Working with Relational Trauma: Dealing with Disorganised Attachment Online Training


A training course for people who work with people who have been hurt by people. A course about our intrinsic value as human beings, and how our experiences of relationships shape us—for ill or for good. How can our early life experiences impact us so deeply, and what can be done about it? What are the key ingredients of developing ‘earned secure’ attachment, and how can this be encouraged through psychotherapy? Although aimed principally at psychotherapists and counsellors, this course is relevant to anyone who has been a child, a parent, or indeed a human being … because attachment theory, quite simply, is relevant to everybody.

Concessions are available here

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A training course for people who work with people who have been hurt by people. A course about our intrinsic value as human beings, and how our experiences of relationships shape us—for ill or for good.

  • If therapy is all about the relationship, then what do you do when the client is really difficult to relate to—too much, too little, too close, too rejecting, too changeable, too untrusting, too controlling, too scared? Can you understand their behaviours as being logical in the light of their previous experiences? Can you show them the dignity and respect they need (and deserve)?
  • What do you do when the client ‘attaches’ too quickly or too intensely? Or seemingly fails to form an attachment at all?
  • Ever been stalked by a client one moment and dropped by them the next? Ever found yourself needing to be their solution, or feeling deskilled and incompetent? Or, in other words, ever been tripped up by disorganised attachment?
  • How is ‘attachment’ the nuts and bolts, here-and-now, make-it-or-break-it stuff of the therapy relationship? How are mirroring and empathy transformative? What is attunement?
  • How do your own attachment experiences affect the way you handle (or avoid) conflict, establish and maintain boundaries (or fail to) and work collaboratively (or coercively) with the too-much or the too-little client?
  • How can attachment theory inform your work with clients with even the most controversial of labels like borderline personality disorder or DID? Should you steer clear or will your own attachment security provide the secure base for them to explore their past, present and future?

Childhood trauma such as sexual abuse, neglect and physical violence inevitably represents a violation of boundaries. It constitutes a profound disregard for our wishes and feelings, as well as an invasion of our privacy and bodies. Rather than growing up with a secure attachment where our personal, physical and psychological boundaries are respected, as trauma survivors we have often grown up in toxic relationships. As a result, we may struggle to maintain our own boundaries as well as to respect other people’s. This can manifest in ‘enmeshed’ relationships where we are over-involved in others’ lives, or ‘distant’ ones where we find it hard to draw close to people, especially in intimate settings.

This course will look in-depth at attachment theory and how the brain develops based on the thousands of tiny interactions between a baby and its primary caregiver. As a result of these interactions, attachment ‘styles’ develop which continue to play out throughout life and in all of our adult relationships. These attachment ‘styles’ – including ‘disorganised’, which is highly correlated to both dissociative disorders and borderline personality disorder – revolve around the expression or suppression of emotion in order stay connected in relationships. This training will look at how this develops, and the role that psychotherapy can play in developing ‘earned’ secure attachment through affect regulation and mentalising.

What you get:

  • 6 hours of CPD with certificate upon completion
  • Lifetime access (return to the course again and again)
  • Start/stop and replay as often as you like
  • Easy to use: only requires a web browser
  • Downloadable resources and further reading for a comprehensive learning experience

All online courses are priced individually and offer a single-user licence only. Information about group bookings and discounts for organisations is available here.

Learner Feedback

“I found this training very helpful because of the combination of theoretical and practical clinical aspects. The difficulties and challenges of relational interactions with clients with different attachment adaptions, styles and trauma histories were very well conveyed. I think it was about the right length and usefully challenging me as a therapist in questioning my own attachment style. The course was easy to use, being split into fairly short videos. Exceptional value as it has aspects of attending a workshop rather than just a seminar or talk. Potentially transformative to my practice (and I don’t say that lightly).”

“I have always found attachment theory jarring despite having many lectures/training on it. This course explained it so clearly and enabled me to connect with it in a way I haven’t felt before. I really liked how much it went into the impact of attachment styles during adulthood and how this may be shown in the therapy room. I think what helped me to connect with it was hearing it from Carolyn’s perspective of experiencing DID – it really brought it to life and I could clearly see how and why attachment styles are formed, but also to hear the hope that it can be changed confirmed my beliefs and gave me a sense of pride in the work I do as a counsellor.”

“As a trainee counsellor who’s still working through my own difficult childhood, I found this mind-blowing. So much of my ‘stuff’ now makes sense and I know I’ll be returning to my notes as I continue to move forward THANK YOU!”