Adolescence, Attachment and Building Connection (A-ABC)

Adolescence, Attachment and Building Connection (A ABC) is an eight-session* course that aims to explore attachment in teenagers, including their brain development and how this applies to adolescents who have experienced early trauma. It is a virtual, interactive course, giving parents and carers the opportunity to connect with highly qualified clinicians and parents/carers in similar situations.

* From April 2024

What does the course cover?

  • Introduction to the course as a whole
  • Introduction to attachment in teenagers
  • Neurological development of teenagers
  •  The influence of neurological development on teenagers’
  •  Sleep and changes in the adolescent brain
  • Understanding of emotions and risk taking behaviours
  • The impact of trauma on the teenage brain
  • Developing bodies
  • Setting and keeping the tone with teenager
  • PACE parenting with teens
  • Concepts of NVR
  • Using empathic reflection with teenagers
  • Building fun, laughter and affection with teens
  • Encouraging a sense of belonging
  • Identity (for example, gangs, etc)
  • Managing torn loyalties (for example, contact with birth family etc)
  • Holding teens’ overwhelming emotions
  • Regulation for teens
  • Regulating yourself as parents/carers
  • Managing violence and aggression
  • De-escalating conflicts
  • Managing risk
  • How to put in place (and keep) structure and boundaries
  • Teaching through choices and consequences
  • Shame
  • Balancing empathy and consequences
  • Two good choices
  • Logical consequences
  • Think toddler
  • Sibling conflicts
  • Managing social media
  • Reflecting on parent/carers own difficulties/histories – what is stopping you repairing the relationship?
  • What were the hopes and dreams
  • Looking after yourself (importance and practical ideas)
  • There is hope (the later teenage years)

Exercises, activities, video clips and discussions are used throughout the course to enhance the teaching and content.

Course details:

Level: Beginner/Medium

Number of sessions: Eight

Session length: 2.5 hours

Cost: £1200 + VAT

Dates: Please check our upcoming events

Training is delivered by two highly qualified clinical psychologists and/or therapists with many years’ experience working with trauma and attachment (and with teenagers/young people)

What parents and carers think about our A-ABC course

would recommend the course to others
found the content useful and informative
valued the expertise of our psychologists

“The presenters were both excellent and highly knowledgeable with a brilliant, professional yet approachable style.”

“Really enjoyed it and learnt a lot more to support my knowledge already and ordered lots of books!”

“It was lovely to meet other parents and realise we are not alone in this – and that people do find ways through. The opportunity to continue with these connections afterwards is very valuable.”

“A really valuable course. Thank you all so much!”

“It was well structured and thought provoking.”

“Course well structured and pace was great and thoroughly enjoyed the course.”

“Presenters were really lovely people as well as very knowledgeable which made the course really enjoyable.”

“It was lovely to meet other parents and realise we are not alone in this – and that people do find ways through. The opportunity to continue with these connections afterwards is very valuable.”

“Really apt videos to support course content. Enjoyed meeting others in a similar situation and the discussion work in small groups.”

“I thought [presenter] was exceptional and I held her in very high regard. In terms of content, the neuroscience of the adolescent brain was the most informative part of the course for me. Understanding “red and blue brain” and PACE was also very helpful.”

Upcoming A-ABC programmes

A-ABC therapeutic parenting (Jan 2025)

21 January 2025 - 18 March 2025

A-ABC therapeutic parenting (Apr 2025)

29 April 2025 - 24 June 2025

A-ABC therapeutic parenting (Sep 2025)

30 September 2025 - 25 November 2025


A-ABC is designed to be an informative, interactive and interesting way for parents or carers to learn more about parenting teenagers who have experienced early trauma, abuse or neglect.

All of the sessions incorporate specialist input from highly qualified clinical psychologists and therapists. As well as teaching, participants will also have the opportunity to take part in small group and individual exercises, as well as general group discussions, providing participants with maximum opportunity to understand and practice theories, ideas and skills.

This course comprises 8 sessions, 2.5 hours each, with the expectation that participants will put theory into practice at home. It will be essential that participants attend all four sessions as each one builds on the session before.

Training is delivered by highly qualified clinical psychologists and therapists with many years’ experience working with trauma and attachment.

Adolescence, Attachment and Building Connection is hosted virtually, via video conferencing methods. Participants will need a computer or mobile device, internet connection, webcam or device camera and microphone to participate.

Adolescence, Attachment and Building Connection is aimed at parents and carers of pre-teens and teenagers who have experienced trauma, abuse and neglect.

It is especially well suited to:

  • Adoptive parents
  • SGO carers
  • Kinship carers
  • Foster carers

Please remember that we recommend participants attend a Level 1 therapeutic reparenting programme* before attending A ABC. We will not have time to cover foundational topics during the sessions.

*eTR-UST, TR-UST, Nurturing Attachments or Foundations for Attachment

Please note that attendance is mandatory for all sessions.

Each session builds upon the knowledge learned from the previous week and it is unfortunately not possible for us to catch up on missed sessions. We would not be able to issue a certificate of attendance if the majority of sessions are not attended.

  • A laptop or mobile device (laptops are preferred, as they provide a better experience)
  • Webcam or inbuilt camera device
  • Microphone (usually inbuilt to device)
  • Internet or mobile data connection
  • A full technology guide is provided to participants before the course begins.

We offer participants the opportunity to test their tech with us before the course begins. Contact us to arrange a practice session.

Social workers or other professionals are welcome to refer parents and carers to our A-ABC courses. Please get in touch with us by email to let us know you will be making a referral. It is worthwhile asking parents and carers to fill out an application form at this point, as this secures their place while funding is underway.

Funding confirmation (for example, full ASGSF approval and a purchase order) is usually required 4 weeks before the course start date. We cannot confirm places without full funding approval.

Yes, you are welcome to self-fund a place on our A-ABC course. Payment is required before the course begins.

Please apply using the application form links in the brochure or the link sent to you by your social worker. Please note that we need your application form to secure a provisional place on the list. If we do not have your application form, you might not be able to attend.

If you are an adoptive parent, foster carer or special guardian, your place might be funded through the Adoption Support Fund. If this is the case, your social worker will need to approve your interest in the course and make an application to the ASF. Please contact your Local Authority or Regional Adoption Agency for more information.

Funding can take some time to be approved. It is usually best to arrange this well in advance of the funding deadline to avoid missing out.

Spaces are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.