Pre-Conference Meeting of the Connect Program in Vancouver, prior to the SEAS, International Attachment Conference (IAC)

July 17, 2019

9:30 am – 4:00 pm (one-day)

Led by: Dr. Marlene Moretti

Adolescence has arrived rather late to the study of attachment, yet it provides a unique developmental transition from which to understand how sensitive and secure relationships shape health trajectories well into adulthood. Adolescents today face a rapidly changing world, with unprecedented social, cultural, technological and economic challenges. Like younger children, the quality of their attachment relationships with caring adults has the potential to buffer teens from adversity and to promote resilience. Investing in adolescent health yields significant mental, social and economic returns and offers “a triple benefit – today, into adulthood, and the next generation of children” (Lancet, 2016). Attachment based interventions that promote security in adolescence need to be an important part of this investment strategy.

This meeting brings together national and international clinical researchers, practitioners and agency stakeholders involved in the implementation and evaluation of the Connect Program. Connect, is an attachment based and evidence supported program that grew out of the recognition of attachment security as a key determinant of adolescent mental health and the need to address the gap in attachment focused interventions for this age group. Originally developed for parents of teens with serious conduct problems and comorbid mental health problems, this manualized 10-session program results in significant decreases in parent depression and caregiving stress; increases in parenting sense of competence and efficacy; and long-lasting improvements in youth behavior and emotional functioning. These treatment outcomes are linked with increased mutuality and autonomy support by parents; greater attachment security; decreased conflict and aggression in the parent-teen relationship; and reductions in youth affect dysregulation. Designed to promote uptake and sustainability by a wide range of health and education professionals, Connect has been delivered to over 10,000 families across urban, rural and far northern communities of British Columbia; it has also been implemented broadly across Canada, Sweden, Italy, Australia and the USA.

This preconference meeting will include presentations and discussions that focus on the therapeutic change mechanisms and processes related to attachment focused intervention; predictors of treatment outcome; adaptations for foster parents, kinship carers and mental health workers in group homes/staffed institutions; and applications to gender and culturally diverse populations.

Participants: The meeting welcomes all registrants trained in Connect as well as newcomers interested in learning about this approach. Presentations will continue until about 2.30 followed by a planning meeting for Connect collaborators from 3-4pm.

Workshop Details: From 9.30 am – 4:00 pm, July 17, 2019. Coffee/refreshments will be provided in the AM and PM. Lunch on your own.

Registration Fees:

  • Regular Registration: $35 CAD
  • Student Registration: $25 CAD