Nurturing Attachment Groups

What is a nurturing attachment group?

A nurturing attachment group is a programme designed to provide support, guidance and new learning for parents and carers of children who have experienced trauma and abuse and who experience attachment difficulties. The theoretical content is delivered through a range of activities, video and discussion facilitated by experienced professionals. The members are encouraged to keep diaries to assist with reflection and self-analysis.

The group is facilitated by two people the lead facilitator is Deborah Sharratt who has 23 years experience of working with children and families. Deborah is trained in Dyadic Developmental psychotherapy (DDP) and this underpins all the work that she undertakes and underpins the work undertaken in the Nurturing attachment group. The programme is based on attachment theory; and understanding of relationship development and the impact of trauma on children’s development and security.

It is important to note once enrolled on the group the family will receive one whole year of support, guidance and consultancy from our team with 18-week intensive support. The overall aim of our company in providing these groups is to help Social care providers increase positive outcomes for children by improving placement stability.

The aims of the group are:

  • To provide support to parents who can feel very isolated caring for children who have experienced trauma and have attachment insecurities.?To increase understanding of the children and their behavioural and emotional needs through an increased understanding of attachment theory, child development, transitions and the impact of trauma.
  • To explore ways of applying the theoretical knowledge to the parenting of the children.?To increase the skill and confidence of the parents.?To support the parents to have an increased capacity for emotional regulation and reflective functioning. This in turn helps the parents to become more mind-minded towards their children and to adopt a PACE attitude when parenting their children. This is based on the model of DDP-informed parenting (Hughes, 2009) Over time to increase the children’s security within their families.
  • The nurturing attachment group-work sessions are divided into three modules with six sessions per module. They will be organised into three six week blocks over a twelve-month period.

Module 1: Provides an understanding of attachment theory, patterns of attachment and an introduction to therapeutic parenting. There is a particular emphasis on the development of mind-mindedness and attunement so the parents become more reflective and learn to notice their own internal experience in preparation for reflecting on their child’s internal experience, which is covered in later modules.

Module 2: Introduces the House Model of Parenting and PACE providing guidance on how to help the children experience the family as a secure base. Parents are also encouraged to take care of themselves as an important part of building security for the children. This will include an introduction to mindfulness.

Module 3: Continues with the exploration of the House Model of Parenting and PACE with consideration of how parents can both build a relationship with the children and manage their behaviour. The emphasis is on connection with the children before correction of their behaviour. In this way trust is formed and the children’s confidence and security increases.

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