Addiction as an Attachment Disorder: Attachment gone wrong with Sarah Pennock

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Organised by:

WPF Therapy

19 June 2021

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Price: Qualified Practitioners: £75 Counselling/Psychotherapy Trainee: £65 WPF Therapy Trainees/Staff: £55

Location: online


This workshop will be delivered via Zoom online.

1. Are you interested in re-visiting Attachment Theory, with a particular focus on insecure attachment?
2. Do you want to increase your understanding of how substance abuse can be seen as a manifestation of insecure attachment in the addicted client?
3. Would you like to consider how your own attachment style manifests within your clinical material?

Attachment is defined as the lifelong need human beings have for affectionate ties with significant other human beings. It is a biological necessity for us to have a secure attachment relationship. Although much of the research on attachment has focused on infants and children, attachment theory is also applicable to adults in a psychodynamic framework, as 75% of attachment patterns remain stable through to adulthood.

The impact of childhood events often casts a deep shadow over us in adult life. Understanding Attachment Theory can serve as a solid foundation for understanding the development of ineffective coping strategies, and the underlying dynamics of a client’s emotional difficulties.

This workshop will consider the aetiology of a person’s addiction as resulting initially from a place of disrupted attachment relationships.

During the day participants will briefly re-visit attachment theory and styles. We will consider the links between attachment insecurity and: substance misuse, disordered eating, gambling, and sex addiction. There will be presentation of theory and research alongside clinical vignettes. Group clinical discussion will explore therapist attachment insecurity provoked in the client work.

There is an expectation that participants are familiar with the basics of attachment theory (Attachment in Psychotherapy, David J. Wallin, 2015).

Workshop Leader
Sarah Pennock MSc, Pg. Dip, Integrative Counsellor. FDAP. MBACP (Accred.) is an Addiction and Attachment Based Therapist. She has worked with residential addiction treatment centres, out-patient programmes and addiction support agencies. Following her specialist training in Addiction Psychology at South Bank University, Sarah completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Attachment-Based Therapy to complement her addiction work, discovering how and why our individual attachment styles often shape the way we respond to challenges and anxieties, including all that is evoked within addiction recovery. Sarah runs a busy private practice in Marylebone, London. Her working style integrates psychodynamic theories of personality development, cognitive approaches to decision making, mentalisation and self-observation.

Target Audience:

Training and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.  Please note that by booking on this workshop you agree to keep all discussion confidential.

Applications must be received by Thursday, 10th June 2021.

If you experience any problems during the application process then please email us.

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