Dr Jenny Suthers PowerPoint

A taste of attachment
Dr Jenny Suthers
Clinical Psychologist
Golden Grove, SA
Attachment is about relationships
Babies aren’t born attached
Parents influence their child’s attachment
Securely attached children, view:
• the world as safe
• adults as consistent and reliable
• themselves as lovable
Insecurely attached children, view:
• the world as unsafe
• adults as inconsistent and unreliable
• themselves as unlovable
 1988 Cooper, Hoffman, Marvin, & Powell – circleofsecurity.org
with the top
of the Circle
Carer clings tight  world is not safe, child is not capable
• “Let me do it for you – let me speak for you”
• “I’m the only one who understands you”
• “I will organise everything and you just come along”
with the bottom
of the Circle
Carer dismisses child’s need for comfort  carer isn’t safe,
child must rely on themselves
• “Don’t bother me now, I’m busy”
• “You need to learn this for yourself”
• “Suck it up, princess”
Working with children,
with an attachment mindset,
is an attitude, not a technique
Children with ASD
have the same attachment styles
as the rest of the population
Split-screen still-face experiment
What did you see?
What effect would this have on the child,
day after day?
Children love to be understood
Deal with
your own stuff
Remain calm
Mirror neurones in action
can look like this
Behaviour is communication
Pay attention to your child
and listen to what they tell you
Be empathic
Teach new skills
Working from an attachment mindset
starts with you
Attachment is about relationships
Attachment impacts
on every future relationship
I will use my words and my actions to tell you:
when you need me, I will be there for you
nothing will take priority over you
I will remove any threat from you
if I can’t remove the threat, I will face it with you
differences, misunderstandings, or conflicts will never threaten our
Today’s presentation is based, in
part, on the work of:
Dan Hughes
Dan Siegel
Kent Hoffman (Circle of Security)
Bruce Perry
Arthur Becker-Weidman
Some Resources
Colby Pearce: “A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder”
For teachers working with foster children:
“Calmer Classrooms” from the Commission for Children and Young People (Victoria)
Go to www.ccyp.vi.gov.au and type Calmer Classrooms into the search box
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