually registered with HCPC, BACP, UKCP or BPC.

Practitioners will have undertaken a course of study that includes knowledge about psychoanalytic /psychodynamic developmental theory and have a basic understanding of Attachment Theory (especially secure and insecure states of mind).

What is the format of the training course?

The course consists of a two-day training programme on 18th & 19th of November 2016 (Friday & Saturday). The course starts at 10:00AM on Friday, the 18th of November 2016 and is scheduled to end on both training days at 4:00PM. The course utilises a combination of presentations, discussions and case vignettes. Participants are welcome to bring clinical material for discussion on Day 2.


Day 1, 18 November 2016, Friday

9:30AM: Registration

10:00AM: Module 1: A review of Attachment Patterns

We start the course with a conceptual review of the underlying building processes for Attachment Patterns, Styles and Representations, specifically looking at:

  • Strengthening and Weakening factors
  • Comprehending the impact of Traumatic events
  • How Attachment patterns relate with temperament
  • Parental sensitivity
  • Measuring Attachment
  • The rupture and repair of Attachment
  • Attachment and psychopathology: trauma, personality disorder, somatic symptom disorder

1:00PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)

2:00PM: Module 2: Psychological disorders and ‘Mentalization’

In module 2, we build on our conceptual understanding and start looking at how ‘mentalization’ relates to other psychological theories of mental development. Specifically, we discuss:

  • Mentalisation as a process of the social mind
  • Attachment and failures of mentalisation in various clinical disorders
  • Parental mentalisation of emotion and childhood stress
  • The relevance of childhood attachment for adult attachments; especially in terms of care giving and care eliciting behavioural systems

We also start looking at the inherent linkages with psychopathology as ground work for our therapeutic discussions on Day 2.

4:00PM: Close 

Day 2, 19 November 2016, Saturday

9:30AM: Registration

10:00AM: Module 3: Therapeutic Applications

We start the second day by consolidating our conceptual understanding from Day 1 and proceed with practical applications. Specifically, we look at:

  • The four Attachment Classifications – what relevance do these have in therapeutic interactions?
  • Attachment & Language
  • Therapist as caregiver
  • Attachment and group therapy
  • Ruptures in therapeutic attachments

1:00PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)

2:00PM: Module 4: Bringing it all together

In the last module we look at:

  • Clinical vignettes
  • The relevance of Attachment Theory for therapeutic practice
  • What does it take to be a mentalizing therapist?
  • Therapy as a  ‘Strange Situation

4:00PM: Close

Recommended reading list:


  • Adshead, G., & Fonagy, P. (2012). How does psychotherapy work? The self and its disorders. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 18(4), 242-249.
  • Bales, D. L., Timman, R., Andrea, H., Busschbach, J. J., Verheul, R., & Kamphuis, J. H. (2014). Effectiveness of Day Hospital MentalizationBased Treatment for Patients with Severe Borderline Personality Disorder: A Matched Control Study. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy.
  • Bateman, A., & Fonagy, P. (2008). Comorbid antisocial and borderline personality disorders: mentalizationbased treatment. Journal of clinical psychology, 64(2), 181-194.
  • Brent, B. (2009). Mentalizationbased psychodynamic psychotherapy for psychosis. Journal of clinical psychology, 65(8), 803-814.
  • Cassidy J & Shaver P (2008) Handbook of attachment 2md edition. London, Guilford.
  • Fonagy, Peter, and Gwen Adshead. "How mentalisation changes the mind."Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 18, no. 5 (2012): 353-362.,
  • Fonagy, P., & Luyten, P. (2009). A developmental, mentalization-based approach to the understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder.Development and psychopathology, 21(04), 1355-1381.
  • Midgley, N., & Vrouva, I. (Eds.). (2013). Minding the child: Mentalization-based interventions with children, young people and their families. Routledge.
  • Roisman, G. I., Holland, A., Fortuna, K., Fraley, R. C., Clausell, E., & Clarke, A. (2007). The Adult Attachment Interview and self-reports of attachment style: an empirical rapprochement. Journal of personality and social psychology,92(4), 678.

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When & Where

Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton
130 Tottenham Court Rd, Fitzrovia
W1T 5AY London
United Kingdom

Friday, 18 November 2016 at 10:00 - Saturday, 19 November 2016 at 16:00

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nscience is an independent organisation that seeks to explore the interdisciplinary richness of mental health disciplines. Through a series of seminars, workshops and conferences that are conducted throughout the year, we aim to present the latest advances in theory and research to practitioners; with a view to furthering their continuing professional development.

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