Attachment-informed approaches to calming anxiety – online seminar

The Power of Connection Seminar Series

Monday, 20 May 2024, 9am-4pm online seminar ZOOM

You don’t need to look far to see a dramatic increase in anxiety over the past few years. As Gabor Mate has said: ‘safety is not the absence of threat but the presence of connection’. In this seminar we will examine the underlying dynamics behind anxiety, building on Gordon Neufeld’s Attachment-based developmental approach (presented in the first course Attachment Theory). Neufeld’s model of alarm will be presented, examining how anxiety impacts the body, the mind and relationships. The work of trauma theorists (Schore, Porges, Levine) as well as interpersonal neurobiologist, Seigel, will be integrated with the Neufeld material to provide a holistic approach to dealing with anxiety in our clients.

Learning outcomes of the course:

  1. Appraise the phenomenon of escalating anxiety in society from an attachment perspective.
  2. Understand the importance of physical and psychological rest for human flourishing.
  3. Assess how anxiety affects:
    a.     Our body: biological aspects, physiology, and chemistry of anxiety,
    b.     our mind: psychological (neuroscience and mental processes)
    c.      our feelings: emotional effects of alarm problems.
  4. Be able to work with clients to calm their anxiety and lead them to psychological rest.


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Q About Dr Ruth Lawson-McConnell

Ruth Lawson-McConnell is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (Canada) and a member of the New Zealand Counselling Association and the NZ Psychological Society with nearly 30 years experience. She trained and worked in Scotland and Canada, and has been in New Zealand for the past 11 years. She has an MA (Honours) in Social Anthropology and Psychology (Aberdeen University) and a PhD (Counselling Psychology - Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland).

Ruth specialises in attachment issues both in adults and children. She works in private practice where she offers specialist supervision on attachment and trauma with adults, and parent consulting on children’s emotional and behavioural issues. Ruth also lectures and has specialist training as a neuropsychotherapy practitioner and a trauma specialist.

Q What others have said about Ruth’s presentations:

“I really appreciate your warm open-hearted style, your research and digestible way of offering complex information. Thank you Ruth.”

“Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge, humour and inspiration with us during your awesome workshop.”

“I was privileged in attending your seminar. I found the whole presentation flowed and you were wonderful in listening and answering everyone.”

"Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us at the Professional Development day. The feedback from participants has been SO positive. Everyone thinks you were informative, easy to listen to, and they all want you to come back. Our younger team members loved your presentation style also!"

"Your presentation was top marks for presentation and delivery. Just loved all the work you had put into those slides, and I have heard only favourable comments from my colleagues. So often people have referred to your warmth and lovely personality. Can't better that! Thank you again!!!"