Empirical evidence suggests that brief, focused interventions aimed at improving caregivers’ responsiveness to children’s cues and signals may be far more effective in promoting sensitive responsiveness in the caregiver and/or secure attachment in the child, than long-term, insight-oriented, broad based interventions. Although caregiver sensitive/insensitive responsiveness has been linked to the organized types of attachment (secure, avoidant, resistant), caregiving sensitivity seems independent of disorganized attachment.
Disorganized attachment is the type of insecure attachment that is most prevalent in high-risk groups and has been linked to the worst social and emotional outcomes and the most severe forms of behavioural and emotional problems and psychopathology in children.
One recently documented precursor of disorganized attachment in children is the display of ‘atypical’ behaviours by their caregiver. Thus, early interventions that focus on attachment should aim to both promote caregiver sensitive responsiveness and reduce or eliminate caregiver ‘atypical’ behaviours (‘atypical’ behaviours include various frightening, frightened, dissociated, sexualized, or otherwise atypical behaviours).
Modified Interaction Guidance
Interaction Guidance is an intervention method that has been used to reach caregivers who are difficult to engage, young and inexperienced, burdened by social adversity such as poverty, violence, and lack of education, have a limited capacity for introspection and/or cognitive limitations, and have resisted previous offers of help using more traditional psychotherapeutic methods.
In this workshop, videotaped vignettes are used extensively to describe and illustrate specific techniques used with the Modified Interaction Guidance.
Who should attend
It is strongly recommended that those participating in this workshop have previously attended workshops describing attachment theory and findings from attachment research and specific caregiver behaviours associated with disorganized attachment.
By the end of the one-day workshop, participants should be able to:
- describe indications and contra-indications for the use of Modified Interaction Guidance;
- describe specific techniques to promote caregiver sensitivity;
- describe specific techniques to reduce or eliminate ‘atypical’ caregiver behaviour;
- describe the importance of using individually tailored tasks to meet the specific needs of each parent-child dyad;
- implement some of the techniques of Modified Interaction Guidance in their every day practice.
Diane Benoit is Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto. Her research, educational and clinical activities have focused on:
- child-caregiver attachment relationship;
- impact of violence / abuse / neglect on children;
- trauma-focused and attachment-focused assessments and interventions;
- caregivers' perceptions and subjective experience of their children and relationship with them.
Benoit has published in peer-reviewed, scientific publications and other publications, and has made numerous presentations related to these various topics across North America.
Other workshops given by Diane Benoit
Diane Benoit will also provide the two-day workshop: The Working Model of the Child Interview