Improving learner outcomes

Attachment and Trauma Theory
Supported learning for teaching professionals
Flexible self-paced learning
Flexible licensing options

About attachment and trauma

Many factors can lead to attachment and trauma difficulties, such as social neglect or deprivation, repeated changes of primary caregivers, living in areas of social and economic deprivation, trauma experienced as a result of conflict or by refugees, and the early experiences of adopted children continuing to affect their lives.

Students with attachment and trauma difficulties may:

It's given me the tools, resources and language to communicate this theory with educators, something I didn't feel confident in doing before.

Primary Welfare officer

  • have difficulties forming strong attachments and relationships
  • display a consistent pattern of withdrawn behaviour towards caregivers
  • have episodes of unexplained irritability sadness or fearfulness in non-threatening interactions
  • display reduced reticence in approaching and interacting with unfamiliar adults
  • be overly familiar in ways that are not culturally acceptable or age appropriate
  • be prone to either lashing out, or running away and withdrawing from social situations
Designed for professionals

I understand the different attachment styles and understand why children may present in certain ways. I have also learnt how to implement specific strategies that will benefit these children.

Speech Pathologist

Course content

Attachment and Trauma Difficulties (ATD) are significant factors that can affect a student's ability to engage and progress in an educational setting. The course on Attachment and Trauma Difficulties aims to enhance the knowledge, understanding, and capabilities of educators to address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students impacted by ATD.

This course focuses on:

  • Understanding the nature, causes, and impacts of attachment and trauma difficulties, including the influences of social neglect, caregiver changes, social and economic deprivation, conflict experiences, and the unique challenges faced by refugees and adopted children.
  • Strategies for assessing the needs of students with ATD and measuring the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Developing SMART goals and targeted intervention plans tailored to the unique needs of students with ATD.
  • Offering practical classroom strategies supported by evidence to foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment.
  • Highlighting the obligations of educators under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 to ensure the rights and needs of students with ATD are met effectively.

The course draws on the attachment-informed practices of YarraMe School in Melbourne and extends the attachment training and research framework developed by Bath Spa University. It is designed to provide educators with the tools to make a significant and positive difference in the lives of students facing attachment and trauma challenges, ensuring these students can thrive in an educational setting.

This course is divided into sections.

  • Understanding
    Learn about the origins of attachment theory. Explore the four styles of attachment and their characteristics.
  • Assessment for Learning
    Learn the definitions of the different types of attachment disorder. Explore related and co-occurring difficulties, and the impact on learning in the classroom. Create three student focused SMART goals to start putting your learning into practice in the classroom.
  • Interventions
    Explore a range of adjustments for working with each type of attachment style and the process of personalising learning. Be aware of your own reactions to challenging behaviour and how to respond to challenging incidents. Understand the importance of a whole school approach to supporting students with different attachment styles, and attachment disorders.
  • Case Studies
    View real video examples that illustrate the needs of the individual, the interventions implemented and their resulting progress.

Providing professional learning in disability and inclusion since 2008

Given me a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma and how the attachment theories are linked and I definitely can identify this in a specific child.

Specialist School Teacher

Who is the course for?

Our Attachment and Trauma Theory course is perfect for those who work in schools and specialist settings, such as teachers, learning and support teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders. The target age range is compulsory education, although the course may also benefit education professionals in pre-school and kindergarten settings.

Over 179,000 participants worldwide

Why join the course?

Participants’ pre and post-course evaluations demonstrate significantly increased confidence in identifying, assessing and supporting students with attachment issues.

How would you rate your current skills in planning and implementing interventions for students with attachment issues?

  • Not confident
  • Somewhat confident
  • Fairly confident
  • Very confident


Pre chart
  • 7.2%
  • 60.3%
  • 29.8%
  • 2.7%


Post chart
  • 2.2%
  • 40.4%
  • 57.3%

As of December 2019

This course looks at the impact attachment and trauma difficulties can have on a student’s life. It shows how you can make your classroom and practice more inclusive for these students and offers practical assessment ideals and intervention strategies.

See what people say about our courses...

Created by experts

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • outline the concept of attachment theory
  • describe the different attachment styles
  • explain why attachment is an important concept and what the theory enables us to do
  • outline the criteria for attachment disorders and their characteristics
  • describe related and co-occurring difficulties
  • outline the impact of attachment difficulties on learning
  • explain the idea of the school as a secure base
  • implement strategies for working with each type of attachment style and understand the power of relationships
  • reflect on their own reactions to challenging behaviour and understand how to respond to challenging incidents
  • explain the importance of a whole school approach to supporting students with different attachment styles, and attachment disorders
  • set SMART goals and implement strategies to improve outcomes

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