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Digital Seminar

Disorganized Attachment: Don't Lose Sight of the Child in the Midst of Chaotic Behavior

Kids with disorganized and chaotic attachment are the hardest kids you will work with – they are simultaneously seeking attachment and terrified of it at the same time. They act in “unlovable ways” because they truly find themselves “unlovable”. Not trusting others, they continuously strive to control others.

This prevents them from getting what they need most – healthy, safe, and secure attachments.

Join me, Dan Hughes, PhD, as I show you how to bridge the knowledge and understanding of maladaptive attachment-seeking behaviours due to a disorganized attachment pattern resulting from past trauma, abuse, and neglect.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the behaviours consistent with disorganized attachment patterns
  • Engage children who resist engagements
  • Begin to trust adults who would teach them a new narrative


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Daniel A. Hughes, PhD
1 Hour 31 Minutes
May 07, 2021
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Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD
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Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.


Daniel A. Hughes, PhD's Profile

Daniel A. Hughes, PhD Related seminars and products

Daniel A. Hughes, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents who have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma and attachment disorganization. He helped to develop Dyadic Developmental psychotherapy, an attachment-focused treatment model that relies on the theories and research of attachment and intersubjectivity. He is known for creating the PACE Model which facilitates play, acceptance, curiosity and empathy when working with children.

Dr. Hughes is the author of several books including, Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd edition, (2006), Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011), and co-wrote Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment. He has provided training and consultations to therapists, social workers and parents throughout the US, Canada, UK, and Australia and provides regular trainings across the United States and Europe. Dr. Hughes received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Ohio University.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Daniel Hughes maintains a private practice. He receives royalties as an author for multiple publishers. Dr. Hughes receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Daniel Hughes is President, Board of Directors for Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute.

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  1. Determine why a secure attachment is a protective factor in mental health.
  2. Assess the three main features of intersubjectivity.
  3. Distinguish how you might use each feature of PACE in developing an engagement with a disengaged child.
  4. Construct a story that includes the child’s trauma while reducing the fear and shame associated with the trauma.


Disorganized Attachment in Children/Teens

  • Compassion for the way kids behave (it’s the behaviour, not the child)

Severe Attachment Ruptures Impact on Child Functioning

  • Mistrust and Self-Reliance
  • Dysregulation of affective, behavioural, and cognitive states

Restoring Sense of Self and Developing Ability for Connection and Repair

  • Learning to Trust with Comfort and Joy
  • Transforming stories from despair to hope

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other Professionals Who Work within the Mental Health Fields


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