in depth course

Promoting safety and security

for children and families in unsettled times

With Marilyn Sanders

Developing secure attachments to adult caregivers is critical to the health and well-being of infants, children, and adolescents.

Children who are securely attached are more resilient and are better able to manage stress.

Secure attachments are particularly critical in unsettled times such as the current pandemic when other typical supports and resources may be lacking.

Marilyn Sanders
Dr Marilyn R Sanders is a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist who cares for critically ill babies, infants, and their families at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Hartford.

course overview

This course will introduce the learner to:

  • The biologic expectations infants and young children have of their adult caregivers
  • The disruptions of social connectedness caused by the isolation and social distancing of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The history and foundations of attachment theory and the role secure attachment plays in optimal health and well-being
  • Conservation of resources theory and how caravans of risk vs caravans of resources impact child and adult health
  • Challenges and global burdens of common disruptions of connectedness, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), facing 21st century children
  • The impact of awareness of provider and patient unconscious nervous system responses on the provider/patient relationship
  • Tools to tune and tone the patient’s unconscious nervous system to foster a stronger therapeutic alliance
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Free Introduction

In this introduction, Marilyn will discuss the themes of the course.
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Class one

Secure Attachment: A Portal To Population Health

All young mammals are born developmentally immature and need adult caregivers to permit their survival. As young mammals engage in reciprocal relationships with adult caregivers, they build expectations of each other’s behaviors. Over time, if relationships meet the infant and young child’s biologic expectations for adult emotional and physical proximity, attunement, sensitivity and reciprocity, the infant becomes securely attached to the adult. In a secure attachment, the young child seeks out the adult for safety and security. Secure attachment buffers children against stresses they may encounter later and enhances children’s resilience. Adults who are securely attached manage stress better and have better health and well-being than those who are insecurely attached. Unsettling times increase the importance of developing secure attachments and yet may interfere with the presence of the supports for young families critical to fostering healthy relationships.
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Class two

Caravans Of Resource Passageways Protect Child Health And Wellbeing

Caravans of resource passageways protect child health and wellbeing
Conservation of resources (COR) theory describes personal, social, and material resources that co-develop and travel together to optimize developmental trajectories. Child born into caravans of resources passageways benefit from stable communities and families with adequate financial resources/education to promote their children’s health and well-being. Layne (2014) proposed using the term risk factor caravan passageway to describe the “often disadvantaged, resource poor and danger-laden socioeconomic conditions that foster the co-occurrence of multiple risk factors that accumulate and constellate across development.” Travelling together as if in a caravan, these risk factors often become additive or even exponential in their impact over time.
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Class Three

Enhancing Provider, Infant/child, And Family Relationships To Build Therapeutic Alliances That Promote Growth

Just as children look for a secure base in their adult caregivers, we all seek safety and security in our relationships with our professional caregivers. And as professional caregivers, we try to build therapeutic alliances that bring relief to vulnerable patients/clients. According to Adler (2002), the doctor-patient relationship involves “establishing the same kind of person-to-person attunement that is essential to the development of the newborn.” Such attunement requires providers both to appreciate how their own unconscious nervous system signals safety, danger or life threat and to be sensitive to both the verbal and non-verbal clues of the patient’s unconscious nervous system. When doing so, providers can tune and tone two nervous systems to work together collaboratively. Well-regulated providers can be a secure attachment that remains with and witnesses the patient’s pain to move the system toward growth.


One of payment
Includes :
  • Access to course
  • Life long access to recordings

course & Gold Membership

Billed annually
Includes :
  • access to course
  • lifelong access to recordings
  • Access to all our Live and Recorded classes for 1 year
  • Access to All Monthly Support Groups with Karlton Terry and Mia Kalef for 1 year
  • 20% discount on all other courses