Shifting Troubled Attachment Patterns in Family Treatment

CE Hours: 4.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

A Live, Interactive Webconference

Cost: This training is free but open only to supervisors and behavioral health professionals working in agencies contracted with CFBT

Thursday, November 2, 2023, North Carolina Training Groups via Live Interactive Zoom
Friday, November 3, 2023, North Carolina Training Groups via Live Interactive Zoom

Families treated in intensive, in-home Ecosystem Family Treatment are marked by fragile, insecure attachment, particularly in the parent-child relationship. Fragile, insecure, or “troubled” attachments are often at the core of negative interactional patterns, and dramatic symptomatology. To effectively help these families, it is important for therapists to be grounded in an understanding of applied attachment theory, and to be able listen to families interacting with an “attachment ear.”  This workshop provides a brief overview of attachment theory and how it informs assessment and treatment in ESFT.   

Three common insecure attachment patterns are described and how they show up in enmeshed and disengaged families.  Major focus is given to how therapists can use attachment theory to improve their skills in relational reframing, a key component of ESFT, which is considered essential to improving family functioning. Emphasis will be given to pacing and using the language of attachment to shift caregivers from a behavioral view of their children to a relational one. This language taps into yearnings for a sense of felt safety, a sense of being seen and known (attunement), the experience of felt comfort (soothing), and a sense of being valued (expressed delight).  Concepts and intervention strategies are demonstrated through videotaped case examples.


As a result of attending this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the nature and functions of attachment.
  2. Recognize the attachment subtext in family interactions.
  3. Describe how the language of attachment can be used to cultivate a relational treatment frame.
  4. Describe how to use enactments to strengthen the parent child relationship.

This is an intermediate level course. The target audience is behavioral health professionals working within North Carolina Intensive In-Home program. This is a live synchronous distance learning activity conducted in real time, allowing for simultaneous participation of participants and instructors from different locations.


8:25am-10:30am: Focus on Objectives 1-2
10:30am-10:40am: Break
10:40am-1:05pm: Focus on Objectives 3-4

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