Core Sensitivities

Core Sensitivities: Differential Diagnosis, Object Relations, and the Self

Each of us has unspoken self-protective strategies that guide our experience within relationships. Part of the richness of attachment research is that it has systematized how these unconscious defensive patterns can be set in place in our earliest years, often before we have access to language.

Over the years we have discovered that having a systematic understanding of these pervasive and often hidden struggles, known as core sensitivities, offers a coherent road map that allows for greater success in working with clients and increased fulfillment in personal relationships.

The Circle of Security Approach

The Circle of Security approach to treatment is built upon the rich foundation of psychoanalytic/object relations theory. Inherent in this theoretical tradition is the recognition that each of us defend against the  inherent pain of attachment ruptures that went without repair in our early years. Utilzing the work of Bowlby, Fairbairn, Winnicott, Guntrip, Masterson, and Klein, the Circle of Security approach utilizes what we call “core sensitivities” (separation sensitivity, esteem sensitivity, and safety sensitivity) to offer a clear differential for clients dealing with common attachment-related struggles. Understanding these core sensitivities allow for a systematic, non-pathologizing, and relatively simple approach to treatment planning for each theme of emotional defense.

This training has been designed as a way to bring clarity to these specific and repetitive patterns so that participants can discover new options for both professional intervention and personal interaction. It is our hope that in recognizing these common patterns we can deepen our compassion and increase our capacity for a more careful response to ourselves and those around us.

This three-day training will focus on:
  • The correlation between core sensitivities and insecurity as described within attachment research
  • The intergenerational nature of each core sensitivity and how sub-sets of insecurity can be transmitted between parent and child
  • Issues of vigilance within each core sensitivity regarding: autonomy, vulnerability, and/or intrusion
  • Implications for treatment of parent/child dyads, teens, and adults
  • Implications for all interpersonal relationships
Who Should Attend?

Registered COS-P Facilitators, psychotherapists, early intervention specialists and other helping professionals (clergy, social workers, teachers, etc.) Material presented will include information previously utilized in the 10 day seminar.


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