Two-day professional development workshop
Stockholm, Sweden, 26-27 March 2019

Treating Insecure Attachment in Adults:

The Three Pillars of Comprehensive Attachment Repair

David S. Elliott, Ph.D.

Since John Bowlby’s and Mary Ainsworth’s pioneering work on the development and nature of attachment in children, there has been great interest in how early attachment problems affect adult relationships and well-being. Though there is now very good understanding of the origins and identification of attachment disturbances in adults, clinicians are often dismayed by the difficulties of helping clients move from attachment insecurity to security. Some treatments can be effective, but typically take a very long time and often do not produce comprehensive or stable change.

This workshop will include:
– a basic foundation in attachment theory, on the development of the attachment bond, on assessment, and current treatments.
– the theoretical foundations and detailed practical description of a state-of-the-art, highly effective and efficient method for treating adults with attachment problems.

Emphasis will be on practical applications for clinicians, and will include demonstration sessions and opportunities for participants to practice and receive feedback about their experiences of these methods.

The workshop is based on the book, Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair (Brown & Elliott, 2016).
“This is an extraordinary achievement – the must-have book on attachment – encyclopedic – everything you needed and wanted to know about attachment, and then some – history, research, typology, AND treatment!”
Diana Fosha
“A masterpiece of integration, creativity, and clinical wisdom.”
Kathy Steele

Workshop Content and Schedule

Day 1: Tuesday, 26 March 2019
9:00 – 10:30
Course Overview
Attachment and
– Self-Development
– Relational Development
– Emotion Regulation
Attachment and Post-Traumatic Conditions
– Implications for Treatment

The Foundations of Attachment
– The Attachment Behavioral System
– Types of Attachment Bonds
– The Development of the Attachment Bond
– Child Maturation and Caregiver Interactions

10:30 – 10:50 Fika

10:50 – 12:30
Caregiver Behaviors that Predict Each Attachment Type
Treatment of Adult Insecure Attachment
– How Understanding of Development
Guides Treatment
– Current Treatment Models: Strengths and Limitations
The Three Pillars Model
– Pillar 1: Creating New, Positive Attachment Representations
– Pillar 2: Developing Metacognitive Skills
– Pillar 3: Enhancing Collaborative Behavior

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:40
The First Pillar: Ideal Parent Figure Imagery
– Demonstration of the IPF Method
– Discussion and Guiding Principles
– Steps of the Ideal Parent Figure Method
– The Five Primary Conditions that Promote Secure Attachment

14:40 – 15:00 Fika

15:00 – 17:15
Participant Practice of the Ideal Parent
Figure Method
Discussion and Integration

Day 2: Wednesday, 27 March 2019
9:00 – 10:30
The Assessment of Attachment
– Interview Methods
– Self-Report Methods
Individualizing the Ideal Parent Figure Imagery
– Using Positive Opposites of Negative
Early Experiences
– Modifications Based on Specific Insecure Attachment Type
Demonstration of Individualizing the IPF Imagery Discussion and Integration

10:30 – 10:50 Fika

10:50 – 12:30
Participant Practice of Individualizing IPF Imagery
Discussion and Integration

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:40
Signs of Progress with the Ideal Parent Figure Method
Signs of Secure Base
Common Challenges with the Ideal Parent Figure Method

14:40 – 15:00 Fika

15:00 – 17:15
The Second Pillar: Developing Metacognitive Skills
– Exercise for Recognizing Types of Metacognitive Skills
The Third Pillar: Enhancing Collaborative Behavior
– Methods for Enhancing Non-Verbal and Verbal Collaboration
Putting It All Together: The Interplay of the Three Pillars

Learning Objectives

Participants will:
• Understand the developmental and caregiving conditions that contribute to secure, dismissing, anxious-preoccupied, and disorganized attachment.
• Understand how the conditions that create secure attachment in children can be a basis for effective and efficient treatment of adult insecure attachment.
• Understand the strengths and limitations of current treatments.
• Be able to describe the Three Pillars of treatment of attachment disturbances.
• Have direct experience of using the Ideal Parent Figure method for creating new, positive representations of secure attachment.
• Recognize the common challenges and positive signs of effective use of the Ideal Parent Figure method.
• Feel confident about applying the Ideal Parent Figure method in clinical practice.
• Understand why metacognition and collaboration are poorly developed when attachment is insecure.
• Become familiar with basic methods for helping clients develop metacognitive skills and collaborative relational behavior.
• Feel confident about bringing basic metacognitive and collaborative methods into clinical practice.
• Understand the interdependence of the Three Pillars and their treatment methods.

About the Presenter
David S. Elliott received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University in 1989. He is a former President of the Rhode Island Psychological Association (USA), and is on the faculty of the International School for Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Group Leadership, in St.Petersburg, Russia. He received psychosynthesis training from Thomas Yeomans. As a clinical psychologist, he has a psychotherapy practice in Providence, Rhode Island, and also consults internationally.


Workshop Details
Open to: Psychotherapists and other mental health clinicians, including practicing psychosynthesis therapists.

Dates and times:
26-27 March 2019
9:00 – 17:15 both days

Tengdahlsgatan 32, 2tr
116 47 Stockholm (Södermalm)

Teaching will be in English
Participant practice will be in Swedish (or language of choice)

Register and guarantee a place by sending an email with name, mobile number, and professional background to:

*Invoice will be sent when you register
Workshop Fee: 3000 + moms 750 sek

Fika mornings and afternoons is included.
Let us know any fika preferences/ allergies.

Cancellation policy:
100% refund before 1 March
(minus 100 sek admin fee) 50% refund until 12 March

More information
Listen to David Elliott talk about attachment and healing on this podcast: (TU episode 34)