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Conference & Training > Clulow & Igwebuike: Attachment and Intimacy

31 Mar-1 Apr 2017: Attachment and Intimacy

Seminar, Helsinki, Finland, 31 Mar-1 Apr, 2017
Attachment and Intimacy: Understanding and developing love relationships
Integrative Seminar on Psychodynamic and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

Dr. Christopher Clulow & Helene Igwebuike, UK

Hotelli RosendahlThe Best Western Plus Hotel Haaga is a comfortable conference hotel with extensive recreational facilities. The hotel is located a convenient 15 minute drive from the center of Helsinki and the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

The secure attachment of an infant to its mother or other primary carer as the basic building block of strong interpersonal relations in adulthood has held particular sway in the thinking of practitioners ever since Freud described it as “the first and strongest love object and the prototype of all later love relations”. This two-day seminar widens our understanding of how our earliest love relationships provide the foundations for – if not necessarily the prototypes of – all adult love relationships, especially those we have as partners and parents.

Day 1 considers ways in which the parental couple contributes to attachment security in children, explores the domains of adult love relationships and how they differ from those of childhood, and enhances our understanding of what secure and insecure partnerships look like.

Day 2 draws on these conceptual foundations to consider the implications for therapeutic practice.

Objective and target group: To provide tools for professionals working with couples and families; including psychotherapists, psychologists, nurces, advicers, doctors and other workers in e.g. family counselling centers, child health centers, mental health centers, psychiatric clinics, rehab clinics, as well as private psychotherapists who want to deepen their understanding and skills in integrative psychodynamic, psychoanalytic and emotionally focused therapy. The seminar will also benefit individual therapeutic work with adults, adolescents and children. The training suits well for all who want to understand the dynamics of adult love relationships and how they differ from those of childhood, and get an insight into the emotional aspects of relationship and parenthood.


Fri 31 Mar, 2017  |  Understanding Love Relationships

8.30–9.15 Registration and coffee/tea
9.15–9.45 Opening
Pirjo Tuovila, Specialist in developmental and educational psychology
9.45–10.45 The Parental Couple as the Cradle of Child Development
Dr. Christopher Clulow & Helene Igwebuike
This session considers the significance of the relationship between parents for attachment security in children, exploring:
  • three pathways through which conflict between parents can affect children;
  • the significance of the parental couple for transmitting attachment security across generations;
  • the developmental challenge of creating triangular space.
10.45–11.00 Break
11.00–12.00 The Look of Love
This session considers the nature of love from an attachment perspective and how developmental processes contribute to partner choice and relationship patterns in adulthood, focusing on:
  • the building blocks of love relationships, including messages from affective neuroscience and epigenetics;
  • unconscious contracts in the adult couple;
  • dances to the music of time.
12.00–13.00 Lunch
13.00–14.30 Attachment and Sexuality
This session considers the relationship between attachment and sexuality, including:
  • the nature of sexual desire;
  • sensual and sexual development;
  • attachment trauma and sexuality.
14.30–15.00 Coffee
15.00–16.30 Attachment and Violence
This session considers the relationship between attachment trauma and violence in couple relationships, including:
  • theories and types of interpersonal violence;
  • the role of idealization in the psychogenesis of violence;
  • dilemmas associated with working with violent relationships.

Sat 1 Apr , 2017  |  Developing Love Relationships

8.30–9.30 Love in the Consulting Room (part 1)
Dr. Christopher Clulow & Helene Igwebuike
This session considers the process of emotionally focused couple therapy, addressing:
  • Tracking and reframing negative cycles of interaction
  • Accessing and processing unacknowledged primary emotions
  • Therapeutic use of enactments to create new bonding experiences and interactions
9.30–10.00 Coffee
10.00–11.15 Love in the Consulting Room (part 2)
This session considers the implications of attachment theory for psychodynamic therapeutic process, addressing:
  • the role of interpretation in transforming relationships;
  • the nature of ‘mirroring’ in therapeutic work;
  • what goes before, between and beyond interpretation in couple work.
11.15–12.15 Lunch
12.15–13.30 Applying the Lens of Attachment Theory to Couple Psychotherapy
This full afternoon session will consider implications for therapeutic practice of attachment informed psychodynamic and emotionally focused therapy perspectives through:
  • a discussion between the presenters about similarities and differences in their approaches;
  • considering a couple therapy session from both perspectives;
  • holding a consultative ‘surgery’ for problems encountered by seminar participants in working with couples.
13.30–14.00 Coffee
14.00–15.15 Applying the Lens of Attachment Theory to Couple Psychotherapy
  • previous session continues
15.15–15.30 Discussion & Closing Remarks

Excellent simultaneous interpreting English-Finnish-English.

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