Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman and Bert Powell are the founders of Circle of Security International. They have worked together in clinical practice since 1985, and had been friends and colleagues for a decade before that. Their shared clinical interest began with their work in family therapy and systems theory, which, after many years, led them to object relations theory. It was through their study of object relations theory that they were introduced to attachment theory.
Drawing from John Bowlby’s (1907-1990) original theory of attachment, in conjunction with Mary Ainsworth’s (1913-1999) “Strange Situation” paradigm of infant-parent attachment, Cooper, Hoffman, and Powell developed the Circle of Security attachment intervention. The Circle of Security is a relationship-based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. They have since confirmed, through decades of university-based research, that secure children exhibit increased empathy, greater self-esteem, better relationships with parents and peers, enhanced school readiness, and an increased capacity to handle emotions more effectively when compared with children who are not secure.
The COS intervention, and the graphic designed around it, are intended to help increase caregivers awareness of their children’s needs and whether their own responses meet those needs. With increased awareness, parents can expand their moment-to-moment parenting choices where needed. In this shift from “mind-blindness” to seeing what is “hidden in plain sight” lies the potential to break problematic attachment patterns, passed from one generation to the next, that can compromise healthy relationships throughout a child’s lifespan.
“The Circle of Security® is circling the globe as an intervention to help parents raise their children with love, warmth, and emotional intelligence.”
“The Circle of Security Parenting® DVD is an outstanding contribution and a “must see” for parents of young children. Focusing on how parent/child relationships can be strengthened, this unique approach teaches parents, and those helping them, new ways to understand children’s needs and behavior. It also offers effective ways to respond to these needs and behaviors. I have found it invaluable in my own work with parents of young children.”
“In piloting Circle of Security Parenting©, I watched parents integrate new insights rapidly and effortlessly. A new sense of understanding and confidence followed, allowing them to respond to their children in ways that were noticeably more secure.”