Reframing Attachment: Working with Attachment Related Trauma in short-term work by Graham Music

Book tickets

Organised by:

Counselling Service at Birkbeck, University of London

20 March 2024

Time: 09:00 - 13:00

Price: Standard Ticket: £75 (discounted tickets available for trainees/students/group bookings)

Location: online


The Birkbeck Training Series enters its sixth year in 2023-24. Launched in 2018 by the Student Counselling Service at Birkbeck, University of London, the workshops are created by and for HE counsellors and are tailored specifically for short-term work with students. We are very proud to have become a valued source of training within the sector and we hope to continue to provide a specialised thinking space for Counsellors working in HE.

Every year we focus on a theme to better understand how to reframe our way of working in this context. This year we have decided to focus on a topic that is at the very heart of the therapeutic relationship and human development – Attachment.

Bowlby defined attachment as the “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings”. Its theory focuses on relationships and bonds (particularly long-term) between people, including those between a parent and child and between romantic partners and suggests that people are born with a need to forge bonds, and that these early bonds may continue to have an influence on attachments throughout life.
Given that attachment theory is based firmly in long-term therapy, our trainings will look to explore and reframe how we can understand it in the context of short-term work.

Training 3: Working with Attachment related Trauma in short-term work by Graham Music

Wednesday 20 March 2024, 9am-1pm

About the Workshop

In the first part of this workshop, we will look to explore some of the challenges that have arisen in light of the recent developments in trauma theory. We will look at understanding developmental trauma, the importance of the emphasis on clients feeling safe, not triggered (i.e., which has been an essential aspect of new trauma theory); and will also question whether the movement towards prioritising safeness has meant that the issues some clients come with are not being sufficiently addressed.
We will cover some of the key features of autonomic nervous system functioning which can give clues as to whether a client needs help regulating and feelings safe or whether the time is ripe for them to be challenged to face what will be helpful to face.

In the second part of the workshop, we will dive briefly into some aspects of technique which can be challenging for psychodynamically trained therapists. These will include:

· How to develop a focus for the work
· How to spot and work with defences against emotions
· The role of our (embodied) countertransference in such work
· becoming aware of anxiety pathways in the body
· The relative roles of thinking about the past, transference and current life

Finally, we will reflect on how to use a modified psychoanalytically informed and more emotionally focused way of approaching sessions while doing short-term work with clients for whom attachment has been traumatic or more complex.

About the Speaker

Graham Music is a psychotherapist, trainer, author and supervisor. He is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre where he worked for over 25 years, and he has been adult psychotherapist for about 35 years. Formerly Associate Clinical Director of the Tavistock Clinic’s Child and Family Department, he has developed many innovative programs, including setting up services in over 40 schools and a range of services working with the aftermath of child maltreatment and neglect. His clinical specialty for decades been understanding and working with trauma. He supervises and teaches nationally and internationally and has a particular interest in linking cutting edge developmental findings with therapeutic practice.

His publications include Nurturing Natures: (2023, 2016, 2010), Respark: Igniting Hope and Joy after trauma and depression, (2022), Affect and Emotion (2022, 2001), Nurturing Children: From Trauma to Hope (2019), The Good Life: (2014) as well as co-editing From Trauma to Harming Others (2022).

For more information regarding the event or our other trainings, please visit our website:

If you have any queries about bookings, eligibility for discounted tickets, how to make group bookings or would like us to send you the event brochure, please email Aditi Dhar at

Book tickets



Find out more about upcoming events.
Read more