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Annual Virtual Meeting & Contemporary Attachment Theory and Practice

Contra Costa County Psychological Association is co-sponsoring with CPA

CCPA Annual Virtual Meeting @ 9:00 AM and Workshop @ 10:00 AM

Contemporary Attachment Theory and Practice:  A Close Look at the Principles Underpinning the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI), and the Evidence in Support of the Approach

Instructed by
Howard Steele, Ph.D.

3.0 CE
Saturday, January 30th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
via Zoom

Workshop Description

This 3-hour long session addresses clinical applications of attachment theory, and specifically the application of the concept of reflective functioning to clinical practice. Findings from the Steele’s London Parent-Child Project will be summarized. The concept of Reflective Functioning will be discussed as well as how this concept informed the development of a novel early preventive intervention (Group Attachment-Based Intervention or GABI) that was tested in a randomized controlled trial. The rationale for GABI, and the demonstrated effectiveness of it will be presented. This will include how GABI evolved though research on the intervention when it was being developed in a single group open enrollment design. Comparisons between responses to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire and responses to the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) will be discussed as well as how the topics of loss and trauma are central to associations between the ACES and the AAI that highlight pathways to resilience following adversity.

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

1.  Describe and explain the links between reflective functioning and mindfulness (60 minutes)

2.  Describe the affect-regulation goals of contemporary attachment theory and how they are integrated into the

    Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI) (60 minutes).

3.  Analyze the associations that have been demonstrated between the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and

    the 10-question Adverse Childhood Experiences scale – contrasting strength- and deficit-approaches to

     considering the impact of childhood adversity upon adult functioning. (30 minutes).

Question and answer session (30 minutes)

Instructor Bio: Howard Steele, Ph.D.

Dr. Howard Steele, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Clinical Psychology, at the New School for Social Research in New York City. At the New School.  Dr. Steele co-directs (with Dr. M. Steele) the Center for Attachment Research, Howard Steele is also senior and founding editor of the international journal, Attachment and Human Development, and founding president of the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies, Together with Miriam Steele, and Anne Murphy, Howard Steele helped pioneer and test the efficacy of the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI), currently being delivered in all five boroughs of New York City, supported by the Administration of Children’s Services, New York City.

Howard Steele is among the 2017 Bowlby-Ainsworth Awardees so recognized by the Center for Mental Health Promotion and the New York Attachment Consortium. H. Steele is editor (with Miriam Steele) of the 2008 book, Clinical Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview, and the 2018 Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions, both published by the Guilford Press, New York.  Howard Steele is a member of the Adult Attachment Interview Trainers’ Consortium





1.             Murphy, A., Steele, M., Dube, S. R., Bate, J., Bonuck, K., Meissner, P., Goldman, H. & Steele, H. (2014). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Questionnaire and Adult Attachment Interview (AAI): Implications for parent child relationships. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 224-233.


2.             *Murphy, A, Steele, H., Bate, J., Nikitiades, A., Allman, B., Bonuck, K., Meissner, P., & Steele, M. (2015). Group Attachment-Based Intervention: Trauma-informed care for families with adverse childhood experiences. Journal of Family and Community Health, 38, 268-279. DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000074


3.             Steele, M., Murphy, A., Steele, H. (2015) The art and science of observation: Reflective Functioning and therapeutic action, Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 14:3, 216-231, DOI: 10.1080/15289168.2015.1070558


4.             *Steele, H., Murphy, A., Bonuck, K., Meissner, P., & Steele, M. (2019). Randomized control trial report on the effectiveness of Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI©): Improvements in the parent–child relationship not seen in the control group. Development and Psychopathology, 31(1), 203-217. doi:10.1017/S0954579418001621


5.             Steele, M.,Steele, H., Bate, J., Knafo, H., Kinsey, M. Bonuck, K., Meisner, P. & Murphy, A. (2014). Looking From the Outside In: The Use of Video in Attachment-Based Interventions. Attachment & Human Development, 16, 402-415.


6.             Steele, H., Perez, A., Segal, F., & Steele, M. (2016). Maternal Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) collected during pregnancy predicts reflective functioning in AAIs from their first-born children 17 years later. International Journal of Developmental Science, (Preprint), 1-8.

Historical perspective references

Steele, H., & Steele, M. (2008). On the origins of reflective functioning. In F. Busch (Ed). Mentalization: Theoretical considerations, research findings, and clinical implications. Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series, 29, pp 133-158.  NY: Analytic Books.


Steele, H. & Steele, M. (2005). Understanding and resolving emotional conflict: The view from 12 years of attachment research across generations and across childhood. In K.E. Grossmann, K. Grossmann,  & E. Waters (Eds.), Attachment from infancy to adulthood: The major longitudinal studies (137-164). New York: Guildford Press.


(NOTE: References #2 and # 4 provide more specific support for the GABI assessment process.)

California Psychological Association (CPA) is co-sponsoring with Contra Costa County Psychological Association.  CPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 3.0 continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we give credit only to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

Saturday, January 30, 2021, 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM
Additional Info:
Alissa Scanlin
Programs Committee Chair
Annette Taylor
408-757-7720 (p)
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only