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Attachment and Psychopathology

Patricia M. Crittenden, Ph.D.


This 5-day course focuses on the development, prevention, and

treatment of psychological disorder. It weaves together theory,
Patricia McKinsey
human development, assessment, case examples, and treatment Crittenden, Ph.D.
applications to reframe maladaptive behavior in terms of strategies Patricia Crittenden has
for self-protection. The course focuses on development from infancy many years experience as
an academic and
to adulthood, emphasizing the process of adaptation and develop- practitioner in the fields of
mental pathways that carry risk for psychopathology. The model child abuse, attachment
theory, and family therapy.
used is the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of attachment and After her training with Mary
adaptation.. The DMM is relevant to individuals who are at-risk, Ainsworth, she served on the
Faculties of Psychology at the Universities of Virginia and
have been exposed to danger, display disturbed or maladaptive Miami. She has held visiting positions at the Universities of
behavior, or are diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder. A Helsinki and Bologna, as well as the Clark Institute of
Psychiatry (Canada), San Diego State University (USA), and
particular emphasis is cultural influences on attachment. Edith Cowan University (Australia). She is well known for
having developed the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of
This course is intended for professionals, including attachment and adaptation and is one of the founders of the
sychiatrists, psychologist
s, attorneys, social workers, International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA). In
2004, she received a Career Achievement Award from the
teachers and nurses, who work with troubled families European Family Therapy Association. In addition, she has
or individuals. published more than 100 scientific papers and several books.

An introduction is given to the DMM assess-

The course is structured developmentally and consists of lecture with
ments of attachment:
slides, videotapes, role playing, and interview transcripts to
demonstrate the patterns and principles of development. A set of readings • Infant CARE-Index (birth - 24 months)
and exercises, tied to each day’s material, are offered. • Ainsworth Strange Situation (SSP, 11-15
The Attachment & Psychopatholgy course is prerequisite to all assess- months)
ment courses, e.g., the Adult Attachment Interview. • Toddler CARE-Index (15-36 months)
Treatment strategies are described for each age period and include an • Preschool Assessment of Attachment (PAA,
integration of ideas from all the major theories of treatment as well as 2 - 5 years)
suggestions regarding risky practices that should be avoided.
• 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 (AAI, 25 years
and older)
• Parents Interview

Supplementary reading: Crittenden, P. M. (2008).

Raising Parents: Attachment, parenting, and child
safety. Willan Publishing.

Attachment and Psychopathology
Patricia M. Crittenden, Ph.D.

Sample Schedule
AM Evolution, danger and brain
Infancy & parental protection W H AT Y O U W I L L TA K E AWAY
PM CARE-Index videotapes
Child abuse and neglect New skills:
Cultural influences on self-protection • P e r c e i v i n g d i s c r e pa n t
behavior: seeing commonly
D AY T W O overlooked clues to trouble
AM The Ainsworth patterns of attachment • Identifying false-positive
Disorders versus diseases a ff e c t : u n c o v e r i n g h i d d e n
Infant Strange Situation video p r o b l e m s i n t h e i r e a r l y s ta g e s
Post-natal depression, autism, & the psychoses
Treatment: Risk, recommended practices, risky practices • D i ff e r e n t i a t i n g s y m p t o m s &
self-protective strategies:
PM Preschool development and the dynamic-maturational model specifying how symptoms
The coercive and compulsive self-protection strategies function
Cross-generational transformations • Functional formulation:
Treatment in the preschool years moving beyond diagnoses to
u n d e r s ta n d i n g b e h a v i o r
• Tr e a t m e n t p l a n n i n g :
AM Preschool Assessment of Attachment videos choosing treatment stratgies
Adoption & foster care to
Reducing coercive behavior
• i n c r e a s e e ff i c i e n c y,
PM School-age: Peers, obsessive & deceptive strategies • lower cost,
Culture: Gender development & parental roles
• reduce risk of iatrogenic
Conduct problems and psychotic intrusions
Treatment: Hidden problems, recommended & risky practices harm
Ta k e - a w a y To o l s
D AY F O U R • Level of Family Functioning
AM Family Drawings
The School-age Assessment of Attachment • Gradient of Intervention
PM Adolescence: Integrating sexuality with attachment
• Downloadable materials
Sexual disorders and sexual offending
Eating & personality disorders ( o n w w w. pa t c r i t t e n d e n )
Transition to Adulthood Attachment Interview • Daily text of slides (with
Dangerous gaps in services & preventitive registration only)
• Color models of strategies
D AY F I V E • N u m e r o u s p u b l i s h e d pa p e r s
AM Forming families
Violence & criminality
The Adult Attachment Interview

PM Summary & overview

Differential treatment