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. We plan our events as intimate and interactive spaces, often with no more than 40 attendees, to enable discussion and debate as well as fruitful professional networking opportunities. 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

  • 21 Nov 2020

    Crying Babies and Secure Attachment

    The International Attachment Network presents: Crying Babies and Secure Attachment An Interactive Zoom Workshop. Saturday 21st November 17.00 – 19.00 …

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 is led by established UK academic professionals as well as fully accredited and experienced clinicians. Recent IAN training initiatives include IAN Professional Diploma in Attachment Theory and Practice at the Manchester Institute of Psychotherapy, an IAN online course in attachment theory in Spain, a workshop in interfamily therapy for psychological clinicians in Cuba run in collaboration with IAN Espana, and presenting to OFSTED officials 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.

    This year locally IAN was represented by its executive committee member on the UKCP practise-based research initiative, and 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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