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DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE, ATTACHMENT AND COMPLEXITY - Practice-focused concepts and tools to address risk, perpetration and prevention.


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This year’s newly revised, and final Attachment Seminar Series (5th)—(1) Lifespan Survey, (2) Adult Disorganisation and (3) Attachment and DV—seeks both to update our knowledge/skills and to contribute to closing the research-to-treatment gap for mental health practitioners. [The presenter is retiring at the end of 2022 after contributing a decade of attachment seminars with PDP].

Attachment Theory suffers twin challenges in achieving its therapeutic charge to bring relief for human suffering. First, like many robust theories, coping with permanent expansion and increasing research complexity requires continual updating. Next, empirical successes typically face a ‘research-to-treatment gap’ that resembles similar empirical conundrums in lifespan developmental sciences. In addition to integrating relevant attachment empirical findings for 2021 and 2022, the three workshops will bring greater focus on the underappreciated relevance of research such as the approach to lifespan attachment processes emerging form Karlen Lyons-Ruth and her team within the Cambridge (MA) Health Alliance.

This third DV & Attachment seminar for 2022 brings focus to a pressing and urgent social challenge. Domestic violence is often complex: the intersection of multiple lives, histories and contexts. But it is also damaging to lives, indeed lethal in cases! When it comes to prevention and intervention, heterogeneity—i.e., multiple individual personality and risk factors, lifespan considerations, social cultural and contextual influences—presents formidable challenges.

One promising approach to such complexity—employed in the seminar—has been research into the identification of developmental/attachment pathways and lifespan risks associated with domestic violence (DV) and family violence (FV). As the seminar will demonstrate, such a method provides at least two benefits: (1) an understanding of antecedents and possible exposure risk (sometimes causal ones via longitudinal studies), and (2) a model to comprehend complexity in current experience of Interpersonal Violence (IPV). Of particular relevance will be a current assessment (based on a survey of relevant research through 2022) of IPV typologies and an emerging less controversial, acceptance of differentiations between ‘severe and abusive’ Intimate Terrorism (IT) [which encompasses much of the Duluth tradition] and a less chronic, less severe attachment ‘relationship conflict’ type, Situational Couple Violence (SCV).

The seminar will first explore the risks associated with early and ongoing exposure to DV/IPV and how these may be relationships and evidence-based preventions and interventions 

that seek to support both individuals and relationships. Longer term impacts and perplexing intergenerational risks for future adult close relationships will detrimental to well-being. Impacts on attachment dynamics for child and caregiver are particularly relevant here.  Included are also the impacts on child and caregiver be identified, as well as general treatment options for adults.

The seminar next engages the increasingly insightful value of IPV typologies noted above. After a review of the history and its various controversies—including gender issues—, the specifics of IT/SCV differentiation will be elaborated. This includes prevalence, understanding value for victims’ perspectives, development of needed safety screening requirements for clinical and other settings. The seminar continues with profiles of both perpetrators and victims of IT. Prevalence, clarifications of possible attachment and personality pathways, gender and non-heteronormative relationships will be explored for each. Both less secure and disorganised attachments have been shown to play a role in IT. With concepts and tools in hand, the workshop will turn to a review of the distinct attachment informed and other preventions and interventions for both IT and SCV. With safety in mind, appropriateness of individual, couple and group interventions will be considered. Whereas attachment (and personality) informs the pathways to IT, treatments are nonetheless typically focussed on abuse, severity and recidivism. However, treatment of less severe SCV has recently been taken up by attachment-informed approaches, including Emotionally Focussed Therapy (EFT). Focus here also considers safety, and looks specifically at relational conflicts and unmet attachment needs.


Here’s what people have said recently about Kevin’s training for PDP:

“One of the better presentations/seminars that I have attended in years. Well targeted, excellent pacing.”

“Made it interactive and relevant to people attending.”

“Very well done, valuable subject with application to today’s profession.”

“Thank you – I’d forgotten all the attachment stuff from formal study days – good new and helpful research, particularly dealing with ‘difficult client groups’, giving us and our clients hope.”

“Very interesting, hopeful perspective.”

“Very informative and stimulating! Made me want to explore the area of attachment more and more.”

“Interesting references to the progression of this theory.”

“One of the best seminars I have done! This seminar improved my understanding about attachment theory in a significant way. Kevin is an amazing presenter, he engaged participants from the beginning to the end of the seminar!”

“Always enjoy the high quality and clarity of Kevin’s work. It is well researched, well structured, time is extremely well managed and consistent effort is made to meet the personal needs of all attendees. Gluten free food is good!

“Kevin was an engaging and knowledgeable presenter who demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of his field.”

“PDP staff were amazing, useful, so friendly. Kevin was really great, loved his passion and knowledge. Interesting content.”


Kevin Keith, PhD BBA (Hons) (University of North Texas 1973); MA and STL (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1986 & 88); MPhil (Oxford University, 1991); Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2005); PhD (University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, 2017).'s Profile

Kevin Keith, PhD BBA (Hons) (University of North Texas 1973); MA and STL (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1986 & 88); MPhil (Oxford University, 1991); Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2005); PhD (University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, 2017). Related seminars and products


Kevin Keith PhD BBA (Hons) (University of North Texas 1973); MA and STL (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1986 & 88); MPhil (Oxford University, 1991); Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2005); PhD (University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, 2017). Kevin is a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and academic. He divides time between private practice, education/academic activities, and an emerging retirement. Kevin has practiced counselling in Australia for 16 years. He has previously been a lecturer at the Jansen Newman Institute (JNI) and Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP). In 2017, he completed his PhD at the University of Sydney (School of History and Philosophy of Science) with primary research interests in Attachment Theory. His thesis—The Goal-Corrected Partnership: A Critical Assessment of the Research Programme—brings a focus to attachment development post-infancy. This work also rearticulates Attachment Theory in light of advances in the lifespan developmental sciences, especially approaches to biological complexity. He remains a research affiliate for the School of HPS at the University of Sydney. Kevin presents regularly on Attachment Theory and other matters to a wide range of audiences. He is member of several professional and academic societies, including ones with focus on emotions research, trauma, psychiatry, and philosophy. He is acclaimed as an engaging and inspiring presenter whose seminars change the way therapists perceive and work with their clients in ways that surprise and delight. 

Registration Details

Live Interactive Webcast or Webinar Registration
Fees: $199 
Primary viewer (includes three month's access recording of the event.
           $99 Additional viewer (must watch on same device as primary viewer)
           $29 Purchase lifetime access to the recording (available to primary viewer only)

  • Your attendance certificate for 7 hours of live, interactive training can be retrieved on completion of the evaluation and quiz via your account. 
  • A soft (digital) copy of all resources will remain in your account indefinitely.
  • A recording of this event will be available in your account approximately three weeks after the live event and will remain available for a full three months.  You will receive an email notification when the recording becomes available for viewing. 
  • If for whatever reason, you are unable to join the live webcast on the day, you will be able to watch the recording, complete your evaluation and quiz and retrieve  your certificate at a later date before the end of the three month viewing period.

Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.


Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 10:30am)

Lunch Break
  12:30pm - 1:00pm

Afternoon Session
  1:00pm - 4:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 2:45pm)


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Understand possible impacts of exposure to DV/IPV on general attachment development of children, including intergenerational risks.
  2. Clarify impacts on their abused adult caregivers.
  3. Support victims and their children via increased assessment capabilities, new avenues for clinical psychoeducation and skills for responding to trauma.
  4. Differentiate IT and SCV within typologies and possible relational attachment dynamics.
  5. Understand crucial safety requirements when working with DV, at both IT and SCV levels.
  6. Identify both attachment developmental and personality risks for both perpetrators and victims, especially IT.
  7. Gain insights from EFT and other approaches for SCV interventions with groups, couples and individuals

"The seminar provides mental health practitioners working with couples, families, and children a valuable evidential update on differentiated interventions for severe forms of Intimate Terrorism (IT) and less severe, less chronic but potentially equally prevalent forms Situational Couple Violence (SCV)."   Kevin Keith


How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Gain an updated view on Attachment Theory including research evidence relevant for working with Domestic Violence, and enhance ability to support people impacted by DV.
  • Be able to identifying diverse developmental pathways that may lead to risks for perpetration, victimisation and as well the impacts of childhood exposure to domestic violence.
  • Understand newer approaches to treatment based in part on insights provided Attachment Theory research into different types of IPV



Morning Session (includes a short morning tea break)

  • Exposure to Domestic Violence and Attachment Developmental Impact—A Child’s Perspective: Prevalence, risk, prevention and intervention (including collaborative interventions with caregiver)
  • Intergenerational Risk: Longer term-impacts on likelihood for abusing, being abused within adult relationships. General adult interventions.
  • Experiences of IPV: An Adult’s Perspective—Understanding IPV typologies with a focus on differentiating risk for Intimate Terrorism (IT) and Situational Couple Violence (SCV): prevalence, understanding value for the victim’s perspective, developing safety screening requirements.

Afternoon Session (includes a short afternoon tea break)

  • Experiences of severe IPV (IT): Perpetrator and Victim Profiles— Prevalence, clarifications of possible attachment and personality pathways, gender and non-heteronormative relationships
  • Interventions for severe IT: research, risks, likelihood for change or recidivism, and current treatment models
  • Interventions with SCV: Attachment-based relationship conflicts models including EFT
  • Evaluation and closing.


Target Audience

This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.

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