Exploring the Dynamics of Attachment in Adult Life

Posted by ifcamedia on September 7, 2018

Exploring the Dynamics of Attachment in Adult Life

Dec 14th 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Jan 11th 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Feb 01st 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Mar 08th 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Apr 05th 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Exploring the Dynamics of Attachment in Adult Life:

developing your approaches to care-giving, care-seeking

and maintaining your well-being


An eight-part experiential course for foster carers who are IFCA members

with Brenda Irwin, Chartered Counselling Psychologist

We are delighted to offer IFCA members who are foster carers another opportunity to take part in an eight-session course based on the work of Dr Una McCluskey. All participants who completed two courses in 2017 said they would recommend it to other foster carers. Here are some of their comments on the benefits of the course:

‘I really learned a huge amount about myself on the course. I felt safe, heard and valued.’

‘I believe that that this course should be available to as many foster carers as possible and believe that there would be a knock-on effect for the young people placed with them…’

‘The biggest learning for me was the visible centering of self when faced with challenges. I never realised how powerful a tool this can be - not only how it appears to others but the sense of strength it gives me…’

‘I have become aware of how I react when I feel threatened. I now try to stand back and look at the situation with a clear mind… especially when dealing with my foster child and this has really helped me to help him.’

I was totally consumed with trying to be the best foster parent...I allowed my other relationships to suffer… I realised I had to make changes...I’m a much happier person now and feel that I have found a balance.’

What is the course about?

Trying to offer support to those in our care who may be unable to identify their needs or accept care can, at times, be confusing and frustrating for the care-giver, leading to dissatisfaction and exhaustion. Although we have care-giving roles that require us to respond to the needs of others, often we don’t create the conditions to support our own personal and psychological development. It is really important that care-givers are provided with the support and opportunity to strengthen their own care-seeking patterns and to develop their style of care-giving. Experiences of care-seeking and care-giving have their roots in infancy and these early experiences shape our expectations and responses to care-seeking and care-giving in adult life. The course will provide a safe opportunity to explore these aspects of attachment in adult life, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself and others, which will impact on all personal and professional relationships and help to maintain and maximise well-being.

The course offers an opportunity to explore one’s own experience of attachment dynamics within a confidential, closed experiential group. The aspects of attachment that will be explored include:

  • how we ask for care from another person and how we give care to another person / child
  • how we develop and share interests with our peers
  • what triggers our self-defence and how this may impact on our relating with others
  • how we construct a lifestyle and home environment that supports and nourishes our own well- being
  • how we construct a supportive ‘internal environment’ that is less critical and more encouraging of self, creating more opportunity for growth, creativity and personal development.

Each session lasts for three hours and provides an opportunity to explore each of the following attachment systems in turn:

  • Care-seeking                                
  • Care-giving
  • Self-defence
  • Interest sharing with peers
  • Sexuality
  • Internal environment
  • External environment.

Practical details about the course

The courses will be facilitated by Brenda Irwin*, chartered Counselling Psychologist, and will take place over eight Friday-morning sessions starting on 7 September 2018 and ending on 5 April 2019 in Athlone, as outlined below. A maximum of eight participants will be accepted onto the course.

How much will it cost?

€100 per participant for the full course. The course is heavily subsidised by IFCA.

Who is the course for?

The course is for foster carers who are members of IFCA.

Where will it be held?

Hodson Bay Hotel, Roscommon Road, Athlone, N37 XR82

When will it take place?

Friday mornings from 10.00 to 13.00 (registration 9.45) on the following dates:

07 September 2018                 11 January 2019

05 October 2018                     01 February 2019

16 November 2018                  08 March 2019

14 December 2018                  05 April 2019

Information about the course and how to apply for a place is attached here.