Updated: Starting 7 June, 6-part live coding and training series with preview session. Dr. Ben Grey will live code two Meaning of the Child interview (MotC) transcripts provided by therapist Charley Shults. Then they will analyze the assessment results and develop a treatment formulation. Charley will discuss how the assessment results impact his treatment formulation using his Attachment Centred Therapy (ACT) model. This training series is for mental health, parenting, and legal professionals interested in learning about how attachment theory can be applied in practice.
The Meaning of the Child interview (MotC) is a DMM-attachment informed assessment. In this series the session hosts will provide an overview of the MotC, and then over 6 sessions conduct live coding and a final assessment. Charley has given the MotC to the parents of a child referred for individual work, as a part of his treatment plan to engage the parents in couple’s work, family work, and/or individual work, rather than focusing on the child as the “identified patient,” in a systemic manner. Throughout the six sessions Charley will explain exactly why this is a powerful approach to developing a treatment plan, and how he utilizes the Attachment Centred Therapy (ACT) model which he developed. Ben Grey, co-developer of the MotC will live code the two interview transcripts in four DMM Coffee House sessions, two sessions per parent. In the sixth and final session, Ben and Charley will pull it all together to see what it means. Session dates and Zoom links for all six sessions (and one replay session) are below. (Session dates are subject to change.)
On 7 June, we will start with a preview session, watching a replay of Ben’s previous DMM Coffee House sessions introducing the MotC. We will replay DMM Coffee House #14 where Ben provided an overview of the MotC, and we will also replay DMM Coffee House #22 where Ben describes patterns of attachment parenting assessed by the MotC.
Beginning 14 June, Ben will start the first of four live coding sessions. We’ll get an intimate and detailed view of how he codes. We’ll also see what the MotC is, how it works, and insight into how to think about a parent’s narrative about their own child. We’ll also learn along the way what the parenting patterns are that the MotC is assessing for. And as usual, we will see how DMM-attachment and information processing patterns can be seen and understood.
In the sixth live session, Ben and Charley will pull it all together and work up a comprehensive formulation as they seek to gain a coherent narrative of what might be learned from the MotC interview. Charley will add his on-the-ground experience with his clients to share what the MotC taught him, and what it’s useful limits might be. Charley will also share his experience of giving, coding and assessing the MotC, and how it has informed his approach to therapy and helping his clients find healing. He’ll share some surprises he discovered from the very beginning of the process. They will also discuss how the MotC differs from the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI).
Using attachment assessments to guide therapy
Many therapists are using DMM attachment assessments to guide their clinical practice. Because obtaining an attachment assessment such as the Adult Attachment Interview is difficult to complete and expensive, these therapists often administer the assessment themselves, and then use the output to guide therapy. In 2021, Shanna Donhauser demonstrated in three DMM Coffee House sessions how she uses the DMM version of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) in couples counseling.
Charley Shults has been studying and using DMM attachment assessments in therapy for many years. He had been using the DMM version of the AAI with individual clients, and in 2020 he started looking at using the MotC with his clients. In 2021, Ben and Charley experimented with live coding a single therapy patient’s MotC assessment over three DMM Coffee House sessions. That series was one of the most intriguing. This summer 2022 series promises to offer another exceptional and unique learning experience.
Meaning of the Child interview
The Meaning of the Child interview was developed by Dr. Ben Grey and Dr. Steve Farnfield. It is based on the DMM. It is one of many assessments which clinicians and forensic interviewers can utilize. Forensic experts typically use multiple assessments to try to get a full understanding of the complex family dynamics. Dr. Melanie Gill, uses the AAI, schema therapy, and other assessments, including the MotC. She has called the MotC the “Missing piece,” the assessment that pulls everything together with unique insights no other assessment can offer. Information about MotC theory is available at http://www.meaningofthechild.org/theory/, and MotC research is available at http://www.meaningofthechild.org/publications/.
This will be a unique learning opportunity which will not be available for private replay.
Dates and Zoom registration links:
Tuesday, 7 June 2022, MotC introduction, video replay
Tuesday, 14 June 2022, MotC live coding, part I
Tuesday, 5 July 2022, , MotC live coding, part II
Tuesday, 26 July 2022, MotC live coding, part III
Monday, 1 August 2022, MotC live coding, part III video replay (10am Seattle time, 6pm London time)
Tuesday, 2 August 2022, , MotC live coding, part IV
Tuesday, 9 August 2022, MotC live coding, part V
Tuesday, TBD, MotC assessment and case formulation, part VI
Length: 2 hours per session
Host/Facilitator: Ben Grey and Charley Shults
Platform: Zoom meeting
Session for: Any professional interested in DMM attachment theory and science, and any parenting professional with budding knowledge of the DMM. Invite your colleagues.
Sponsor: Conflict Science Institute
Session times:(US/EU/Africa/India): Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. Seattle (UTC -7). (11:00 a.m. in Dallas; noon in Miami; 5:00 p.m. in London; 6:00 p.m. in Cape Town; 9:30 p.m. in New Delhi; 11:00 p.m. in Bangkok. For Sydney Australia, the session is at 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday.) (To confirm your local time, compare it to 5pm London time.)
Link to register for Zoom sessions: Contact CSI for Zoom links. Please identify your name and the agency, institution, or school you are associated with, and which sessions you wish to attend.
About the hosts
Charley Shults, MA, J.D., is an American living in the U.K. where he works as a psychotherapist. He is a member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and certified by the UKCP as an Integrative Psychotherapist through the Metanoia Institute. Charley is developing Attachment Centred Therapy, an approach which often includes the use of attachment assessments including the Adult Attachment Interview. ACT incorporates a variety of established therapeutic models and approaches, such as grief and dream work, couples and family therapy models, neuro-Linguistic Programming, and others, all centered around a core of the attachment system. ACT utilizes the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation for the attachment and overall biopsychosocial approach. He has been a DMM student for many years and is currently re-taking the AAI course from Patricia Crittenden. He recently launched a new website for this services and ACT model, https://attachmentcentredtherapy.co.uk/. Charley described his work on developing ACT in DMM Coffee House sessions #6 and #13. An ACT overview is at Attachment Centred Therapy. Charley is married to Louse Atkin, a U.K. psychiatrist who was also studied many DMM assessments.
Dr. Benedict Grey is the Programme Convenor (Director) and Senior Lecturer for the Attachment Studies program, Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, London, which offers an MSc in DMM focused attachment studies. He is also co-director of Cambridge Centre for Attachment (www.attachment.services) and has been using the DMM in the family court arena for nearly 20 years. He also developed and validated the Meaning of the Child interview (www.meaningofthechild.org), a system of analysing parenting discourse based on the DMM. Ben has extensive experience as a social worker, professor of attachment studies, and the development and use of attachment assessments.