NameCircle of Security (CoS)
Target AudienceInfants (0-2 years) 
Early childhood (3-5 years) 
Middle childhood (6-12 years) 
At-risk or vulnerable
CfC ObjectiveHealthy Young Families 
Supporting Families and Parents
OrganisationCircle of Security International
Delivery SettingCommunity based; home-based
DescriptionParent/child psychotherapy designed to assist parents to provide their children with the emotional support needed to develop secure attachment, resilience and enhanced school readiness.
Delivered toAt-risk children aged 0-6 years and their parents.
Delivered byTrained facilitators
Program Structure

This program is delivered to groups in community settings, or in participants' homes. There are eight 90 minute ‘chapters’/ components of the program:


  • Welcome to Circle of Security
  • Parenting
  • Exploring Our Children’s Needs All The Way Around the Circle
  • “Being With” on the Circle
  • “Being With” Infants on the Circle
  • The Path to Security
  • Exploring Our Struggles
  • Rupture and Repair in Relationships
  • Summary and Celebration
TrainingPractitioners are required to undertake a training course. For information about training available in Australia, go to:

Indicative costs are:


  • Intensive training: $2500-2700 USD
  • Parenting training and DVD: $900-1000 USD
  • Core sensitivities training: $650-700 USD
ContactEmail: [email protected] 
Evaluation and effectiveness

A longitudinal mixed-method quasi-experimental study with 75 mother-child pairs found the program had a significant positive impact on the attachment–caregiving patterns of high-risk toddlers and pre-schoolers and their primary caregivers (Hoffman et al. 2006).


A RCT was undertaken on the home-visiting version CoS in Washington among a sample of economically stressed mothers with irritable newborns at risk of insecure attachment (Cassidy, Woodhouse et al. 2011). Participation in the home visiting program significantly reduced the risk of insecure attachment.


Hoffman, KT., Marvin, RS., Cooper, G. & Powell , B. (2006). Changing toddlers’ and pre-schoolers’ attachment classifications: The circle of security intervention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6), 1017-1026.


Cassidy, J., Woodhouse, S., Sherman, L., Stupica, B., & Lejuez, C. (2011). Enhancing infant attachment security: An examination of treatment efficacy and differential susceptibility. Journal of Development and Psychopathology, 23(131), 148.