Understanding and Working with Attachment Styles

In this lecture, you will learn from counsellor and trainer Emma Chapman how to understand different attachment styles, how they develop, and how we might recognise and support clients who present with insecure attachment styles.

After listening to the lecture, you will be able to:

  • understand what is meant by the term ‘attachment’
  • describe the different styles of attachment, and how and why they develop
Understanding and Working with Attachment Styles - CPD lecture for counsellors
  • recognise how different attachment styles might present in clients
  • understand why it’s important to know our own attachment style as therapists
  • explore briefly how we might support clients with insecure attachment styles.

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Emma begins by explaining what is meant by attachment, drawing on the work of John Bowlby – and looking at the main four different styles of attachment and how they arise through childhood experiences. You will then be guided through each attachment in some detail, with Emma describing secure and insecure attachment styles.

Attachment styles have a profound impact on us as adults, affecting us in many different ways – which Emma will describe. Having a knowledge of attachment styles is highly valuable to counsellors and psychotherapists, enhancing both their self-awareness and their skills in working with clients.

Emma runs through how clients with the various attachment styles are likely to present in the counselling room, and how you can support them to heal any attachment difficulties – all drawing on modern-day thinking in attachment theory.

To take your learning further, you will take away a list of eight references and further reading on this important topic.

About the Lecture Presenter

Emma Chapman Counsellor CPD Lecture

Emma Chapman is a counsellor and trainer working in private counselling practice in Cheshire.  In her Northwich office, she works with adults, young people and couples.

Emma believes that having good mental health is the key to having a fulfilled and happy life.  As a passionate advocate for mental health, Emma also delivers mental health training to a variety of audiences across the North West of England.

Emma is a qualified teacher who came to counselling later on in life after 15 years of working in the public sector and charity roles.  During this time she worked with vulnerable children, adults and families in teaching, family support, safeguarding and pastoral roles.

After so many years working with children and families who often struggled to manage day-to-day life, Emma began to observe that poor mental health and trauma played a huge part in keeping people stuck in damaging patterns of behaviour.

This conclusion led her to further training in mental health, and she started her counsellor training in 2014 at Mid-Cheshire College studying part-time.  In 2018 she completed an MA in Clinical Counselling at Chester University.

Emma has experience working in an NHS IAPT setting but decided to work privately in order to work with her clients more creatively.

After a short spell teaching counselling at a local college, Emma continued to put her teaching skills to use and further develop some training packages for fellow counsellors, educational settings and businesses.

As a mother of two children, Emma struggled with her own mental health after becoming a Mother. In 2019 she had her research into maternal mental health published in the journal of Crisis, Illness and Loss*.  She now specialises in working with mothers experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties in her private practice.

Following some time working at a charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide, it became clear to Emma that there was little therapeutic support for those experiencing suicidal ideation.

In her private practice, she also works with people who are experiencing Suicidal Thoughts and delivers suicide awareness training to counsellors and other organisations across the North West.

'An Exploration of the Ways in Which Feelings of “Maternal Ambivalence” Affect Some Women.'  Emma Chapman, Peter M. Gubi, 2019.

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Understanding and Working with Attachment Styles lecture summary