Adoption & Attachment Treatment Center of Iowa

Professional Training

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING for working with Children who have
Developmental Delays, Behavioral Disorders, Attachment & Trauma Disorders

Professionals who are looking for information and techniques to interact with children who have developmental delays, behavior disorders, and/or attachment and trauma disorders will find Part 1 of the following program most useful.

To attend Part 2 you must attend Part 1 as the information & techniques are sequential.

The following locations are open for registration!
                                                             Register soon, space is limited in most locations.

"Therapeutic Interventions & Parenting Techniques for Children
with Developmental Delays, Attachment & Trauma Disorders."

NEW 2 day program as requested! 
        For Foster & Adoptive Parents, Kinship Caregivers, Residential/in-patient Staff, Teachers & Clinicians

Minneapolis, MN   *   November 1 Fri + 2 Sat, 2013     Cancelled due to low registration.

Note: Payment via Paypal will be listed on your receipt under the account name
"Therapeutic Parenting & Consultation Services"

Training is held from 9:00 - 5:00 each day

Part 1: Therapeutic Interventions & Parenting Techniques for Children 
                        with Neurological & Developmental Delays

Appropriate for biological, foster and adoptive parents, caregivers, teachers, clinicians and in-patient unit staff who interact with children with developmental delays, autism, behavioral disorders, reactive attachment disorder and early trauma & neglect.  *Part 1 is required to attend Part 2.

Certificate of Attendance provided for 5 hours.

  • Why “normal” parenting doesn’t work; the need and purpose of therapeutic parenting for children with developmental delays and/or early neglect and trauma. Parenting for a different brain; HPA Axis, Neuro-Chemical imbalances/circadian cycle, Sensory issues.  Symptoms of a child with a developmental disorder.
  • Identify the difference between pons-level & mid-brain level dysregulation and correlated parenting approaches.
  • Developmental Delays; Receptive & Expressive Processing, is it a “can’t or a “won’t”?
  • Define attunement and how to meet a child where s/he is functioning adaptively – rather than chronologically.
  • Identify the common emotional needs behind (the needs driving) behaviors.
  • The most important steps for setting up [the entire family] for success.
  • The 8 most critical interventions for developmentally delayed and traumatized children.
  • Therapeutic interventions & techniques for;
    • Reducing anxiety, shame and power struggles. Redefining and de-escalating anger.
    • Managing transitions, new situations/people and separation anxiety.
    • Identifying, verbalizing and processing; feelings and needs.
    • Increasing a child’s responsibility, self-confidence/worth and subsequent cooperation.
    • Daily living tasks from awakening to bedtime; meals, dressing, self-care, chores and homework.
    • Responding to lying, stealing, aggression towards siblings, elimination issues and sexual acting out.
    • Coaching techniques for increasing social skills.
    • Increasing trust and subsequent attachment and bonding.
  • Meeting the needs of caregivers of developmentally delayed children.

You must attend Part 1 to attend Part 2 as the information & techniques are sequential.

Part 2:  Therapeutic Parenting for Attachment, Trauma, Grief & Loss

Appropriate for foster and adoptive parents, caregivers, teachers, clinicians and in-patient unit staff who interact primarily with foster and adopted children with a history of neglect and/or trauma and multiple placements.

Certificate of Attendance provided for 10 hours.

  • The impact on brain development & subsequent mastery of developmental tasks from: in-uterine teratogens, maternal stress, poor health/nutrition & early neglect and trauma.
  • Parenting for a different brain; HPA Axis, Amygdala, Neuro-Chemical imbalances/circadian cycle, Corpus Collosum, Sensory issues.  Difference between pons level and mid-brain level dysregulation and correlated parenting approaches.
  • Current research on adopted children’s developmental delays require us to ask -          is it a “can’t or a “won’t”?
  • Symptoms of a child who experienced early trauma and neglect; define Developmental Trauma Disorder.
  • Attunement: understanding the common beliefs and perceptions of a traumatized child’s internal working model.
  • Therapeutic interventions for:
    • Identifying and responding to trauma-triggers to help a child heal from trauma; intrinsic vs extrinsic memories.
    • Identifying, managing and healing sibling trauma-bond (adopted bio-sibling sets).
    • Healing responses and techniques for grief and loss issues.
    • Healing relationships after fights, fits and freak-outs.
    • Shifting parenting techniques for teens and the transition toward independence.
  • Define ‘vicarious trauma’ and post traumatic stress disorder in parents and available healing techniques.

I believe that utilizing Therapeutic Parenting is the most important modality for healing a developmentally delayed or attachment-traumatized child.  It is critical that all primary caregivers are utilizing the same parenting approach for consistency.  Therefore, I strongly recommend that both parents (when applicable) attend; sitters, teachers and relatives are also strongly encouraged to attend.  Professionals, clinicians and unit staff will also find the tools provided in this program extremely helpful for interacting with developmentally delayed and attachment-traumatized children. 


Other programs available:

"Wisdom & Tools to Facilitate Services to Foster & Adoptive Families"

For Adoption Agency Staff, Adoption Workers, and Foster & Adoptive Family Support Staff

"Experiential Techniques for Treating Attachment,
Trauma & Loss with Foster & Adopted Children"

For  Counselors, Social Workers & Psychologists

Contact Denise at  or call 319.430.4383 for more information.

About the Instructor: 
Denise L. Best, M.A. is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Iowa and a Registered Clinician with ATTACh [Association for the Treatment & Training in the Attachment of Children] an international organization that requires extensive training and peer review for registration.  Denise has worked with foster and adopted children and families for over 20 years.  She has 455 hours of training in attachment, trauma and adoption-related issues.   After attending extensive training and researching many different treatment modalities, as well as learning from the best teachers available – the hurting children, she developed a unique treatment protocol for treating adoptive families titled A.T.T.A.C.H.E.D. Family Treatment Model. ™   Denise has also authored the most intervention-packed parenting manual titled "Therapeutic Parenting for  Children with Developmental, Attachment & Trauma Disorders" © which has now been sold in four countries.

Denise is an internationally recognized educator in the field of attachment, trauma and Therapeutic Parenting, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Attachment & Trauma Network.       

In 2012 Denise will begin providing training to professionals seeking to gain advanced techniques to treat adoptive families.  Training content is based on the A.T.T.A.C.H.E.D. Family Treatment Model™ Denise has developed over the past decade. 

84 hour Adoption Competency Training coming in 2013:

This an advanced and comprehensive training program for Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists, and Mental Health providers who treat, or wish to treat families whose adoptive children have Reactive Attachment Disorder symptoms or diagnosis. Effective treatment requires much more than basic attachment treatment. Children who experienced abuse and/or neglect in the critical developmental period of birth to two years of age often have neurological damage, developmental delays of 4 years, complex trauma, an inability to regulate emotions, and sensory, processing and grief/loss issues.  There is a critical shortage of adequately trained clinicians to treat adoptive families struggling to bond with children who cannot attach. In this program clinicians will learn how to make sense of and appropriately respond to the complex behaviors of developmentally traumatized children.  Clinicians must be able to utilize and provide parents with alternatives to coercive and punitive techniques.  Punitive techniques are not only ineffective, but harmful to children with histories of neglect and trauma.  Effective therapy must include trauma-informed treatment and developmentally-targeted modalities. In addition, Therapeutic Parenting must be utilized for healing to occur.  Clinicians will learn how to assess, diagnose, and effectively treat these struggling families.  This will include treatment issues with adoptive parents who often experience vicarious trauma from parenting traumatized children.  This class (78% of which is training on interventions & techniques) will prepare Clinicians to provide competent and effective treatment for every member of adoptive families.  
Contact Denise or at for your individually tailored on-site training program for educational, residential treatment, boarding school, or in-patient Psych treatment staff. 

Title of Training

Registration open!
"Therapeutic Interventions & Parenting Techniques for Children
with Developmental Delays, Attachment & Trauma Disorders."

September 27 + 28 2013


Part TWO:
November 1 + 2, 2013


To learn about other training opportunities please click on the title of the organization to visit the website for upcoming conferences and events.

ATTACh     Association for Treatment & Training in the Attachment of Children
The next Conference will be held September 19-22, 2012 in Baltimore, MD  

NACAC North American Council on Adoptable Children
The next Conference will be held July 25-28, 2012 in Crystal City, VA

Attachment & Trauma Network
Will begin offering a webinar-based training series for professionals and parents in January, 2012.  This is possible due to a grant from Pepsi and the hard work of the ATN volunteer-run non-profit organization.   
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