During a trip to Valencia last week, I had opportunity to meet with Angeles Cerezo, Professor of Psychology at University of Valencia. She was excited by the launch of Irish Attachment In Action (IAIA) as she has been working internationally for many years to support parent infant interaction and healthy attachment. She has strong connections with Ireland and is fully supportive of our vision of raising awareness of the need for attachment training and practice across Ireland.
Angeles is a former visiting professor at Trinity College Dublin and creator of a well evaluated programme PCPS, Parent Child Psychological Support which promotes infant wellbeing through supporting parents and creating secure attachment.
Despite supporting almost 3000 infants and their mothers in Dublin’s Ballymun area, the programme, like many others, was discontinued due to funding challenges a few years ago.
Angeles is now in discussions with agencies in Northern Ireland about the potential for introducing the programme within the province.
The key benefits of this approach are that:-
· It is accessible for all mothers of young infants and children
· It has proven benefits in promoting bonding and in supporting parents to understand and respond to the attachment needs of their developing children
· Training for those who provide the programme can be completed in 20 hours
· While public health nurses are critical to the effective roll out of the initial stages allied health professional and psychologists can provide the other elements.
This approach, like Marte Meo and other parent infant attachment initiatives, helps build confidence among all parents and helps with early recognition of those parents with challenges in relating to their infant, so that they can be targeted for additional supports which address their specific circumstances.