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Face-to-Face Training

WORKING WITH DISORGANISED ATTACHMENT IN ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS: Skills and knowledge for providing therapeutic security to enhance client wellbeing. (Melbourne)

Available Dates:

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The concept of attachment difference within Attachment Theory has offered a truly valuable framework to understand many of the serious mental health care risks associated with childhood difficulties. This attachment seminar extends this focus to addressing a relatively new set of adult differences identified as ‘attachment disorganisation’, something potentially influenced by ‘early and ongoing’ trauma and associated with adult personality disorders. In addition to clarifying current knowledge of ‘attachment disorganisation’ into adulthood, the seminar will also introduce more integrated approaches to treatment that include attachment and might also provide greater direction to our work.

The first half of the seminar will focus on updating current empirical understandings of ‘attachment difference’ and identifying manifestations of ‘disorganised attachment’ in adulthood. The aim is to provide a more realistic picture of adult disorganization that will enhance initial assessment and evaluation of ongoing clinical progress. Historically, the traditional adult identifications of maladaptive attachment—Unresolved/Disorganized/Cannot Classify Attachment (categories from the ground-breaking Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)) and Fearful-Avoidant Attachment (a continuum quadrant emerging from well validated self-report tools in Social Psychology)—have proven too broad to adequately inform clinical concerns; the two measures have also proven difficult to integrate. However, researchers have begun to identify greater specificity in the more disordered adult ‘disorganised attachment’ through the employment of new and expanded measures. Participants will be introduced to currently proposed specifics for ‘disorganised attachment’ in adulthood, drawing on important updated measures of attachment difference. Groups will consider these perspectives in light of their work with clients who are confronted by longer-term mental health challenges. ‘Disorganised attachment’ will also be considered in light of early and ongoing experiences of trauma, dissociation and personality disturbances.

The second part of the seminar focuses on clinical skills for addressing ‘disorganised attachment’. Focus on the clinical alliance and ongoing development of attachment will be addressed. Attachment Theory has greatly contributed to 

therapeutic relationship assist healing. The seminar will also clarify ‘what’ we may treat in therapy: ‘changing attachment’—a lifespan dynamic personality construct—, ‘resolving trauma’—a causal contributor to disorder—, ‘modifying dissociation’—a consequent symptom—and ‘enhancing’ reduced functional capacities typically associated with personality disorders’—especially emotion- and self-regulation. Attachment work will be situated within two integrated models for treatment [The Sequential Model of Emotional Processing (Pascual-Leone & Greenberg, 2007) and the recent Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual 2nd Edition or PDM-2 (Lingiardi & McWilliams 2017)]. Case studies will be explored seeking to practically apply theoretical insights. Finally, attention will also be given to the practical considerations involved in working in a world of limited resources: How can we best respond to the need for longer-term work where clients may lack resources?

In summary, the seminar will explore how even disorganised attachments evolve across the lifespan, are not set in stone, and may be expected to demonstrate both continuity as well as change. This may serve as a beacon of hope for clients and therapists alike.


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

Face-to-Face registration
Fee:  $249
         $29 to purchase and keep the recording of this event. 

  • Tea and coffee are included. Food may be purchased on the ground floor or from the many surrounding cafes.
  • You will need to sign in on arrival to be eligible for an Attendance Certificate. 
  • Your attendance certificate for 7 hours of face-to-face, active training can be retrieved on completion of your evaluation via your login account.
  • A hard copy of notes and resources will be available to you on arrival at this event.
  • If for whatever reason, you are unable to attend this live event on the day,  your registration will be transferred into the live interactive webcast of this event with three month's access to the recording. 
  • N.B. Face to face participants are required to comply with COVID safety measures as outlined by the venue and PDP
    Details of the measures current at the time and in line with public health orders will be advised in your pre-event reminder/information emails.
    The venue and PDP reserve the right to deny entry to any participant who chooses not to follow COVID safety plans. 

Live Interactive Webcast 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 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.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Identify important and emerging dimensions and measures of disorganised attachment and how they differ from more functional attachment styles, including a confirmatory factor, dimensionally coded AAI (Haltigan et al 2014), the Hostile-Helpless States of Mind Coding in the AAI (Lyons-Ruth et al 2005), Goal-Corrected Partnership in Adolescence Coding Scale (Lyons-Ruth et al 2005) [also now validated with young adults], and the recent Adult Disorganized Attachment for Romantic Relationships measure (Paetzold et al 2015)
  2. Differentiate the more reliable depictions of disorganised attachment, trauma, dissociation personality disorder from less helpful oversimplifications
  3. Understand possible dynamics in disorganised adult romantic relationships, including risk of abuse
  4. Clarify clinical responses for working with disorganised adult attachment, especially in context of trauma and personality disorders
  5. Assist clients in enhancing their emotion regulatory skills
  6. Evaluate options for longer term work that may sit outside 10 session models.

"Recent research into Disorganised Attachment has provided valuable insights into how ‘early and ongoing’ attachment develops through adolescence and into adulthood, offering greater specificity from which to identify client difficulties and apply more informed responses."   Kevin Keith

How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Gain a current understanding of adult ‘disorganised attachment’.
  • Apply current findings on disorganization to enhance client assessment and ongoing case formulation.
  • Expand skills and practice interventions for working with disorganization in the context of trauma and personality disorders.


Morning Session (includes a short morning tea break)

  • Exploring Disorganised Attachment: (1) early and ongoing development, (2) current and new measures, (3) newly identified behaviours and manifestations.
  • Understanding overlapping concepts: Disorganised attachment, trauma, dissociation and personality disorder.
  • How to assess attachment in clinical setting without specific measures.

Afternoon Session (includes a short afternoon tea break)


  • Practicum 1: Exploring the therapeutic relationship as a vehicle for traversing hope and despair differentiating work with adolescents and adults (with case study.)
  • Practicum 2: Identifying and working within integrated/plural therapeutic models—‘Attending to multiple matters’ (with case study.)
  • Practicum 3: Longer-term psychotherapy work [the big picture]. Finding ways to work within and beyond time-limited therapy? (with case study.)



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.

Webcast Schedule

Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:45pm
  Includes a 15 minutes break at 10:45am

Lunch Break
  12:45pm - 1:45pm

Afternoon Session
  1:45pm - 5:00pm
  Includes a 15 minutes break at 3:15pm

Venue information

This Accor hotel has a fully implemented plan attending to the health and safety of all venue attendees.
You will be required to abide by the safety  measures current at the time and in line with public health orders. These will be advised in your pre-event reminder/information emails.
In the interest of everone's safety, the venue and PDP reserve the right to deny entry to any participant who chooses not to follow the current COVID safety plans. 

This venue offers wheelchair access from the street level. 

Conveniently located right by several bus routes and a 7-minute walk to Parliament Station.

Links to reasonable early-bird parking close to the venue:

All day tea, coffee and water are provided.
If you have pre-purchased lunch, hotel staff will have you selection ready for you.
The venue has a restaurant and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants should you choose to eat out.
Please note that lunch bought from outside providers cannot be eaten in the hotel.


The seminar venue is the Mantra on Russell Hotel which offers a discount on accommodation for the PDP community. Please quote the code RUSSELL2021

Quest on Lonsdale is a 6 minute walk from the venue.
Hotel Grand Chancellor is a 2 minute walk from the venue.



222 Russell Street, 222 Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
+61 1300 092 872

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