Attachment Theory, Research and Practice

Postgraduate

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Postgraduate and Doctoral open evening
Wednesday 3 November 2021, 5–7.30pm

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  • NEW for 2021 entry: Online only option available. The programme is geared towards distance learning, and can be undertaken online-only, or mainly online, with some in person sessions on campus.
  • You will have the opportunity to apply the insights of attachment theory to clinical, practice and research settings. The course is designed for psychologists, social workers, therapists, occupational therapists and professionals working with adults, children and families.
  • This unique programme combines theory, practice and research in the field of child and adult attachment and trauma in very troubled populations.
  • The programme equips you with evaluation skills and practical tools that will help you assess attachment and family functioning, and think about intervention and treatment in your area of practice.
  • In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the leading national assessment of quality, 100% of the research we submitted was rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” for its impact.

Summary

This pioneering programme is tailored to the learning needs of busy health and social care professionals including three main course offerings:

  • MSc in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice: (180 credits) full-time or part-time.
    • The MSc offers a comprehensive qualification in the use of attachment theory in practice and research settings
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice: (60 credits)
    • The PG cert consists of the 3 modules drawn from the MSc, covering theory, assessment and formulation to offer professionals a working model of using attachment theory in clinical practice.

The Attachment Theory, Research and Practice programme provides students with a specific qualification in the assessment of child and adult attachment, parenting and family functioning. Designed for health and social care professionals, our aim is to prepare you to be at the forefront of the next generation of attachment scholars and practitioners. 

This course is best suited for professionals such as psychologists, social workers, therapists, and occupational therapists who are interested in broadening their skills in assessing attachment, improving the outcome of interventions with their clients and conducting small or large scale research projects. Central to the programme is the Patricia Crittenden’s Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation, combined with a culturally sensitive approach uniquely applicable to alleviate the suffering of distressed and traumatised people.

The short course, online led, blended-learning delivery of the programme is designed to enable you to attend and get the most from the programme regardless of your location. It can be attended entirely online, or mainly online with a small number of in-campus sessions to facilitate collaboration and learning from other students. Both the MSc and the Postgraduate Certificate are structured as a series of short courses (usually 2-3 days). On average, part-time students need to set aside 8 days a term for live teaching, delivered mainly online, and full-time students, 16, but this can vary according to options taken. In addition, students need to set aside an equivalent time for guided and self-directed study. Whilst there is some flexibility and support for those who cannot attend particular sessions, live online attendance at UK times will be required

This reflects the practical and skills-based aspects of the programme, which teaches students to observe and make sense of attachment relationships in particular contexts, as well as be familiar with the underlying research evidence upon which this is based.  You will study how attachment is assessed and be accredited in the proper administration of formal procedures that assess attachment.  Students learn how to use attachment thinking to make sense of the problems of children and adults, identifying areas of adaptation and resilience, and offering creative solutions.

Although this course does not offer therapeutic training, you will be taught by experts in the field to gain the necessary knowledge to formulate intervention plans and select or mould therapeutic approaches to benefit your clients.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of attachment theory including the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment relationships and parenting. Our systemic approach broadens the study of attachment from mothers and infants to the attachment of older children, adults, family systems and wider social and community networks.

The interdisciplinary focus on both practice and research is invaluable for students interested in a research career in the field of attachment studies. Examples of recent and current PhD students’ research include the development of the Meaning of the Child Interview, the physiology of developmental trauma (PTSD) in children, the effectiveness of play therapy with traumatised children, and attachment in chimpanzees reared by humans.

You can view some of our past research seminars here, including a seminar on Attachment narratives of parents with ASD Children, with Dr Ben Grey, Senior Lecturer and Programme Convener of Attachment Studies at the University of Roehampton.

You will gain an in depth understanding of attachment theory, including the Dynamic-Maturational model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and other approaches. In addition to studying the underpinning research, there is extensive use of videoed interaction and interview transcripts to teach students to observe patterns of attachment and the impact of trauma. This includes an understanding of the latest developments in the neuroscience of relationships. You will study core concepts of Attachment Theory, as well as related fields such as family systems theory, reflective functioning, trauma research, as well as the critiques and limitations of attachment theory.

You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge of how attachment and mentalising can be formally assessed in children and adults, including the opportunity to become accredited by the University in the administration of up to three procedures.

The Formulation module teaches you to interpret the results of attachment assessments and use attachment theory to make sense of relationships in ways that inform intervention and practice.  Rather than promote one kind of therapy or intervention, Attachment Theory offers an integrative framework for understanding mental distress, troubled behaviour, resilience and adaptation; enabling you to make the most effective use of the tools at you disposal in the particular context in which you work.

Further modules will develop your skills in analysing and assessing attachment, caregiving and mentalising in children and adults.

The Research Methods module prepares you to design and carry out a small sample empirical research, a case study, or conduct a literature review on a subject of your choosing, which you carry out for your Dissertation. This not only offers you formal training in the skills needed to research Attachment, but enables you to tailor the course to your particular need or interest, so long as it is suitably related to field, and meets the department’s ethical requirements.

Overall, the course seeks to give students the understanding and skills they need to use Attachment Theory to make a substantial contribution to their area of practice, and should they wish, contribute to the cutting-edge research of the programme team and department.


Full-time mode (1 year)

Compulsory modules (MSc and PGD students)
Attachment Theory and Research
Research Methods
Application of Assessments to Clinical Practice Settings
Formulation of Treatment and Intervention Plans
Coding and Forensic Application of Assessments 

Compulsory modules (MSc students only)
Dissertation

Part-time mode (2-3 years)

Year 1
Compulsory modules (MSc and PGD students)
Attachment Theory and Research
Application of Assessments to Clinical Practice Settings
Formulation of Treatment and Intervention Plans

Year 2
Research Methods
Attachment, Play and Trauma in Children
Attachment, Caregiving and Mentalising in Adults*

Compulsory modules (MSc students only)
Dissertation*
*Can be completed in Year 3, in the 3-Year PT programme

Compulsory modules (MSc students only)
Dissertation

Stand-alone postgraduate certificate
Certificate in DMM Attachment Based Family Assessment and Intervention

Attachment Theory and Research
Application of Assessments to Clinical Practice Settings
Formulation of Treatment and Intervention Plans

 

Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Designed for busy social care professionals, the Certificate enables you to build upon your skills at a pace that suits you. It can be undertaken entirely online, or an online led blended approach, consisting of live teaching online in 2-3 day blocks, guided and self-directed study, and up to 2 campus 2-3 day blocks for those not taking the online only option.

The Certificate consists of three 20-credit modules in Theory, Assessment and Intervention offering the foundations of an attachment-based approach to practice.

You will gain an in depth understanding of attachment theory, including the Dynamic-Maturational model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and other approaches.  In addition to studying the underpinning research, there is extensive use of videoed interaction and interview transcripts to teach students to observe patterns of attachment and the impact of trauma. This includes an understanding of the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment and trauma. You will study core concepts of Attachment Theory, as well as related fields such as family systems theory, reflective functioning, trauma research, as well as the critiques and limitations of attachment theory.

You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge of how attachment and mentalising can can be formally assessed in children and adults, including the opportunity to become accredited by the university in the administration of up to three procedures.

The Formulation module teaches you to interpret the results of attachment assessments and use attachment theory to make sense of relationships in ways that inform intervention and practice.  Rather than promote one kind of therapy or intervention, Attachment Theory offers an integrative framework for understanding mental distress, troubled behaviour, resilience and adaptation; enabling you to make the most effective use of the tools at your disposal in the particular context in which you work.

On successful completion of the Certificate, you can top up to the MSc.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Ben Grey

benedict.grey@roehampton.ac.uk

Our graduates go on to careers in health and social care, or undertake further study in fields such as Clinical Psychology. Students who already have a professional background have started their own businesses, such as residential assessment centres, or work as independent experts for the courts in England and Ireland.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

Chat to one of our advisers online