Attachment, Psychopathology and Treatment in Adulthood

Conference overview

This 1-day course focuses on using aspects of adult development to enhance treatment of psychological maladaptation of adults and their families (including child protection, psychiatric disorder, and criminality). It builds on Attachment, Neurodevelopment, & Psychopathology in childhood, weaving together theory, human development, assessment, case examples, and treatment applications to reframe maladaptive behaviour in terms of strategies for self-protection. The course emphasizes the process of adaptation and ways to moderate developmental pathways that carry risk for psychopathology. Reorganisation and building resilience will be discussed as central to successful intervention. General and Family Functional Formulations will be introduced with examples used to highlight DMM Integrative Treatment.

The model used is the Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM). The DMM is offered as a treatment-focused nosology of maladaptation. It is relevant to individuals who are at-risk, have been exposed to danger, display disturbed or maladaptive behaviour, or are diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder.

The course consists of lecture with slides, videos and interview transcripts to demonstrate the patterns and principles of development. Protective attachment strategies that are tied to serious dysfunction and that develop only in late adolescent and adulthood are described. An introduction is given to the Adult Attachment Interview and Parents Interview, as they contribute to treatment planning. A set of readings and exercises is offered.

Course text

Crittenden, P. M. (2016). Raising Parents: Attachment, Representation, and Treatment. London: Routledge.

Supplementary reading

Baim, C., & Morrison, T. (2011). Attachment-based Practice with Adults: Understanding strategies and promoting positive change. Brighton: Pavilion.

Crittenden, P. M., Dallos, R., Landini, A, & Kozlowska, K. (2014). Attachment and family therapy. London: Open University Press.

Completion of 'Attachment & Psychopathology' (prior to 2019) or 'Attachment, Neurodevelopment, & Psychopathology (children)' training is aprerequisite to this course.

Patricia M. Crittenden has many years experience as an academic and practitioner in the fields of child abuse, attachment theory and family therapy. After her training with Mary Ainsworth, she served on the Faculties of Psychology at the Universities of Virginia and Miami. She has held visiting positions at the Universities of Helsinki and Bologna, as well as the Clark Institute of Psychiatry (Canada), San Diego State University (USA) and Edith Cowan University (Australia). She is well known for having developed the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of Attachment and Adaptation and is one of the founders of the International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA). In 2004, she received a Career Achievement Award from the European Family Therapy Association. In addition, she has published more than 100 scientific papers and several books.

Andrea Landini is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, specialising in Cognitive Constructivist Psychotherapy. For two decades, he collaborated with Patricia M. Crittenden in the development of the Dynamic Maturational Model (DMM), co authoring with her the books "Assessing Adult Attachment" and "Attachment and Family Therapy", translating four books of Crittenden writings in Italian, publishing many chapters of his own, and participating in numerous research projects. He teaches the DMM and its assessment methods in Italy and internationally. His clinical practice includes psychotherapy with adults and adolescents, work with parents, supervision of staff caring for out of home youth, and supervision of psychotherapy students. He is a founder of the International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA).


  • Course overview and central ideas
  • Adult psychological development
  • Protective strategies associated with severe psychopathology
  • Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)
  • Parent Interview


  • General & Family Functional Formulation
  • IASA Family Attachment Court Protocol
  • DMM Integrative Treatment

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding how exposure to danger stunts adults’ development
  • Matching treatment to adults’ competencies
  • Using knowledge of adults’ strategic functioning to identify strengths
  • Using strengths as the basic for a successful treatment plan that: Increases efficiency, Lowers cost, Reduces risk of iatrogenic harm

Take-away Tools:

  • Level of Family Functioning Scale
  • Level of Parental Reasoning Scale
  • Gradient of Intervention Scale

This course will take place on Sunday 13 December 2020 from 9am - 5pm

£200 (10% early bird discount if you book by 31 July 2020)

If you want to book onto the one day course - click here

If you want to book onto the four day course (inclusive of Attachment, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology) - click here

The Tavistock Centre, London
13 December 2020 09:00 to 17:00

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Attachment, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology

This 3-day course focuses on the development, prevention and treatment of psychological disorder from infancy to adolescence. It weaves together...

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