Learn the State-of-the-Art-and-Science about the
Causes and Treatment of Insecure Attachment Patterns in Adults

Integrative Attachment Therapy training provides a 3-level international accreditation pathway for mental health professionals who wish to expand their understanding and skill for helping adults to resolve attachment insecurity.

Integrative Attachment Therapy Level 1

You will benefit from nearly 100 hours of online-based, self-paced multimedia content designed to provide a full and deep foundation for learning attachment theory, for recognizing secure and insecure attachment patterns, and for practicing a leading-edge therapeutic method.

Get Started

Attachment insecurity during childhood is a significant risk factor for mental health disturbances later in life.

When underlying attachment insecurity is recognized and treated in adults in psychotherapy, the therapy process becomes more effective and efficient.

 

Integrative Attachment Therapy Level 1 training provides all you need to know for identifying and effectively and efficiently treating adult insecure attachment problems.

The Integrative Attachment Therapy Level 1 Course will help you to:

Understand Attachment

You will get essential, practical information about the nature of attachment, its development during early childhood, and how it affects later development and personal and relational well-being.

Identify Attachment Patterns

You will understand why it is clinically very beneficial for therapists to recognize if a client or patient has an attachment disturbance.

You will learn methods for identifying the various attachment patterns.

Treat Attachment Insecurity

You will receive detailed, practical guidance for learning and practicing Integrative Attachment Therapy.

IAT builds upon and goes beyond current attachment-focused treatments.

 

IAT is based on the innovative work of Daniel Brown, PhD, David Elliott, PhD, and several of their colleagues who published their model and methods in the 2016 award-winning book:

Attachment Disturbances in Adults:
Treatment for Comprehensive Repair

 

Your IAT instructors have  built upon this work, integrating new insights and methods from the latest attachment research and clinical practice.

Why Integrative Attachment Therapy?

 

Integrative Attachment Therapy combines the best aspects of several therapeutic approaches to resolve attachment insecurity and to promote healthy and secure attachment relationships.

 

This approach recognizes that there is no single "one-size-fits-all" therapy that can address the complex and multifaceted nature of attachment disturbances and their effects. Skill with IAT helps the clinician tailor the treatment to the patient and avoid trying to fit the patient to a therapy method. Through using an integrative approach, IAT therapists can draw on the strengths of various therapeutic modalities to create a more comprehensive and effective treatment plan.

 

IAT is the most comprehensive psychotherapy approach currently available for treating attachment insecurity in adults.

 

Features of the IAT Level 1 Training Program 

Multi-media format.

The program provides you with text, video, audio, and links to external resources. 

A searchable text component is a big benefit, as we are sharing a LOT of information with you.   

The videos provide context for the information, and bring the material from the text more alive.

Together with the videos, the audios in this program provide for helpful modeling of the methods you will learn.

Throughout the modules are links to external resources that are valuable supplements to what's presented in the course.

Continuing Education Certification.

We have applied for completion of this program to earn you credits for continuing education in multiple countries and disciplines.

Authorization for this certification is pending.

Quizzes and Self-Reflection Questions.

For the purposes of your own integration of the material, and for meeting Continuing Education certification requirements, at the end of each module there are short quizzes and self-reflection questions.

Ongoing updates.

Among the advantages of the program's Learning Platform is that it can be updated regularly.

The model and methods of IAT, as well as the entire intellectual and clinical field of attachment, are dynamic, living, growing systems. The IAT Level 1 program honors that dynamism by providing regular content updates.

Enrollment in Level 1 includes no-expiration access to the online learning platform, and to ongoing notifications about updates as they are made.

Live Q & A Sessions.

Participants in the Level 1 training can join monthly 60-minute Live group sessions within the Learning Platform, with one of the program trainers.

These sessions will provide opportunity for addressing questions that arise about the material and about your experiences as you begin to apply the material in your practice.

Recordings of the Live calls will be available to all participants in the program.

Learning Community Social Media.

To support ideas and interaction, Level 1 participants will have access to a Community Discussion Forum within the learning platform.

This group is a place for vibrant collaborative communication and exploration about your learning experiences and the practical applications of your learning.

Opportunity for Advanced Tranings.

Completion of IAT Level 1 allows you to advance to further training.

Completion of Levels 2 and 3 makes you eligible for registration as an IAT Therapist, which includes international listing as available for referrals.

Level 4 provides for certification as an IAT Therapist/Supervisor/Trainer.

Testimonials from Participants

"The IAT training is a must for any dedicated psychotherapist. The approach provides positive and transformative attachment experiences for clients. This is achieved in a collaborative frame, enhancing mentalising and the development of a strengthened sense of self-in-relation. Drs Brown and Elliott’s Three Pillars model has expanded and consolidated my therapeutic work. One of the better professional development trainings I’ve had in the last 30 years. Quality trainers. Highly recommended."

 

- Forrest James, M.An.Psych., B.App.Sci. Grad. Cert.M.H. PACFA Registered Clinical Psychotherapist / Supervisor Director - Dasein Consulting Pty Ltd

"One of my main interests is attachment, and with so much noise out there, it isn't easy to find really good teachings. David Elliott, Nigel Denning and Tra-ill Dowie generously share their knowledge based on decades of experience and research and convey it in a very accessible way. I have gotten so much out of this course: the excellent balance between theory, practice, demos and Q&A allowed me to get out of the training with enough confidence to start using this exquisite model immediately in my practice."

 

- Irene Quintavalle, Director and Psychotherapist at Numina Clinic

"The content of this course is unrivaled. There is truly nothing else available like it that includes such breadth and depth and clinical sophistication. And you are in great hands! David Elliott’s warmth and kind expertise will fill you with confidence as you move through this comprehensive course on understanding and treating developmental attachment insecurity. It is refreshingly integrative, contemporary, and hands-on. Don’t be surprised if you come away being healed in some ways yourself!"

 

- Ann Kelley, Ph.D. and Sue Marriott, LCSW, CGP, hosts of the Therapist Uncensored podcast & authors of Secure Relating: Holding Your Own in an Insecure World

Course Learning Objectives

1. Understand the nature of childhood attachment bonds and the developmental and caregiving conditions that form them. 

2. Identify several systems of subtyping patterns of attachment and name their bases for distinguishing the patterns.

3. Familiarity with  the range of clinical options for assessing adult attachment patterns.

4. Understand the principles and practices of effective treatment for attachment disturbances in adults.  

5. Assess the strengths and limitations of current treatments for attachment insecurity in adults.

6Understand the Three Pillars of Integrative Attachment Therapy

7. Pillar 1: Develop knowledge about why collaboration is impaired in insecure attachment. Familiarity with ways to enhance collaborativeness in psychotherapy.

8. Pillar 2: Develop an understanding of the role of metacognition in attachment. Familiarity with specific and naturalistic ways to enhance metacogntion in psychotherapy.

9. Pillar 3: Acquire and develop an understanding of the principles and practical steps of the Ideal Parent Figure imagery method for creating new, positive internal representations of secure attachment.

10. Develop skills for integrating and applying the three pillars in particular ways for each of the three primary forms of attachment insecurity.

11. Know how to make assessments of earned security and to recognize positive treatment outcomes.

12. Identify next steps in therapy when signs of earned security occur.

The 12 Modules of IAT Level 1

Module 1: Introduction and Overview: The Foundations of IAT

 

Why should psychotherapists be interested in attachment security and insecurity?

This first module sets the context for the value of learning about attachment.  We review the high prevalence of insecurity worldwide (30-90%, depending on country/culture), and describe the significant problems associated with insecurity during adulthood, including: relationship difficulty; self and personality disorders; poor emotion regulation; a tendency to stereotype and be cognitively inflexible; and an increased vulnerability to mental health problems. 

We point out that when a patient or client comes to therapy for treatment of trauma, the healing and resolution of the trauma will be more rapid and complete if any underlying attachment insecurity is addressed in treatment first

This module is completed with an overview of various treatments that are available for treating adult attachment insecurity, and a presentation of the Integrative Attachment Therapy model.  IAT respects and draws from the best elements of other treatments, for providing the most effective, efficient, and comprehensive resolution of insecurity.

Module 2: The History and Understanding of Attachment

 

What is attachment?  And what are the foundations of its recognition and study?

In this module we answer the fundamental questions about the what "attachment " is, and why its dynamics evolved to be present in many species (not only humans!).  The innovations and contributions of the "father and mother of attachment", John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, are presented and appreciated. 

We then point out several dimensions of attachment: Biological, Relational, and Psychological.  Each of these is a particular way of understanding the functions, purposes, and appearances of attachment patterns. Such understanding is a very helpful for recognizing how and why it is so helpful for psychotherapists to know about attachment.

Module 3:  The Development of Attachment

 

How do we become secure?

Through the many decades of research about attachment, there is very good understanding about how secure attachment develops in young children.  This module presents that understanding.  While the first five years are considered, focus is placed on what happens relationally and developmentally during roughly the second year of life. 

The treatment model described in this training is based on understanding of the essential developmental factors for the formation of secure attachment, and on what happens when the conditions for attachment security are not present to a "good enough" degree.  When we understand the basic processes of attachment formation, including the interaction of the child's developmental milestones with the caregiver's behavior and responses, and what can go awry and lead to insecure attachment, it becomes obvious what the "solutions" are – the essential factors for treatment of adult attachment insecurity. 

Module 4: The Forms, Phenomena, and Causes of Attachment Patterns

 

What are the varieties of attachment patterns?  Why do some children develop 'insecure' patterns?

As secure attachment isn't the only form of attachment that may emerge during the first years of childhood, this module provides you with several frameworks for describing and categorizing both secure and insecure forms of attachment.  For the most commonly described subtypes of attachment -- Secure; Insecure Dismissing/Avoidant; Insecure Anxious-Preoccupied; and Insecure Disorganized/Fearful -- the specific developmental factors that contribute to their formation are presented in detail. 

When you understand the specific factors that contribute to each of the insecure forms of attachment, it makes so much sense why some treatments for adult attachment insecurity, especially Integrative Attachment Therapy, can be so effective.

Module 5: Assessment of Attachment in Adults

 

How can we as therapists best identify the attachment patterns in our patients?

This module presents the challenge and the opportunities for assessing attachment patterns.  The strengths and limitations of the two primary forms of assessment -- interview-based and self-report -- are presented and explained. 

The most well-known assessments, including the Adult Attachment Interview, Patricia Crittenden's variant of the AAI (the DMM-AAI), Carol George's Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP), and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR) self-report measure.  The strengths and limitations of each method are reviewed, and we offer recommendations for practical assessment strategies for your clinical practice.

In addition to the value of knowing about the available assessment measures, learning about the bases for their scoring and categorization will help to deepen your understanding of attachment dynamics and functioning. 

Module 6: The Three Pillars Model of Integrative Attachment Therapy

 

What are the 'Three Pillars' of psychotherapy, and how does IAT apply them to treat attachment insecurity in adults?

This module provides you with the foundations of the Three Pillars model of psychotherapy, and of how this model is used in Integrative Attachment Therapy.  We highlight the link between the Three Pillars and research about the primary factors of effective psychotherapy.

With that understanding as a context, we then define, describe, and illustrate each 'pillar' of IAT: 

Enhancing Collaborative Ability and Skill

Developing Metacognitive Abilities

Creating Secure Internal Working Models through Embodied Mental Imagery 

From this module you will know each pillar and understand why each is particularly important as a component of resolution of insecure attachment.  You will also understand how IAT includes and transcends the traditional therapeutic approaches for adult insecurity. 

Module 7: Pillar 1: Enhancement of Collaborative Ability and Skill

 

How does the therapist engage the patient collaboratively to enhance collaborative ability?

This module is the first of the 'how-to' treatment-focused modules, which give you detailed guidance about how to apply each pillar in the IAT psychotherapy process.  Here you will learn very specific collaborative problems common to your insecure patients, and very specific ways to effectively reduce them and build secure collaborative ability. 

As a conceptual and practical framework, we present a series of steps for enhancing collaboration through the therapy process. And we detail some of the signs of greater collaborative ability that results from this treatment. 

We also give particular attention to ruptures in the therapy relationship.  Therapeutic ruptures are quite common when working with people with attachment insecurity, and the most effective way to repair the ruptures is by addressing them collaboratively.  We detail how to effectively apply this approach. 

Module 8: Pillar 2: Developing Metacognitive Abilities

 

How does the IAT therapist explicitly and implicitly help patients to expand their metacognitive abilities?

This module presents to you the ways that IAT helps patients to develop metacognitive capacities and abilities through the course of treatment.  Any skill development benefits from multiple converging methods, practices, and experiences, and so we present to you and integrate a variety of explicit and implicit methods that we have found are effective and efficient, individually and especially together. 

Of note is that one of the very effective approaches for helping to enhance patient's metacognition is for the therapist to recognize, enhance, and model his or her own metacognition.  So in this module, in addition to several very specific methods for engaging and enhancing the patient's abilities, we suggest ways that you, as a therapist and a person, can strengthen and expand your own range of metacognitive functioning.

Module 9: Pillar 3: Using Embodied Mental Imagery to Create Secure Internal Working Models of Attachment

 

How does the IAT therapist overcome the limitations of traditional attachment therapy for creating secure IWMs?

We now turn to the specific and unique therapy method of IAT that effectively and efficiently contributes to the development of earned security.  With the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) guided imagery process, a therapist and patient specifically and actively co-create a positive, stable, and resilient internal working model of secure attachment relationship.

The therapist first guides the patient toward experientially imagining being a very young child. Then the patient imagines being with caregivers who in the imagery provide a sense of safety, of being accurately attuned to, of being comforted when upset, of delighting the caregivers by simply being, and of receiving encouragement for being his or her best natural self.  Repetition and elaboration of contact with this imagery establishes the new internal model of secure attachment.

 In this module you will receive very detailed guidance for each element and step of this process.  Video and written examples from sessions are provided for illustration.  Common challenges are addressed with suggestions for their resolution.  Signs of progress and of earned security are described. You will have all that you need to begin applying this process with your patients or clients. 

Module 10: Tailoring the Three Pillars of IAT to Each Attachment Subtype

 

How is the IAT process modified when applied to patients with different forms of attachment insecurity?

Psychotherapy should always be applied to fit the particular patient.  Never should the therapist attempt to fit the patient to the therapy.  Though IAT has specific elements, practices, and methods, they are designed to be flexible so that the therapist makes moment-to-moment treatment choices based on presence and accurate attunement to the patient. 

One of the important considerations for treatment adjustments is that different forms of attachment insecurity are the result of different types of problematic experiences with early caregivers.  And so the therapeutic establishment of security during adulthood requires taking that into account and fine-tuning each of the three pillars of IAT to fit each patient's particular pattern and its origins. 

This module provides guidance for that fine-tuning.  For each of the primary insecure subtypes, you will receive details for providing psychoeducation about insecurity, for the therapist's most effective ways of being, and for adjusting the ways of applying each of the three pillars. 

Module 11: Synthesis of the Three Pillars for an Integrated Treatment Plan

 

What are the general guiding principles for the natural unfolding of an IAT process?

To help you with further understanding how an IAT therapeutic process may unfold, this module presents you with general principles for the steps and stages of treatment.  The ground for any moment in treatment is the therapist's presence and accurate-as-possible attunement to the patient.  And within that context, IAT provides a frame for the aspects of treatment that most effectively and efficiently contribute to the emergence of earned security.  This module details that frame.

Module 12: Completion of IAT Level 1 and Next Steps

 

Consolidate and Build Upon Your Level 1 Training

Your committed, diligent, and thorough completion of IAT Level 1 brings you understanding and skills that will immediately benefit your clinical practice.  Should you wish to further expand and deepen your abilities to apply the model and methods, there are training opportunities for that. 

This module describes in detail:

Levels 2 and 3, for obtaining registration as an IAT Therapist (IAT-T)

Level 4, for becoming an IAT Supervisor and Trainer (IAT-TST)

About Your Instructors

Dr David Elliott (USA)

A leading authority in attachment repair, David is a clinical psychologist who teaches internationally on attachment, personality psychology, and psychotherapy.

He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University in 1989. His clinical training while at Harvard included externships at the Tufts University Counseling Center and the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, and a clinical psychology internship at McLean Hospital, a psychiatric teaching site of Harvard Medical School. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital, focused at the Adolescent and Family Treatment Unit and at the hospital's mental health outpatient clinic.  He was licensed as a Psychologist in Massachusetts in 1990 and in Rhode Island in 1993.  

David has had leadership roles in several professional organizations: He was President of the Rhode Island Psychological Association for a two-year term, during 2000 and 2001; and prior to that he was Chair of the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals of Rhode Island (COMHPRI), also for two years. Both organizations advocate for availability and access to high quality and affordable mental health services.

Since 1998 he has been on the faculty of and teaches annually at the International School for Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Group Leadership, in St. Petersburg, Russia (since 2020 his teaching there has been through videoconferencing).  This three-year post-graduate program guides the therapists in training to develop not only the professional skills necessary for effective therapy or leadership, but also the personal qualities that assure empathic, attuned, and ethically responsible professional activity.  He is currently Chair of the International Advisory Board. 

He is also on the faculty of the Psykosyntes Academin (Psychosynthesis Academy) in Stockholm, Sweden, where he teaches about attachment and psychotherapy to advanced-level trainees.

Dr. Elliott is co-author, with Daniel P. Brown, of Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair (2016). 

Nigel Denning (Australia)

Nigel is a Counselling Psychologist and Director of the Integrative Psychology and Medicine mental health clinic and psychotherapy training center in Melbourne, Australia.

He has a long history in providing innovative education in the Psychology profession, having had a range of roles in the College of Counselling Psychologists, where he has brought training and professional opportunities to his colleagues for over 15 years.  

Nigel studied with and worked closely with Dr. Stanislav Grof in the use of non-ordinary states in psychotherapy, and for 35 years has been a trainer and facilitator in Holotropic Breathwork.  Currently he is a lead trainer in Australia for Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.

The integration of Western psychological understanding with Tibetan Buddhist perspectives and practices is of particular interest to Nigel. His meditative practice is derived from the Tibetan Bon lineage, through which he has been authorized to teach these practices.

Nigel provides consultation in areas of  trauma recovery, institutional abuse, family violence, and recovery from cult involvement. Organizations to whom he has consulted include Relationships Australia, In Good Faith, SANE Australia, Xavier College, Swinburne University, and Australian Catholic University.      

Nigel has studied with and collaborated world-wide with many leaders in psychological theory, research and practice, such as Dan Siegel, John and Julie Gottman, Stanislav Grof, Les Greenberg, Alan Schore, Giancarlo Dimaggio, and the late Mary Main, Daniel Brown, and Michael White.

His association with Daniel Brown began in 2013.  In recent years he has worked closely with David Elliott and Traill Dowie to develop further the Three Pillars of Attachment Repair and the comprehensive model of Integrative Attachment Therapy.

Dr Traill Dowie (Australia)

 

Dr. Traill Dowie is a philosopher, academic, psychotherapist, martial artist and minister of religion. He holds PhDs in Philosophy and Psychiatry.

Traill is an Associate Professor of Psychotherapy at Ikon Institute, where he developed training programs for psychotherapists, including a Bachelor's and Master's degree  programs in psychotherapy and counselling.  He is also a research fellow at La Trobe University in Philosophy.

He has also trained with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and completed their clinician qualification certification.  With Nigel Denning he created a state-of-the-art program in Australia for training therapists in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy.

Traill is a lifelong martial artist, holding black belts in multiple disciplines and several championship titles. He has worked professionally as both an athletic and performance coach for high level athletes, including world champions, at national and international levels. As part of his martial arts training, Traill was introduced to Eastern contemplative practices by a Zen Roshi at the age of 11.  

Traill has a deep and abiding interest in trauma, including relational/attachment trauma, and trauma recovery. He relates his own experiences growing up in the rural outback Northern Territory of Australia as having a profound impact on his understanding of life and its challenges.  He views trauma as part of existence that can be healed, transcended, and integrated wit the right amount and form of help.  He has been passionate about training his many students in trauma-informed psychotherapeutic methods.

He developed his first interest in ethnomedicine while living in the outback, and he later went on to formally study many of the world's indigenous healing traditions.

In their nearly 20-year professional partnership, Traill and Nigel have shared a passion for an integrative approach to psychotherapy.  They see this orientation as the natural and essential evolution of the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy.

In that spirit, Traill, Nigel, and David Elliott have joined together to develop further the Three Pillars of Attachment Repair and the comprehensive model of Integrative Attachment Therapy..  

 

Integrative Attachment Therapy Level 1

Enroll and get started now

Integrative Attachment Therapy Level 1

$1,150 USD

Secure your Lifetime Access

  • 12 Modules of IAT Level 1

  • Searchable Text Content with Engaging Video Content

  • Lectures on Key Concepts

  • Expert Dialogues to Deepen your Experience

  • Quizzes and Self-Reflection Questions

  • Continuing Education Credit applied for

  • Lifetime Access and Ongoing Updates

  • Monthly Live Q&A Sessions

  • Access to Private Community Discussion Forum

  • Opportunity for Advanced Training

Enroll Now

Questions you might ask

Get started