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Intro to Fidelity Coaching

The Level System explained


e've learned that each Registered Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator is on a different life journey. Most have different levels of education, training, and work experience. For many, attending the COSP four-day training begins another journey — a Circle of Security Parenting journey. We find many facilitators are surprised about how intense the experience of facilitating the COSP™ program can be. The COSP journey typically involves interfacing with very stressed parents and asking these parents to learn new things while exploring their complex and often painful personal histories. In other words, being a COSP Facilitator often means managing a lot of Shark Music!

Fidelity Coaching was born out of a long tradition that has informed the Circle of Security International Team for decades. We think much of the learning about the work we do comes from reflecting on ourselves. After all, the Circle of Security is all about reflection.

Here is a clip from the COSI Originators (Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman and Bert Powell) talking about what advice they would give any provider working with Circle of Security models regarding how to deepen their experience with COS.

Glen, Kent and Bert talk about how "opening yourself up" with a supervisor has been transformative in their careers.

There are three interrelated goals of Fidelity Coaching:


To help each Facilitator deepen their understanding of the Circle of Security-Parenting model in order to deliver the model with fidelity;


To enhance each Facilitator's capacity to help stressed parents by identifying the Facilitator's own Shark Music moments. Recognizing and addressing Facilitator Shark Music through reflective dialogue enhances capacity to Be With and deepens self-understanding;


To identify patterns in how and when Facilitator Shark Music arises and learn about how those patterns may be reflected in psychological defenses (or what is called a 'Core Sensitivity').

The Level System

The Level System Overview

The Level System Details


COSP Facilitator I

Complete 4-day COSP training and register for access to the member side of COSI website.

Utilize Fidelity Journal and Basics of Facilitation for facilitation support.

Complete 2 full rounds of COSP (individual or group) in order to register for Fidelity Coaching and Level 2 status.


COSP Facilitator II

Complete two rounds of COSP intervention meeting weekly with your Fidelity Coach to review your Fidelity Journal entries and reflect upon your experiences implementing the COSP program. The focus will be both on challenges you encounter supporting dialogue about specific COSP content (e.g., facilitating Circle Stories, the Being With circle, Shark Music, etc) and on when and why you experienced Shark Music as a Facilitator. At the end of the two rounds of Level 2 Fidelity Coaching you and your coach will discuss your progress and review further coaching options.


COSP Specialist

Complete two rounds of COSP intervention captured on video, meeting weekly with your Fidelity Coach to review your Fidelity Journal entries, watch selected moments of video and reflect on your experiences implementing the COSP program. It is recommended that you also complete the Core Sensitivities training to enhance the experience of Level 3 Coaching. The focus at this level of Coaching is recognizing the patterns in moments of Shark Music as you facilitate and reflecting on how those patterns relate to our own psychological defenses (e.g., core sensitivity) and/or the psychological defenses of the caregivers we are interacting with. At the end of the two rounds of Level 3 Fidelity Coaching you and your coach will rate your progress using the Circle of Security-Parenting Facilitator Competencies Rating Scale and discuss further coaching options.


Certified COSP Fidelity Coach

Becoming a Certified Fidelity Coach requires being recommended by your Level 3 Fidelity Coach and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Circle of Security International. At Level 4, your Fidelity Coach is meeting with you weekly as you provide Level 2 or Level 3 Fidelity Coaching to others. The focus at Level 4 is on how to be an effective Fidelity Coach and review of video of your coaching efforts is central to the reflective dialogue you have with your Fidelity Coach.

COSP™ Facilitator Levels of Endorsement Table

Level One Level Two Level Three Level Four
Complete 4-day COSP training and register on member side of COSI website Complete 2 COSP programs with using COSP Fidelity Journal with Fidelity Coach Complete 2 COSP programs with caregivers using COSP Fidelity Journal and videotape review with Fidelity Coach If selected, then complete a minimum of 2 rounds of coaching COSP Facilitators. Each round will be videotaped and reviewed with your Fidelity Coach.
Utilize Fidelity Journal and other website resources for facilitation support Demonstrate competency in recognizing struggles in COSP Facilitation Demonstrate competency in understanding how Core Sensitivity impacts struggles in COSP Facilitation Stage A: Demonstrate competency in coaching COSP Facilitators with Fidelity Journal
Complete 2 COSP programs in order to register for Level II Coaching Licensed clinicians interested in video review should talk with their Fidelity Coach before registering for Level 3. Moving to Level 4 requires signing an Memorandum of Understanding with COSI and Fidelity Coach recommendation. Stage B: Demonstrate competency in coaching COSP Facilitators using Video Review