Professional Workshops
People Attending a Workshop
The Center for Family Development offers workshops regarding Adoption, Foster Care, Attachment, and Attachment-Focused Treatment. Each workshop or training event is specifically tailored to the particular needs and requirements of each organization. We work with your training committee or program manager to prepare a training outline that will provide your staff with the desired outcomes needed.

These workshops can be presented in a half-day, full-day, or multi-day format, depending on the organizations specific training objectives. Comprehensive multi-day programs can be developed for your organization that address the specific needs of your client population and staff. Contact our office to arrange such a program for your organization.

Office: 716 636 6243

Topics that other organizations have found useful include the following:

Assessment and Evaluation

In this workshop participants will learn how to perform a comprehensive assessment of adopted and foster children. Children who have experienced chronic trauma and who have attachment problems and trauma disorders present a complex picture. They often have mental health issues, trauma-attachment problems, sensory-integration disorders, neuro-psychological problems, FASD issues, developmental and academic problems, and a host of other problems. Sorting out this complex set of issues is vital if proper treatment is to be provided. Participants will learn about a methodology for providing a comprehensive assessment and screening for many of the issues presented by adopted and foster children. A variety of tests and measures will also be described, all of which can be used by Masters level clinicians.

Basic Principles of Treatment

This workshop presents the basic treatment principals of an evidence-based psychotherapy approach for children with trauma-attachment disorders, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. This approach has been shown to produce measurable treatment effects that are stable over at four-year period after treatment ends.

Creating Capacity for Attachment

This workshop presents a comprehensive approach to treating children with trauma-attachment disorders. Psychotherapy, attachment-facilitating parenting, and work with other systems, such as schools, is described. Participants will learn about the key dimensions of this integrated and comprehensive approach.

Attachment-Facilitating Parenting

This workshop will provide participants with the principles and techniques necessary to help a child with trauma-attachment disorders develop a more healthy and secure attachment to parents. The workshop begins with a description of how attachment normally develops, the effects of maltreatment on development, and what parents can do to remedy these problems. Specific techniques and principles are taught in this workshop.

Attachment-Based Treatment in Residential Treatment

This workshop is for childcare workers, social workers, and other treatment providers in group homes, secure detention, and residential treatment centers. The training will provide participants with a basic understanding of how maltreatment affects a child’s capacity to form relationships and how residential treatment can effectively address those problems. Methods to use when parents are available and when there are no resources are described.

Attachment-Based Foster Care

This workshop is for foster-care professionals and parents. Participants will learn about basic principles and techniques to create the capacity for attachment among children with trauma-attachment disorders. Specific methods will be described and examples of typical problems and their solutions will be presented.

Child-Welfare Programming and Policy: Implications of Attachment Theory on Practice

This workshop is for professionals in the child-welfare system. It describes the implications of attachment theory and current new discoveries in the neuro-biology of interpersonal behavior for child welfare practice and policy. Implications for protective services, foster care, and adoption practice will be described. A model for “attachment” friendly child welfare programming will be described.

Educating children with Trauma-Attachment Disorders

This workshop is for teachers, principals, school social workers, school psychologists, and other professionals in the educational system. The differences between children with trauma-attachment disorder and children with other disorders will be described so that participants will understand why these children require different educational and behavioral approaches. The effects of chronic maltreatment on a child’s ability to function in an academic setting will be described. Issues such as cumulative cognitive deficit and related effects of institutional care will be described. Methods of effectively manage and help such children in the classroom and school setting will be described.

Master Class in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

This workshop is offered one day per month over six-months. This workshop can also be provided at your location in a format and schedule to meet your needs.

This workshop will provide the therapist with an opportunity to learn and practice effective treatment methods of trauma-attachment disordered children. This workshop is offered one day per month over six-months. The workshop can also be provided at your location in a format and schedule to meet your needs.

Participants are encouraged to bring in videotapes of sessions or to make arrangements to have a family attend a session for a consultation with the therapist and Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.

Purpose of this Workshop

This workshop is for therapists who want to learn how to treat trauma-attachment disordered children. Participants will learn effective therapy principals for helping traumatized children. Participants will learn:

1. Initial assessment and treatment planning.
2. Beginning, middle, and ending phase interventions.
3. Developing attunement and maintaining attunement.
4. Practical implications of the relationship between neurobiology and attachment.
5. Effective therapeutic techniques to use with traumatized and attachment disordered children.
6. Effective parenting principals.

Participants will have the opportunity to view videotapes of actual therapy sessions with traumatized children that demonstrate therapeutic principals, present their own video tapes, bring in clients for a consultation, and view live therapy sessions.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

The bond between parent and child and the life-long attachment that results are vital to the development of healthy relationships, personality, conscience development, and psychological and cognitive development. The Center For Family Development serves the needs of adoptive and foster families, including multicultural, internationally adopted, and other families.

Early deprivation, neglect, abuse, significant early health problems and hospitalizations, repeated moves, or more than one year in an orphanage can create attachment problems that require specialized treatment. Traditional forms of therapy are ineffective with attachment-disordered children.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy has three components. The first is educational, designed to help parents understand their child’s attachment disorder: how the child feels and thinks, and the child’s internal psychological dynamics. Second, teaching of consequential parenting skills is essential to heal these children. The third component involves intensive emotional work with the child. This part constitutes a significant portion of the treatment.

The basic purpose of treatment is to help the child resolve a dysfunctional attachment and develop a healthy attachment. The goals are to help the child bond to the parents, integrate the disappointment and anger at the first attachment figure(s), and resolve the fear of loving and being loved. Control, trust, and intimacy issues are prominent features of the child’s pathology, and the resolution of these issues is a major treatment objective.

Treatment Effectiveness

The Center for Family Development completed a follow-up study of the effectiveness of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. The follow-up study involved all cases of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder closed in one year. On all cases we have a Child Behavior Check List and Randolph Attachment Disorder Questionnaire completed before we begin treatment. We mailed out the same questionnaires to the closed cases. There were 34 Treatment Cases and 30 “Usual Care” Cases. The average length of treatment was 11 months and involved 23 sessions. The follow-up period was 1.1 years for the treatment and 1.3 years for evaluation. There were clinically and statistically significant changes in the treatment group and no significant changes in the control group. The study can be found in the March 2006 issue of Child and Adolescent Social Work.

Suggested Reading

1. Creating Capacity: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Trauma-Attachment Disorders, Eds., Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D., Deborah Shell, MA, LCMHC, Wood ‘N’ Barnes, 2005.
2. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications. Edited by Jude Cassidy and Phillip Shaver. The Guilford Press, 1999.
3. Attachment Across the Life Cycle. Edited by Colin Murray Parkes, Joan Stevenson-Hinde, and Peter Marris. Routledge, 1991.
4. A Secure Base. John Bowlby, Basic Books, NY, 1988.
5. John Bowlby and Attachment Theory. Jeremy Holmes, Routledge, NY, 1993.