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Attachment focused support

I have experience in working with carers and parents of children who are Looked After or Adopted; often these young people have a diagnosed attachment difficulty, or the family may be experiencing difficulties in relationship.  These difficulties may also be seen in other settings.

My work is underpinned by attachment theory and the principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice.

I am happy to work with families to:

  • deepen their understanding of the impact of their child's attachment history

  • support them in understanding the challenges of parenting children with attachment difficulties

  • introduce them to the principles of therapeutic parenting 

  • support their understanding and use of 'the two hands of parenting'

  • support and encourage them to invest in their own self care

  • support the parents understanding of their own attachment history and the impact this may have for their parenting

Attachment informed PACE parenting 

Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) was developed by Dan Hughes as part of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. It is an approach to help children and young people who have experienced trauma from within the family.

DDP-informed parenting helps parents to emotionally connect with their children in ways which increases feelings of safety and security. The approach recognises that the children can often fear such close connection, and supports parents to help their children overcome these fears. 

Within my work I support parents and carers to feel comfortable in using the 'two hands of parenting' approach. Emotional connection and nurture combines with boundaries and discipline to provide a ‘connection with correction’ approach to parenting children. It draws on the parents’ capacity for emotional regulation and to be mind-minded so that they can adopt the attitude of PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy) as described by Dan Hughes.

Residential support

For some children and young people, living in a family home is not possible.  By adopting the principles of attachment focused parenting within your children's home, it is possible to develop a consistent, nurturing approach to the day to day care of your young people. 

I am able to offer individual reflective support to managers, team reflective space to think about the individual attachment needs of the children and young people you are caring for, or group training to develop the skills of your whole staff team.

Relationship based play

Using the principles of Theraplay, relationship based play is based on attachment theory and is a method of modelling healthy, attuned interactions between parents and children.  By using playful interactions, parents and children become physically and emotionally close, with increased emphasis on attuned, empathic interactions.

I am also able to incorporate  the principles  of Thera-build with Lego as an additional model of engaging children and carers in relational play.

Network support

I can provide support to your team to assist them to better understand the attachment history and emotional needs of the children you are caring for in your setting.

This could be via Keywork support, team reflective support or by whole network consultation.

Trauma and attachment difficulties

I can assist in supporting understanding of the impact of attachment and trauma difficulties:

  • effect on learning

  • sensory and processing difficulties

  • behaviour - aggression, attention needing, withdrawal, dissociation

  • anxiety

  • self esteem

  • adverse child hood experiences - divorce, loss, substances, neglect, domestic violence


I am a trainer for both Foundations for Attachments Training Resource and Nurturing Attachments Training Resource.

Both programmes were developed by Dr Kim Golding.  Based on attachment theory and an understanding of the impact of trauma on children's development, the group provides a greater knowledge base for carers and parents as well as ideas for therapeutically parenting children.

I also offer the following workshops:

  • Introduction to Attachment

  • Understanding the impact of Developmental Trauma,

  • Introduction to Child Development

  • Introduction to the principles of Therapeutic Parenting

Please feel free to contact me about your training needs.

Life Story Work

The importance of having a narrative, which can inform and support a childs understanding of where they came from, and how they formed their sense of themselves is fundamental to the need to 'make sense' of the world.

Using attachment focused approaches,  I can support children and young people to begin to form a coherent narrative, both through direct work sessions with the child or young person and their parent/carer and in the compilation of a life story book.

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