Attachment and psychopathology special topics: Serious dysfunction, formulation and treatment planning

Conference overview

This course will focus on several serious disorders that have unclear aetiology and relatively ineffective treatment. The goals will be to explore the developmental conditions that precede the disorders, seeking opportunities for prevention (that is, points when a risky developmental pathway could be changed to a more adaptive pathway) and novel approaches to treatment (when the opportunity for prevention was already missed). The disorders to be covered include: psychological trauma, autism, suicide, ADHD, PTSD, sexually inappropriate behaviour, and psychosis (both in general and post-partum). The outcome will be an understanding of the developmental roots of serious dysfunction, ways to prevent such outcomes, and to treat them when they occur.

Course participants will be given the rationale behind several General Functional Formulations of serious disorders and asked to use case-specific information to develop Treatment Plans (from Family Functional Formulations) that incorporate the principles of DMM Integrative Treatment. Periodic pop tests will help participants to build a body of semantic information to take back to their employment. Developing the Family Functional Formulations will give participants practice in applying the principles to real cases. Treatment Enactments will consolidate the skills in procedural and imaged memory.


  • Identify the principles underlying treatment based on Generalized Functional Formulations
  • Compare these principles with the principles of DMM Integrative Treatment
  • Modify the general principles for specific families
  • Demonstrate the developmental connection among serious psychiatric conditions of unclear causation, limited treatment success and developmental risk

The course will be structured in 3 hour segments, including, consisting of lectures, DMM GFF and treatment principles handouts, workshops in groups to identify principles from the GFF and design treatment to family-specific Family Functional Formulation to implement, pop tests or therapy enactment and feedback.

The prerequisite for this course is Attachment and Psychopathology (3 day).

This 3-day course focuses on the development, prevention and treatment of psychological disorder. It weaves together theory, human development, assessment, case examples and treatment applications to reframe maladaptive behaviour in terms of strategies for self-protection.

The course covers on development from infancy to adulthood, emphasizing the process of adaptation and developmental pathways that carry risk for psychopathology. The model used is the Dynamic- Maturational Model (DMM) of Attachment and Adaptation.

The DMM is relevant to individuals who are at-risk, under child protection supervision, have been exposed to danger, display disturbed or maladaptive behaviour, or are diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder. A particular emphasis is cultural influences on attachment.

The next intake of this course takes place on 14th - 16th December 2018 at the Tavistock Clinic, London. For further information and online booking, please click here

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).

This course will take place from Monday 17 - Wednesday 19 December 2018 and will run from 9am - 5pm each day.

Swiss Cottage School

80 Avenue Road




Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, NW3 5BA
17 December 2018 09:00 to 19 December 2018 17:00

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