Core Sensitivities

Core Sensitivities: Differential Diagnosis, Object Relations, and the Self

The Circle of Security paradigm is founded upon object relations theory and attachment theory/research. Making sense of the human condition through an appreciation of how we each utilize predictable, non-pathological defenses in the face of interpersonal struggle is at the core of how the Circle of Security model has been formulated.

  • How do we better understand the hidden struggles and motivation within ourselves and those in our personal and professional life?
  • What patterns within relationships typically repeat themselves that often lead to problematic outcomes?
  • How might we increase our understanding of behavior within relationships and empathy for how these issues keep recurring?
The Circle of Security Approach

The COS Core Sensitivity Seminar will focus on three predictable strategies (core sensitivities) commonly used by most of us in an attempt to both navigate close relationships and protect ourselves from emotional pain. Using findings from attachment research, affective neuroscience, and psychoanalytic theory this video-based seminar will use lecture, self-reflection, and participant discussion to better understand the ways in which those we meet (clients, colleagues, family members, ourselves) live within unspoken rules and non-conscious "requirements" concerning "how one must function within relationships."


This three day seminar has been designed to delineate basic principles with object relations theory. On a more personal level, it will be taught with the understanding that reflecting upon the specific and predictable ways that we all seek stability within relationships allows for greater insight and empathy regarding both professional and personal interaction. In recognizing these common patterns of interaction, we can deepen compassion and increase our capacity to better respond to ourselves and to those around us. These three days will balance a focus regarding how you organize yourself within personal relationships and how you might use this information to help support your work professionally. The chapters devoted to core sensitivities in the Circle of Security Intervention book are recommended reading prior to the seminar.

This three-day training will focus on:
  • The correlation between core sensitivities and insecurity as described within attachment research
  • The intergenerational nature of each core sensitivity and how sub-sets of insecurity can be transmitted between parent and child
  • Issues of vigilance within each core sensitivity regarding: autonomy, vulnerability, and/or intrusion
  • Implications for treatment of parent/child dyads, teens, and adults
  • Implications for all interpersonal relationships
Who Should Attend?

Registered COSP™ Facilitators, psychotherapists, early intervention specialists and other helping professionals (clergy, social workers, teachers, etc.) Material presented will include information previously utilized in the 10 day seminar.


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