Understanding Child-Parent Attachment: What 65 Years of Research and Practice Has Taught Us (Stand Alone / Module 1 of 2)

Delivered by

Christina Enright


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

3 hrs | 4 hrs | 6 hrs (1 day) 12 hours (2 days) to cover both modules 1 & 2


This training has been designed for parents and carers of children who have experienced disrupted attachment. It can also be delivered as a training for professionals who want to gain knowledge about how to work with parents/carers to support them to build stronger attachments with their children.

Content Summary: 

Child Parent Attachment has become the most researched child development theory in history and tells us about the importance of relatively secure attachments for a child to develop resilience across physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains.

This course focuses on what is known from research about the dynamics in parent-child relationships that enable children to internalise secure attachment experiences as well as why and how things can go wrong.

This course can form Module 1 of 2 when accompanied by Christina’s additional attachment training day: Practical Approaches to Help Carers and Professionals to Build Strong Attachments with Children and Adolescents in their Care

Learning Outcomes:

As a result of attending this training you can learn:

  • what child-parent attachment is, why it is important and how secure attachments develop in child-parent relationships from infancy
  • how attachment behaviour is shaped in a healthy or maladaptive way by the caregiver’s responses to expression of attachment needs in babies, children and adolescents
  • how to identify healthy attachment seeking behaviours in children as well as behaviours that indicate insecurity of attachment
  • different attachment strategies that can develop and indicators of these in children
  • what blocked trust is and how this creates stress in parent/carer when the child struggles with this
  • to understand how children use self-protective behaviours such as hiding and miscuing when they don’t feel safe and secure with adults
  • understanding how children have experienced attachment disruption can transfer the feelings about this onto the adults around them attempting to care for them
  • the link between attachment difficulties and dissociation
  • understanding how attachment changes in adolescence

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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Christina Enright

RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.

Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.

She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland.  Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.

Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.