Attachment Focused Therapy

It’s the strength of the relationship that matters

At Eckert Centre, our psychology team approaches parent support counselling from an attachment informed lens.The “father” of attachment theory, John Bowlby, said this about attachment: "Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person's life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what he contributes, gives strength and enjoyment to others. These are matters about which current science and traditional wisdom are at one." (Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss: Volume 1. Attachment. Basic Books: New York.)  Whether you are just starting out as a parent, raising young children, or in the midst of parenting teenagers, understanding how to read and respond to your child's emotional needs, at each developmental stage, can make all the difference.   

Programs offered at Eckert Centre:

Circle Of Security Parenting: COS-P is an internationally acclaimed relationship-based parenting program.  It is a short-term (10 to 20 sessions) structured approach for parents of children under the age of seven (adoptive and foster families may still benefit from COS-P even if their children are older).  It can be delivered individually, with parenting partners, or in a small-group setting.  COS-P has proven science behind its effectiveness in giving parents a clear roadmap of how to build closeness with, and independence from, their children (based on attachment theory).  Parents are supported by a trained therapist in enhancing their capacities to both comfort their children and promote exploration and autonomy.

The goal of building and maintaining secure parent-child bonds is accomplished by supporting parents to “see” their child’s emotional needs (attunement) and “respond” to their children’s emotional needs even when the child’s need causes internal discomfort for the parent (called “shark music”).  The COS-P approach asserts that parents have a universal desire to do the best for their children.  This helps parents to courageously reflect on the problematic patterns of interaction between themselves and their child, learn from these experiences, and move forward with new ways of responding to their child’s needs (by being “Bigger, Stronger, Wiser, and Kind”) which facilitate healthy child development.