5 Reasons Attachment Theory is Important for Professionals and Parents

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Attachment Theory?  What's that?   In my work I regularly encounter significant lack of understanding amongst professionals and parents about the meaning or relevance of Attachments for those who work with children.   However in my view Attachment Theory is one of the most important areas of psychological thinking for anyone who works with children with complex needs.  It is one of the key foundations of the practical framework that I call The I Matter...

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Six Similarities Between Children Diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, ODD and Attachment Difficulties

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As a clinical psychologist, I get to meet with a lot of families who are feeling stressed and confused, wondering about their child's behaviour.

I get to hear a lot of questions that take the form:   
"Well has he got.... ASD or ADHD or OCD... or ODD?'

Sometimes when further investigations are pursued it turns out that the child in question might meet the criteria set out by one of these diagnostic labels.  Then families are usually hoping that someone is going to 'do something'...

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The First and Most Important Step in Addressing Child Mental Health Difficulties and Challenging Behaviour

The I Can Control and Calm Myself Checklist is a simple 14 item tool that we use to assess the starting points when a parent or professional is observing mental health concerns or challenging behaviour.  

if you are wanting to see improvements in your child's mental health and behaviour at home or at school then most of the rest of your efforts will come to very little unless you get this key step working well first. 

You are the adult and a key part of this role involves...

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First Annual Conference: How Can We Really Work Together to Improve Mental Health and Educational Outcomes? Prioritising Parent Understanding and Competence

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The seeds of this conference started a long time ago from a sense of confusion and overwhelm experienced in response to the ever rising tide of need I have seen in day to day practice in health and education settings over my career of the last 20 years.  How do you turn frustration into something constructive, how do you turn this sense of overwhelm and hopelessness into something that feels worth doing?  

The final trigger for this particular conference taking shape...

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Stress in Schools: Who is responsible and why it matters

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As a practising clinical psychologist and experienced teacher I have become increasingly concerned about the levels of stress I am observing amongst my education colleagues in schools.   This last half term it seems that staff are more stressed than ever before and we are just at the beginning of the school year.  

Teachers are by and large an extremely conscientious and hardworking bunch.   My concern is that the expectations of what class teachers and senior leaders should...

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How to handle the Meltdowns: an I Matter Approach

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Most parents dread the meltdowns - whether it is a toddler or a teen - but what if you had a better understanding of what was happening and why?   What if you knew that meltdowns could be used to help build a better relationship with your child?

First things first:  Let's be clear,  it is not just children and young people who have meltdowns.   Adults have them too.  Sometimes a lot.  

And if this is happening in your home or school setting this is absolutely the...

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NICE Consultation on Attachment

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The National Institute for Clinical Excellence have just released a draft document for consolation on attachment difficulties.

This is a very welcome development!

The consultation page (http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/GID-CGWAVE0675/consultation)  contains the documents, background documents and instructions on how to comment.


It is possible to register as a stakeholder but the consultation will close on the 13th July 2015.    


So, what do I think is missing...

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5 reasons an understanding of Infant Brain Development is vital to pregnant parents

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Did you know that infant brain development is not only very important it can also be very, very interesting!  

If you are pregnant for the first time and are wondering what to do with while waiting for the birth, why not use your time wisely and learn about how your attachment relationship with your new born infant will influence the way that their brain actually develops?    Here are a five reasons that this will be time well-invested!

1.  Your baby's brain will...

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