Addictions Through an Attachment Lens

This two-day workshop will weave together an understanding of how attachment patterns unfold and the science of what happens to the brain when caregiving is safe and also when it is maladaptive. Exploration of the neurobiology of addiction and various addictive patterns will be highlighted.  Intervention, being the repair of insecure attachment experiences will be discussed and offered as opportunity to increase treatment principles when working with addictive behaviours.


  • Provide the learner with an understanding of the foundations of
    attachment theory and how self-protective strategies arise.
  • Provide an understanding of maladaptive caregiving that leads to
    insecure attachment and behavioral adaptations to danger.
  • Provide an understanding of the neuroscience of what happens
    in the brain when caregiving is insufficient in providing
    safety and security.
  • Provide an understanding of how addiction unfolds in the brain.
  • Provide an understanding of the patterns of self-protection that
    manifest as addictive behaviours.
  • Provide a preliminary understanding of intervention from
    an attachment perspective and an interface between
    current models of addiction intervention and how
    they overlap with attachment theory.

Day 1—Monday, April 28th 9:30-4:00

Neuroscience of Attachment and Addictions

This workshop will focus on how early attachment strategies for safety and comfort affects the development of the brain and how these neurologi- cal adaptations can pave the way for addictions.

Day 2—Tuesday, April 9th 9:30-4:00

Addiction Treatment Models and Interventions

Addiction can be a confusing and frustrating experience for addicts, their families and counsellors, whether it’s on-line gambling, shopping or sub- stance use. Kim provides a holistic model for intervention that is linked to Attachment theory. It will emphasize the use of effective therapeutic inter- ventions that include attunement, somatic intervention, psychodynamic Psychotherapy, and self-regulation.

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