The Circle of Security Intervention
Enhancing Attachment in Early Parent-Child Relationships
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The authors are corecipients of the 2013 Bowlby-Ainsworth Award, presented by the New York Attachment Consortium, for developing and implementing COS.
See also the authors' related parent guide: Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore.
Table of Contents
I. Attachment in Early Caregiving Relationships
1. Hidden in Plain Sight: The Critical Importance of Secure Attachment
2. The Circle of Security: Understanding a Child’s Needs for a Safe Haven and a Secure Base for Exploration
3. Being-With: Meeting the Child’s Needs through Relationship
4. Limited Circles: Insecurity and the Power of Adaptation
5. Shark Music: How State of Mind Shapes Caregiving
6. Completing the Circle
II. The Circle of Security Intervention
7. Observing the Relationship
8. The Interactional Assessment: Differential Diagnosis and Identification of the Linchpin Struggle
9. Understanding State of Mind and Defensive Processes through Core Sensitivities
10. The Parent Perception Assessment: Using the Circle of Security Interview to Enhance Treatment Efficacy
11. Treatment Principles and Planning
12. The Circle of Security Intervention Protocol
III. Case Examples
13. Laura and Ashley
14. Ana and Sam
15. Shelly and Jacob
Glen Cooper, MA, has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals and families in both agency and private practice settings since the 1970s. He has extensive training in family systems, object relations, attachment theory, and infant mental health assessment. Mr. Cooper also works as a treatment foster parent and long-time Head Start consultant. Since 1985, he has had a shared clinical practice in Spokane, Washington, with Kent Hoffman and Bert Powell. Much of their work has focused on the creation and dissemination of the Circle of Security, for which each has received the Washington Governor’s Award for Innovation in Child Abuse Prevention and the New York Attachment Consortium's Bowlby–Ainsworth Award, among other honors. They are coauthors of The Circle of Security Intervention (for mental health professionals) and Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore (for parents).
Kent Hoffman, RelD, has been a psychotherapist since 1972. Certified in psychoanalytic psychotherapy by The Masterson Institute in New York City, he has worked with prison and homeless populations as well as adults seeking psychoanalytic psychotherapy. His primary focus since the 1990s has been working with and designing treatment interventions for street-dependent teens with young children. The underlying theme of his life work can be found in a TEDx talk titled "Infinite Worth." Since 1985, Dr. Hoffman has had a shared clinical practice in Spokane, Washington, with Glen Cooper and Bert Powell. Together, they have created and disseminated the Circle of Security, for which each has received the Washington Governor’s Award for Innovation in Child Abuse Prevention and the New York Attachment Consortium's Bowlby–Ainsworth Award, among other honors. They are coauthors of The Circle of Security Intervention (for mental health professionals) and Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child's Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore (for parents).
Bob Marvin, PhD, served as principal investigator on the original COS study and participated in the development of COS. He is Director of the Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia. With Bert Powell, Glenn Cooper, and Kent Hoffman, Dr. Marvin is a corecipient of the Bowlby–Ainsworth Award, presented by the New York Attachment Consortium, for developing and implementing COS.
-“The summary of attachment theory presented through this new framework is insightful and accessible. The discussion of the intervention itself and case studies make this book a must read…. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.”--Choice Reviews, 4/1/2014
"Brilliant, creative, and transformative are words that don't fully capture the true power of this approach. The authors have woven attachment theory into a research-based, innovative intervention that helps infants and their parents move toward security and a life of resilience and well-being. Soak in the wisdom of these masters and you'll be forever grateful--I certainly am. The book provides an intricate yet practical therapeutic exploration infused with the dedication and insights of its authors."--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine; Executive Director, Mindsight Institute; author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain"In this important book, the authors provide a masterful translation of complex concepts into an approach to enhancing attachments that makes intuitive sense and is supported by effectiveness research. The sensitive use of video enables parents to see themselves in a new light and gain awareness of how they enact their own early experiences in raising their children. COS frees the parent to respond to the child's needs for protection and support in ways that build trust and promote self-confidence. The gems of wisdom coupled with practical intervention strategies are a gift for any clinician seeking to enhance parenting and prevent child maltreatment."--Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD, Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
"What a beautiful book! Insightful, compassionate, emotionally moving, crystal clear, eminently useful--this book offers the best combination of excellent science, deep clinical experience, and coherent guidance for therapists that I have ever encountered. A 'must read' for anyone who wishes to understand and promote effective parenting."--Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis
"COS is solidly based on attachment theory and research. With a surprising combination of simplicity, clinical relevance, and academic rigor, this book effectively teaches the reader what children need for secure attachment and clarifies what might stand in the way of parents being able to respond to these needs. For clinicians and students alike, the book brings to life what is viewed, both nationally and internationally, as the cutting edge of early parent-child intervention programs."--Jude Cassidy, PhD, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park
"In my view, the Circle of Security (COS) is an approach that has changed the game….This intervention translates attachment research more meaningfully and more directly than anything we have seen before."--from the Foreword by Charles H. Zeanah, Jr., MD, Department of Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine