This training session is aimed at couples’ therapists who are not currently working with attachment theory or at therapists who would like to work with the client’s relationship in mind. In addition, it is hoped that the session will give you an insight into your own attachment style and behaviour in intimate relationships.
Attachment Theory offers a valuable framework for the conceptualisation and exploration of working with couples in therapy; it is both focused on the individual as well as the couple system and enables partners to gain insight into their intrapsychic as well as interpsychic representation of the world and of relationships. Insight can enable behavioural change. Couples who develop ‘mind mindedness’ (Meins, 1999) and are effective at mentalization are more competent at understanding their partner’s needs and can decide how to respond accordingly.
In this training session we will consider how Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s original focus on the relationship between parent and child has been applied to couple relationships by researchers such as Hazan and Shaver.
Working on the assumption that romantic partners are attachment figures we will consider the similarities between secure base representation in child/parent as well as adult/adult relationship. Depending on the attachment style of the two individuals in the couple relationship, how do the partners interact – how does this impact on the relationship as a whole?
We will discuss the needs of partners to become a more secure base for each other.
During the training there will be opportunity to explore your own attachment system in action and to try out some of the interventions that help clients to discover more about their attachment style and the impact of their attachment style on their partner.
By the end of the 4 module training, participants will be able:
- To give an overview of attachment theory and its relevance in understanding couple relationships
- To describe the presentation and impact of an insecure attachment style
- To relay patterns of relating in romantic relationships: secure/secure, insecure/secure, insecure/insecure
- To consider the presentation and needs of the partners with different attachment styles
- To consider the different stages and goals of working with attachment styles in romantic relationships