Clinical Psychology

Attachment:Theory and Application

This course will provide an overview of attachment theory which is increasingly influential in clinical thinking and practice.

Course dates Semester 1 - Tuesday mornings, September - November
Course credits 20
Course delivery Classroom
Course organiser Karen Goodall

Course decription

Attachment theory offers a model of emotional, cognitive and behavioural development which is founded in the work of John Bowlby. It has been developed in a number of directions since its conception. The model is embedded in parent-child relationships and emphasises the impact that this reciprocity has on the development of the child.

Students will gain an understanding of the development of attachment bonds and the impact of disruption of this system on social, emotional and cognitive development.

This course will offer students the opportunity to critically consider current thinking in the clinical application of the theory. The course aims to help students to use the model in considering the clients they work with and to consider its application across the age range.

The course content will include:

  • history/development of the theory
  • current developments in attachment theory
  • impact of early disruption
  • expression of the model across the age range
  • review of attachment based interventions

Intended learning outcomes

  • Review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding of attachment theory as it applies to clinical practice
  • Critically appraise and reflect on the significance of the parent child dyad in the early psychological development of the child
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of current developments in the application of attachment theory in clinical practice

Course delivery and assessment

This course will run in Semester 1 (September - December) and is classroom-based.