Wednesday, August 24, 2005

9.30 - 10.30 Registration and Welcome

Marci Green Introduction to Attachment Symposium
Robin Mintzer Summary of Attachment Theory
Diana Taylor First Memory Exercise

10.30 - 11.45 Keynote: Ghosts from the Nursery
Tracing the Roots of Violence Robin Karr-Morse (USA)

According to recent data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at our present rate of incarceration, one in 20 babies born today in the United States will spend some part of their adult lives in jail or prison. Children are now the fastest growing segment of the criminal population. Last year, nearly 1 million children under 15 were arrested for felonies in the US.

Ghosts from the Nursery graphically links this upsurge in violent children and adolescents with growing rates of maltreatment in infancy and toddlerhood. Drawing on the new brain research, this presentation looks at dramatic evidence that the root of this problem often begins with, and is best prevented in the first thirty three months of life (including gestation and the first two years after birth). Both risk factors and qualities which mitigate against violence will be discussed along with community programs and public policies which have demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing this growing problem.

11:45 - 12.00 Break

12.05 - 1.10 Keynote - Public Events and Private Lives
Attachments for Persons and Communities Peter Marris (USA)

To work through the grief of losing a primary attachment, the bereaved need to recover a sense of purpose which both acknowledges the value of what has been lost, and restores worthwhile meaning to their present lives. In collective disasters, the disruption of whole communities can make the resolution of grief much more difficult. The way in which relief is provided after disasters can profoundly affect recovery. Control over relief resources, the risk that temporary accommodations will become permanent and the survivors' ability to take charge of their grieving, all affect the outcome. Although disasters are extreme cases, they throw light on the importance of promoting wider relationships of belonging in efforts to sustain primary attachments and articulating mourning. What practical lessons can we draw?

1:15 - 2:30 Lunch

2:30 - 3:30 Workshops (select one of the following)

1(a) Nurture Groups Karen Trevena (UK)

In this session, participants will explore the key ideas and practical applications of Attachment theory as they operate in Nurture Groups. In the 1970's Nurture Groups were established for small groups of children within the mainstream school environment in London. They are designed to help children develop trusting relationships with adults. Karen runs a Nurture group at a primary school in Birmingham and will discuss its value for children with acute emotional and behavioural problems.

1(b) Another Look at Foster Care Placement Lindsay Heller (USA)

Based on her work with disturbed teens in California, Lindsay Heller will address relevant issues in foster care placements. For example, can permanency of foster placement be increased by matching the youth's temperament with the temperament and characteristics of the foster parent? How does the difference in expectations of veteran foster and first time foster parents effect the youth coming into placement? What are the relevant factors and long-term consequences of successful placements?

3:30 - 3:45 Break

3:45 - 4:45 Workshops (select one of the following)

2(a) Outreach: An Attachment Based Program for Los Angeles

Homeless Youth Nikolaos Stefanidis

Runaway/throwaway teenagers live in the heartbeat of the violence in our society. Using case material, Dr. Nik will discuss the clinical issues and attachment needs of runaway teenagers. The presentation will include examples of responsive multidisciplinary interventions that address disrupted attachments, safety, care-taking and the establishment of a secure therapeutic base.

2(b) Guided Autobiography and Mitigating Experiences in Adult Years

Robin Mintzer and Diana Taylor (USA)

In this workshop Robin Mintzer and Diana Taylor will introduce you to this amazing therapeutic tool. The GAB method is useful to anyone working with migrant populations, people in transition, such as political displacement, divorce, loss, retirement or relocation, the homebound, and older adults. They will use attachment concepts to help clarify the mechanism by which working models of self and others are modified. Guided Autobiography as an intervention can heal and enhance the well being of older adults through a structured non-threatening intimate experience.

4:45 - 5:15 Workshop reports to larger group

Thursday August 25th

9:45 - 10:15 Welcome and summary from day 1

10:15 - 11:15 Breaking up the family - Isabelle Fox (USA)

The goal of this presentation is to explore attachment issues associated with divorce. During divorce each member of the family experiences the stress of separation, discontinuity of usual family interactions and support. Isabelle Fox will also address the special attachment and custody problems dealing with the infant and toddler.

11:15 - 11:30 Broader picture exercise - Diana Taylor (USA)

11:30 - 11:45 Break

11:45 - 12:45 Keynote: Attachment Parenting International (API): A Grassroots Approach to Changing Parenting Attitudes
Lysa Parker, and Barbara Nicholson, (USA)

This presentation provides an overview of efforts to create a grassroots nonprofit organisation. Based in the United States, Attachment Parenting International works to educate society about the critical importance of developing parent-child attachment through empathic care. API has established a worldwide network of parent-support groups. They will discuss the rewards and challenges of starting their nonprofit organisation; the resistance they continue to experience in trying to change parenting attitudes and future trends in research.

12.50 - 2:00 Lunch

2:00 - 3:00 Workshops

3(a) Refugee and Asylum Seekers: Chris Purnell and Kath Shubinsky (UK)

This workshop will explore the interplay between early attachment patterns and later traumatic experiences relating to torture, persecution and forced separation from the secure base of family, home and country of birth. The workshop will offer the opportunity to examine how an understanding of attachment and trauma can influence ways of working with refugees and asylum seekers in a variety of settings.

3(b) Mediation and Custody Mary Dousette (USA)

Attachment issues are a focal point in the mediation process with families going through a divorce. Families that go to trial and divorce court have serious disruptions in their attachment relationships, and these can have life long consequences. This experiential workshop will use art therapy as a tool for assessing and defining the family dynamics in custody arrangements. The influence of "the alienated parent syndrome" on attachment relationships will be discussed.

3:00 - 3:15 Break

3:15 - 4.30 Joan Woodward: Collective Workshop and Panel

This workshop is about sharing experiences concerning ways of bringing about changes in a non-attachment world. We shall look together at what lies at the heart of the resistance to change and possible ways of resolving it. I will share her experiences of working with: NAWCH (National Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital), to change attitudes toward children in hospital; with BBAC (Birmingham Brook Advisory Clinic) to address young people's need for contraception and sexual knowledge; and women's need for therapy in the setting of the Women's Therapy Centre. This will be a workshop for all symposium participants.

4:30 - 5:00 Where do we go from here?

5:00 - 5:15 Evaluation and close

This Event is Sponsored by: