Circle of Security Parenting Course

03 September 2021 9.45am - 11.45am Online (zoom)


This course is for parents of adopted children age 0 to 7 years. Course takes place over 8 Fridays: September 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th, and October 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

This course is facilitated by Celine Keogh, who works with the Barnardos Post Adoption team and is a trained Circle of Security Facilitator. We are delighted to be able to offer this course to adoptive parents.

At times all parents feel lost or without a clue about what our child might need from us. Imagine what it might feel like if you were able to make sense of what your child was really asking from you.

The Circle of Security Parenting™ program is based on decades of research about how secure parent-child relationships can be supported and strengthened.

Learning Objectives of the Training:
  • Understand your child’s emotional world by learning to read their emotional needs
  • Support your child’s ability to successfully manage emotions
  • Enhance the development of your child's self esteem
  • Honour your innate wisdom and desire for your child to be secure

This specific Circle of Security Course is for parents of adopted children, and all sessions must be attended as each week builds on the next. Should you miss a session and wish to complete the course it will be necessary to organize a catch up session with the facilitator prior to the next scheduled session.

The course provides a space for reflection on parenting and sharing these reflections with other parents. It will be a closed group providing for safety and confidentiality.

Participants commit to:
  • 1.5 - 2 hours per week attending group session with other parents
  • Observing and reflecting on your time with your child in between sessions
  • Practising different ways of interacting with your child in between sessions
Structure of Course
  • Week 1: Introduction to the group, setting ground rules – Introducing the Circle of Security – what are the child’s needs on the circle, how is the circle of security created.
  • Week 2: Exploring our Children’s Needs All the Way Around the Circle – What is the Circle, Knowing the Formula for Security, Becoming the Hands holding Hands.
  • Week 3: ‘Being With’ on the Circle – Creating a relationship with your child where feelings can be shared to help build a solid emotional foundation for your child, Support your child to be with you and learn to be with others.
  • Week 4: Being with Infants on the Circle – understanding what an infant needs on the circle – a space to reflect on where my adopted child may not have had a need met and how to be with this, how to attune and respond to ‘ Feeling Okay/Not Okay’
  • Week 5: The Path to Security – Learning to notice my child’s cues and miscues, What are ‘Limited Circles’
  • Week 6: Exploring Our Struggles - Learn to recognise your role as the Hands on the Circle – learning what is being Bigger, Stronger, Wiser for your children.
  • Week 7: Rupture and Repair in Relationships – Learn to recognise that when your child is acting out they are looking for help in managing a genuine need. What is the child’s behaviour trying to tell us? Learning to repair relationships with ‘ Time In’
  • Week 8: Summary and Celebration : Review of all that has been learned in the previous week, reflecting on the learning , Appreciations and Congratulations.


Apart from week 1 which is an introduction to the programme, each week starts with a reflection on the previous session, and an opportunity for parents to share their observations and learning through the week since the last session. Where a challenge has arisen this can be shared.

The course involves each week viewing a number of videos introduced by the facilitator, the viewing is then followed by processing of what has been seen through questions and reflections. Each week there are teaching moments given by the facilitator.

Throughout the course you will need to bring the worksheets provided and the handouts, these are used to record your learning and to facilitate your sharing with the other group members. The course is participatory requiring your feedback and reflections on what you are seeing and learning.

Necessary for Participation:

A safe uninterrupted space, with good internet connectivity, the format of the engagement on the course requires that you have your video camera on so that the group can build a relationship with each other.

Should a session be missed to continue on to the next session it is required that you arrange to meet with the facilitator prior to the next chapter. This can only be facilitated once.