A training day for people who work with people who have been hurt by people. A day 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 day 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 day will look at how this develops, and the role that psychotherapy can play in developing ‘earned’ secure attachment through affect regulation and mentalising.

The speaker is Carolyn Spring.


10.00 am to 5.00 pm (registration from 9.30 am).


£85.00 (discounts and concessions available)


Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors attend our training, this includes:

  • counsellors
  • psychotherapists
  • psychologists
  • rape crisis or helpline staff and volunteers
  • CPNs / healthcare staff
  • police, prison and probation staff
  • social care staff
  • education staff
  • survivors
  • supporters
  • anyone working with people who have suffered trauma in childhood


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Really fantastic training. Slick, very well organised but with a light touch. My patient R has been using your materials extensively already and found the training very inspiring and I personally gained a huge amount from the day.

Dr Gordon Barclay

Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Scotland

Until the next event








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