• Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, MFT
Peer Reviewer(s): Ellen R. DeVoe, PhD, LICSW
Item#: B4173
Contents: 1 Course Book (27 pages)

Understanding Attachment Theory

Price $29.95
Item # B4173
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

This intermediate-level course explains attachment theory as it relates to the connection between early experience and later development. The course provides a lens through which to understand the subjective experiences of adult clients, including their emotional and psychological development, behavior, and ways of thinking about themselves in relation to others. Participants will learn about pioneering work in attachment theory and the influence of investigators such as John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, and D. W. Winnicott. The course describes infant emotional development and concepts of the emergent self, the core self, and the objective self. The discussion highlights attunement, which refers to the caregiver’s ability to distinguish her infant’s needs from her own and to sustain an appropriate level of responsiveness to the infant. Participants will learn about brain development and the neurobiology of attachment, and the course describes the model of mutual regulation, which emphasizes the interactive and reciprocal nature of development. Adult attachment is described, including attachment representations, and the author reviews tools for assessing adult attachment: the Adult Attachment Interview and the Adult Attachment Projective. Participants will learn about bringing attachment representations into treatment through the use of therapeutic approaches such as accelerated experiential-dynamic psychotherapy, emotionally focused therapy, and the theory of interpersonal neurobiology. This course is designed for psychiatric and advanced practice nurses, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

Participants will receive 3 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours upon successfully completing this course.

Course Objectives
  • Identify the basic principles of attachment theory.
  • Discuss the relationship between attachment security and brain development.
  • Describe the impact of early attachment experiences on future attachment relationships.
  • Explain the application of attachment theory to therapeutic treatment.
Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, MFT, an internationally recognized expert in the field of perinatal mood disorders is a psychotherapist who has been writing and speaking on family issues and women's mental health for more than 20 years. She is the author of The Journey to Parenthood: Myths Reality and What Really Matters and Transition to Parenthood: A training manual for clinicians and childbirth educators. In addition to private practice she teaches Family Studies and Child Development at Los Angeles Valley College and Los Angeles Pierce College. The past president of Postpartum Support International Dr. Barnes is the 2007 recipient of PSI's Jane Honikman Award for her outstanding contributions to the fields of maternal mental health and childbearing. Dr. Barnes is a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and a clinical member of both the California Association and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Ellen R. DeVoe, PhD, LICSW, is on the faculty at the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW). Her scholarship focuses on the impact of domestic and community violence on young children and families and the development and evaluation of interventions designed to mitigate these effects. Dr. DeVoe has a program of federally funded research including the only study of the impact of September 11th on very young children and their families in New York City, and a community-based intervention project aimed at reducing the impact of multiple violence exposures in youth in an urban setting (Bronx, NY). With colleagues from BUSSW and Boston Medical Center, she was awarded a 4-year grant to develop and test a family-based intervention with active-duty parents returning from Iraq. Her clinical interests include working with very young children and their parents, and children and families affected by sexual abuse, domestic violence, and trauma.
  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.