Attachment, neurodevelopment and psychopathology (ANP)

Working with troubled families and individuals? Learn about a strength-based model (DMM) and its application from infancy to adulthood

This course focuses on the development, prevention and treatment of psychological disorder from infancy to adulthood. It weaves together theory, human development, assessment, case examples and treatment applications to reframe maladaptive behaviour in terms of strategies for self-protection. The course emphasises the process of adaptation and developmental pathways that carry risk for psychopathology.

The aspects of neural development to be covered are chosen to enhance treatment of psychological maladaptation of adults and children (including families with child maltreatment, psychiatric disorder, and criminality). The course emphasizes adaptation and ways that professionals can change to increase the probability that clients will change. Reorganisation and building resilience are treated as central to successful intervention. General and Family Functional Formulations will be introduced to highlight DMM Integrative Treatment.

The model used is the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of Attachment and Adaptation. The DMM is a strength-based model that is relevant to individuals who are at-risk, have been exposed to danger, display disturbed or maladaptive behaviour, or are diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder. Emphasis is given to how early and current attachment relationships explain maladaptive behaviour and how these tied to culture and dangerous conditions.

Aims and learning objectives

Participants of this course will be able to take away new skills, tools and a great insight into treatment planning.

New skills

Skills that can be developed include:

  • perceiving discrepant behaviour – seeing commonly overlooked clues to trouble
  • identifying false-positive affect – uncovering hidden problems in their early stages
  • differentiating symptoms and self-protective strategies – specifying how symptoms function
  • functional formulation – moving beyond diagnoses to understanding behaviour
  • understanding how exposure to danger shapes adults’ development
  • matching treatment to professionals’ and clients’ competencies
  • using knowledge of strategic functioning to identify strengths

Treatment planning

We will explore the choosing of treatment strategies to:

  • increase efficiency
  • lower cost
  • reduce risk of iatrogenic harm


Take-away tools include the following scales:

  • level of family functioning
  • gradient of intervention
  • level of parental reasoning

Who is this course for?

The course is aimed at professionals who work with troubled families or individuals, including:

  • psychiatrists
  • psychologists
  • lawyers
  • social workers
  • teachers
  • nurses

Course details

There will be ten sessions, each lasting two-and-a-half hours. The next course will be advertised here in due course

Each session includes:

  • a developmental overview
  • information processing as it affects self- and child-protective behaviour
  • description of new self-protective strategies that develop at the age level
  • an application of DMM ideas to generate a novel approach to maladaptation
  • treatment strategies drawn from all the major theories of treatment and selected on the basis of information processing and strategy.

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom.

Delegates must be available to attend the live sessions, no recordings will be taken.

You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of a laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this Zoom test link to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent the necessary login link about a week before the course start date. Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us to discuss how we can best help you.

ANP (Attachment, neurodevelopment, and psychopathology) is structured developmentally and consists of lectures with slides, video, and interview transcripts to demonstrate the patterns and principles of development. A set of readings and exercises, tied to each day’s material, is offered.

An introduction is given to the DMM suite of assessments of attachment and adaptation:

  • CARE-Index (ICI, infancy from birth to 15 months)
  • Ainsworth Strange Situation (SSP, 11-15 months)
  • Toddler CARE-Index (TCI, 16-36 months)
  • Preschool Assessment of Attachment (PAA, 2 – 5 years)
  • School-age Assessment of Attachment (SAA, 6-13 years)
  • Family drawings (4 -13 years)
  • Transition to Adulthood Attachment Interview (TAAI, 16-25 years)
  • Adult Attachment Interview (mid-20’s forward)

The course covers the following topics:

  • course overview and central ideas
  • infant development – the need for parental protection and comfort
  • the Ainsworth ABC patterns of attachment
  • CARE-Index (ICI) Assessment with video
  • child abuse and neglect
  • post-natal depression and psychosis
  • preschool development – the need for parent-child protective hierarchy
  • the coercive and compulsive self-protection strategies
  • cross-generational parent-to-child strategies
  • the Toddler CARE-Index (TCI)
  • several of the following – adoption, foster care, ADHD, autism, child sexual abuse
  • reducing coercive behaviour
  • school-age development– gaining independence, peer attachment figures
  • obsessive and deceptive strategies
  • somatization
  • the School-age Assessment of Attachment (SAA)
  • treatment: – hidden problems, recommended and risky practices
  • adolescence – integrating sexuality with attachment
  • sexual disorders and sexual offending
  • dangerous gaps in services and preventative opportunities
  • overview and central ideas of treatment in adulthood
  • adult psychological development
  • protective strategies associated with severe psychopathology
  • Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)
  • parents interview
  • general and family functional formulation (GFF & FFF)
  • IASA Family Attachment Court Protocol
  • DMM integrative treatment

Please note that Dr Crittenden and Dr Landini intend to cover all topics listed above, but dependent on time and audience requirements, cannot guarantee that all areas will be addressed.

ANP is prerequisite to all assessment courses, for example the Adult Attachment Interview.

Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase the course text:

Crittenden, P. M. (2016). Raising Parents: Attachment, Representation, and Treatment. London: Routledge.

With additional readings and written assignments, this course can count towards earning the DMM-informed Mental Health Practitioner Certificate.


“This is the best course that I have ever taken. This is the most comprehensive model/approach for addressing a human being in their context with all of their complexity that I could have ever of hoped to learn in my lifetime. I have a lifetime more of learning and applying this; so thank you!”
“Wonderful training… Patricia and Andrea are fantastic presenters. So detailed and informative, I will definitely use the ideas and concepts within my work as an expert witness in child protection.”
“Both Andrea and Pat are marvellous teachers; truly remarkable. Their ability to convey such complexity of information in an understandable way was immensely helpful. Their power points were clear and they were able to weave the theoretical with the practical in a very useful way. I liked the opportunities to hear participants’ questions and the answers.”

Course facilitators

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