The Secure Base in the Room: Attachment Theory as a Paradigm for Psychological Therapies.

‘A Day with Gwen Adshead’

Date:                                   Saturday 18 May 2019

Venue:                                 University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Berkshire, RG6 6UR

Time:                                  10am – 4pm (Refreshments from 9.30am)

Cost:                                   External applicants: £99, BCS Volunteer Counsellors: £49.50

                                             Students will receive a 15% discount on the above rates, please email

                                    for an appropriate booking form. 

                                             Lunch and refreshments are included. 


Workshop Leader:             Gwen Adshead

Attachment theory can provide a fundamental framework to understand the issues our clients bring to therapy. It is therefore vital that, as clinicians, we understand the complexities of attachment and how it can influence therapeutic change.  Dr Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychiatrist, psychotherapist and attachment specialist, will present an engaging day aimed at deepening our understanding of this concept.

Dr Gwen Adshead will describe attachment theory as a theoretical paradigm that offers both an explanation of how clients struggle with therapy; and how psychological change might take place. She will discuss contemporary themes in attachment theory; in particular, the application to the concept of mentalising and how this concept is useful for relational disorders.

Using clinical vignettes, small group discussions and live supervision, Gwen will explore how attachment theory can develop our understanding of the process of therapy.  She will also consider how, we ourselves may struggle with this, highlighting how it is the attachment profile of both the therapist and patient that impact the therapeutic process.

As a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital for nearly two decades, Gwen has worked with some of society’s most complex and socially rejected individuals.   In 2013 she was honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry; an honorary doctorate from St George’s Hospital Medical School in 2016 and was the Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017.

In addition to being a practising clinician, Dr Adshead is a prolific writer and has authored over 100 academic papers in books and journals. She is a regular guest on radio and television, where she has discussed issues as diverse as criminal mental health and her “Desert Island Discs”.



Please download and complete a booking form, and email it to If you have any questions or require any further information, please email or call 01256 843125.

Getting There

The workshop is being held in the Meadow Suite, Park House on the University of Reading’s Whiteknights campus; please use the Pepper Lane entrance.

Detailed information about how to get to get to the University can be found at:

By Car:

The Whiteknights campus is approximately 1.5 miles from the M4. The sat nav postcode for the Pepper Lane entrance is RG6 6UR. Parking is plentiful and unrestricted on the campus at weekends and no permits are required.

By Train:

The Whiteknights campus is approximately 2 miles from Reading train station.  This is a mainline train station and is easily accessible from most other places in the UK. There are direct rail links from many major cities, including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, and Exeter, as well as a number of routes through London. Local buses, which go directly to the venue, run regularly from outside Reading train station. There are also a number of taxi ranks.

Refunds and cancellations
In the unlikely event that unforeseen circumstances arise and BCS has to cancel this course a full refund will be given. In the event of cancellation by the participant, BCS reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee as indicated by the table below.  All requests for cancellations must be received in writing, with changes becoming effective on the date written confirmation is received.

Calendar days notice before the start date of the course Refund applicable
29 calendar days or more Full refund
Between 15 and 28 calendar days (inclusive) 50% refund
Between 1 and 14 calendar days (inclusive) No refund will be given
Failure to attend Treated as late cancellation and no refund given