A step-by-step process for raising emotionally secure children

Circle of Security Parenting

Do you worry that separation will leave a dent in how your children are feeling about themselves and their relationships?

Do you want to know how to keep your children’s world intact as you move through separation and build a new life?

Father and Son Baking

The negative aspects of separation can be apparent so let’s have a look at the good things that can come out of it: 

  • We know that conflict between parents impacts children more than separation and that some parents find it easier to get along once they have separated.

  • If parents can establish and maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship, children can learn that relationships can transform and evolve.

  • Regardless of how the co-parenting turns out, children can learn that everyone deserves happy and healthy relationships.

  • Separation can bring relief to children as they can sense the tension that existed beforehand.

  • When parents are no longer consumed by problems in their relationship, they can focus on their relationship with their children and be more present and available to them.

  • When parents are parenting on their own, they often have to learn what used to be the other parent’s role, and it helps to deepen their bonds with the children.


I tried different approaches following my separation. Initially, my focus was on managing the logistics of the separation through:

  • Creating new routines

  • Ensuring smooth transitions between homes

  • Learning to manage my time


Although it was essential to put these things in place, and we were doing all right, I could not shake off the sense that I was skimming the surface without knowing how my children were really feeling. Things started to shift when I moved my focus from managing logistics to being present with my children and investing in our relationship. It sounds obvious to me now, but it took me a while to get there. Even after realising that I wanted a better relationship with them, I was not entirely sure how to go about it. I felt that as a parent, I should “know” how to reach my children, yet at the same time, I felt stuck.

That’s when I discovered Circle of Security Parenting, and it was like a breath of fresh air. This approach was created by a team of psychologists at Circle of Security International. They distilled the key findings from attachment research that has been accumulated over the last 60 years and translated it into an easy-to-follow step-by-step process. The video below gives a quick introduction to Circle of Security Parenting:

Using this approach wasn’t a quick fix, and I had to commit to it, but it took the guesswork out the process of relating better with my children. I learned what to look out for, what to think about and what to do to nurture our relationships. The more I practised what I was learning, the easier it became to approach any situation with my children as an opportunity to connect with them.

My own experience and that of working with many separated parents since then have helped me to develop an approach to parenting after separation which is based on understanding the unique relationship that exists between a parent and a child. Separation does not happen in a vacuum. It takes place in the context of an intricate web of relationships that have been developing and taking shape for many years (and perhaps even generations). Each parent-child relationship has its strengths and struggles that were already present before the point of separation. These influence how parents go about supporting their children and explain why, although a great starting point, generic advice will only go so far. Understanding and appreciating the uniqueness of each relationship helps parents to:

  • Lean into their strengths and make the most of what comes most easily and naturally for them

  • Focus their time and energy on learning parenting skills that will help them to strengthen their relationship 


When parents focus on nurturing their relationship with their children, they find it much easier to make effective decisions about managing life after separation.

Una's gentle and realistic approach has helped me navigate the struggles more smoothly, understand my child's needs better and better appreciate the good moments with her. It has allowed me to be kinder to myself as a parent.  I'm very grateful to her and wish I had met her sooner.

Circle of Security Parenting course is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process designed to strengthen the sense of security in your relationship with your children. You will learn the skills that will help you to:

  • Confidently approach difficult conversations with your children 

  • Help your children to express what is going for them and manage their intense emotions (including sadness, frustration, disappointment and anger)

  • Understand what is driving your children's challenging behaviour and how you can help them to be more in control of their behaviour choices

  • Manage your triggers and come back to feeling patient and calm.

I'm certain that if you decide to do this course then in the years to come you will look back with pride on how you met this challenge and feel grateful for how your relationships have grown since then.

mother and daughter

to explore how Circle of Security Parenting can help you

Man Carrying Child in Arms
The Difference that Makes a Difference

After 60 years of research we know that the more secure children are, the more they are able to:

  • Enjoy more happiness with their parents

  • Feel less anger at their parents

  • Turn to their parents for help when in trouble

  • Solve problems on their own

  • Get along better with friends

  • Have lasting friendships

  • Solve problems with friends

  • Have better relationships with brothers and sisters

  • Have higher self-esteem

  • Know that most problems will have an answer

  • Trust that good things will come their way

  • Trust the people they love

  • Know how to be kind to those around them


(Cooper, Hoffman and Powell; Circle of Security International, 2018)

Course details

Duration of the course: 9 one and a half hour sessions. 


Dates and time: 8-9.30 pm on Mondays, May 2 -  July 4 (half term break on May 30, no session that Monday).


Location: online, on Zoom


Fee: £347


Duration of the course: 8 one and a half hour sessions. We can meet weekly or fortnightly. 

Dates and time: mutually convenient


Location: online, on Zoom, or in Forest Row, East Sussex, UK

Fee: eight payments of £112.50 or £850 when paying in full

Frequently asked questions

What happens during the sessions?

There are three parts in each session:

  • Checking in about your week, your observations, reflections, wins and challenges.

  • Studying the course material: each session covers an essential piece of information about developing secure relationships. The content is delivered in a highly interactive and relatable way through videos of parents and their children, graphics and plenty of time for reflection and discussions that will help you to weave your insights into your day-to-day parenting.

  • Reflecting on the session offers the opportunity to decide what you would like to take away from the session and explore further during the coming week.

UnaSocials-8051 - cropped.jpg

Do I need to do anything between sessions?

The most important thing is to keep your insights from the previous session in your awareness as you go about your day-to-day parenting. It’s not about doing more; it’s about doing differently. If you would like to take things a little deeper then I recommend committing to 10 minutes of reading and 10 minutes of journaling on most days.

What support is available between the sessions?

  • Before we start our sessions, I will send you a detailed questionnaire about your relationship. Having a good understanding of your current relationship will help us to make the most of our sessions.

  • You will have a course workbook that highlights the key points covered in each session and helps you to stay focused on the current step. I am a huge believer in doing one thing at a time. It will help you to stay out of the overwhelm and keep moving forward. You’ll have the key information at your fingertips to review whenever you need it.

  • One-to-one: I will be available to support you via email and voice messages. You will not feel on your own with your parenting dilemmas, I will be on the other end of the line to listen to your insights and frustrations, answer your questions and celebrate your successes with you. 

Would you recommend doing the Circle of Security Parenting course together with the other parent?

It depends on the current state of your relationship. If you have a reasonably good relationship then doing the course together is a great idea. It will help you to focus on the needs of your children and develop a shared vocabulary to talk about things. If, however, there are unresolved issues and tension between the two of you then I recommend either doing the course separately or doing some preparatory work before doing the course together. We can discuss this further during our discovery call. 

to explore how Circle of Security Parenting can help you