What we do

The International Attachment Network promotes the fundamental role of attachment theory in all aspects of human connection. We advocate and educate on its application for improved outcomes in the fields of psychological health, healthcare, social care, education, public policy and beyond. We do this by bringing together clinicians, researchers, academics and professionals in our series of events, seminars, training initiatives, research programs, publications and international network of IANs.


IAN runs an annual program of events aimed at furthering knowledge and understanding of attachment theory. We invite speakers with new ideas that can deepen our attendees understanding of or facilitate greater application of attachment theory in clinical work and beyond. As an adjustment to continue to serve our IAN community during the pandemic we transitioned our events and training programs to an online platform. Now our events bring together our IAN international community, and attendees and speakers enjoy a broad trans-cultural dialogue on the interpretation and application of attachment theory ideas. Events are open to members and non-members, psychotherapy professionals and interested members of the public. In recent years we have been delighted to have members of the education, medical and social work professions in our audiences. As a charity we keep our event fees to a minimum and IAN members benefit from a reduced attendance fee. CPD certificates are issued by email.

IAN events

Partner Events


    We create, deliver and endorse attachment theory training initiatives in the UK and internationally, either as complete professional courses, course components, or as professional development initiatives. IAN training programs are led by established UK and international academic professionals as well as fully accredited and experienced clinicians. We are currently advertising our new Attachment and Children Diploma, Certificate and seminar program aimed at parents as well as all children facing professionals. Our established and respected international reputation means we attract the world’s leading speakers and can still offer realistic pricing options to attendees. Other recent successful IAN training initiatives include the 2021 IAN Certificate in Attachment Theory, the 2020 IAN Professional Diploma in Attachment Theory and Practice taught in-person at the Manchester Institute of Psychotherapy, the 2021 IAN online and in-person Certificates in Attachment Theory delivered in Spain, our 2019 IAN UK and IAN Espana Interfamily Therapy workshop delivered to psychological clinicians in Cuba, and our 2019 OFSTED presentation on the application of attachment theory to children in residential care homes. To enquire about current IAN endorsed training initiatives or to get more information on applying for IAN course endorsement please get in touch.

    Why apply for IAN endorsement of your training course?

    • Endorsement of your course by IAN means you benefit from alliance with an established and reputable name in international academic and professional fields.
    • Endorsement by IAN recognises that your course has met IAN’s internal quality criteria
    • Courses seeking IAN endorsement have access to IAN teaching staff
    • All IAN endorsed courses are promoted by IAN to its members and on its website
    • Endorsement fees contribute to advancing the promotion of attachment theory.


    Our goal is to reduce the gap between attachment theory research and practice in clinical and non-clinical environments. We do this through our events and networking opportunities, but also by engaging in research opportunities.

    As an organisation we benefit from the input from the senior researchers who sit on our Executive Committee. In 2020 IAN was represented by its then Chairman, Desmond King on the UKCP practise-based research initiative, which produced the journal article Bridging the Gap between Clinical Practice and Research Part I: Findings of a Pilot Study on Daniel Stern’s ‘Moments of Meeting’ from the UKCP’s Practitioner Research Network’. Internationally IAN is currently the UK partner in the EU member state research initiative to improve EU wide cross-disciplinary service quality and delivery in family mental health. This ERASMUS+ project seeks to investigate, summarise and centralise European family and community resources with those of mental health, educational and social professionals in order to improve their work, to allow them to reach more patients in less time and to give to these patients and families a more efficient and high-quality care.

    The IAN executive committee members have particular research expertise in attachment theory and an interest in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research initiatives. We are always interested in discussion research collaboration opportunities aimed at furthering our understanding or the application of attachment theory.

    International Attachment Network visits Open Dialogue Groups in Lapland as research partners in the EU ERASMUS+ Project

    As part of their role as research partners in the EU Erasmus+ Project which investigates family and community based mental health resources across the EU, IAN UK were invited to observe Lapland’s mental health system’s now internationally renowned and replicated ‘Open Dialogue Groups’. Open Dialogue is a system of engagement and treatment of mental health patients developed in Western Lapland in the 1980’s as a radical alternative to the traditional clinician – individual patient treatment model, whereby treatment decisions are made for patients by the clinical team behind closed doors, and delivered in the vast majority of cases by a single clinician to a single patient. In Open Dialogue the patient and their family and social support are invited from the outset to engage with the clinical team as a dialogical group, enabling the team to observe the systemic unfolding and understanding of the patient’s difficulties. All clinical thoughts and understandings are discussed openly in the group and patient’s are involved directly in clinical decision making. Western Lapland’s Open Dialogue system has attained remarkable success  in reducing patient’s symptoms and as a result has been replicated across the world including in the UK’s NHS. Here the International Attachment Network team of Roxana Parra, Jonathan Lloyd and Nicolas Lorenzini reflect on their experience of the groups and  attachment theory.

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