Some of the best parenting advice can be drawn from attachment theory, and the parent / child attachment relationship.
John Bowlby, the ‘father’ of attachment theory believes that “Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person’s life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what he contributes, gives strength and enjoyment to others. These are matters about which current science and traditional wisdom are at one.” (Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss: Volume 1. Attachment. Basic Books: New York.)
The Circle of Security
The Circle of Security focuses on training providers from many disciplines to help caregivers positively connect and promote secure attachment with the children in their lives, specifically through reflection upon the child’s attachment needs. The founding principles that underlie the Circle of Security models of intervention include:
- Attachment problems in infancy and early childhood increase the probability of psychopathology later on in life.
- Secure attachment relationships with caregivers are a protective factor for infants and preschoolers, setting the foundation for social competence and promoting effective functioning of the emotion regulation and stress response systems.
- The quality of the attachment relationship is amenable to change.
- Learning, including therapeutic change, occurs from within a secure base relationship.
- Lasting change in the attachment relationship comes from caregivers’ developing specific relationship capacities rather than learning techniques to manage behavior.
One of our psychologists, Renee Harrington transforms frustrated parents into the calm, attuned and in-control parents they want to be. Renee teaches parents the keys to healthy attachment by crafting strategies uniquely tailored to the emotional needs of their children. A registered facilitator of the Circle of Security program, Renee has successfully taught parents self understanding, flexibility, and the willingness to make and learn from mistakes through a program based on decades of attachment research.