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CPD Adoption Course - The Fundamentals of Working with Adoption (6 Days)

This CPD course is specifically designed for anyone who works with adoptive families, individuals or children and young people in a facilitative, therapeutic, assessment or helping role. This course will take place at the venue below on the following dates;


New Haw Community Library

The Broadway

New Haw


KT15 3HA 


Weekend of 26 & 27 November 2022 (Module 1)

Weekend of 10 & 11 December 2022 (Module 2)

Weekend of 21 & 22 January 2023 (Module 3)

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Adoption changes everything forever for everyone involved with everyone within the adoption triad suffering multiple losses. There have been significant changes in adoption over the past two decades, and the Adoption & Children’s Act 2002 was an attempt for legislation to catch up. Adoption is supposed to offer children a safe and nurturing environment to enable positive growth, while at the same time give adoptive parents and especially in the case of childlessness, the opportunity to become parents and offer a permanent, secure home. However, there is an additional layer of complexity due to developmental trauma experienced by children who are being adopted, and this can increase the risk of later adoption breakdown and mental health difficulties.


Adoption fundamentally affects children, the birth parents and their families and the adoptive parents and their families, all of whom have their own individual emotional processes. These internal processes are influenced by how an individual interprets and makes sense of the information they receive through the senses. Information processing and memory systems are unique for each person as they are an integral part of each person’s attachment strategies and are crucial how they experience and respond to situations. Understanding this enables for more effective and appropriate therapeutic intervention and care planning. This course will integrate the only evidence-based and comprehensive developmental theory of attachment, the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment & Adaptation (Crittenden, 2003).


Children living in a threatening environment albeit physical, sexual, emotional, or neglectful adapt to function and protect themselves within the family. Removal from the birth family challenges the child’s way of protecting themselves, and self-protective behaviours can be seen as bizarre, odd, malicious, manipulative, controlling or clingy within the non-threatening adoptive home. The adoptive parents’ attachment behaviours can also become the new threat for the child. Children in adoptive families are not always seen or understood within this context, and this can lead to a perpetuation of feelings about themselves which were formed from their earlier experiences.


Professionals and those who are in a position to help can fall into the trap of pathologising or diagnosing, which can lead to adoptive parents and families believing that the child is the problem. In turn adoptive children can become a repository for many negative feelings and beliefs. Many children and adoptive families who have received help have fed back that problems are exacerbated by traditional methodologies which are used to understand the child’s behaviour. As well as pathologising the child, parents who already feel de-skilled in their parental role can become demonised. This can occur due to the lack of knowledge and experience of the complex nature of developmental attachment processes, for both the child and parents. It is not helpful or sufficient to solely label the child or adult as ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganised (Main & Solomon 1986). Instead, what is needed is a fuller, more helpful, and useable method of understanding how each family member protects themselves as each member has their own way of protecting themselves, and it is this interplay that needs to be understood.

Work with adoptive families is about how to bring them together while facilitating the re-organising of the child’s and parents’ self-protective strategies to be more able to successfully co-create their life worlds. This course will be exploring issues of developmental trauma and how this leads to the development of self-protective attachment strategies.

Who is this CPD Adoption Course for?


This course is designed for anyone who works with adoptive families, individuals or children and young people. Participants can be working with individuals, families, or groups of all ages in a facilitative, therapeutic, assessment or helping role including counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, child therapists, play therapists, art therapists, drama and movement therapists and psychoanalysts. Due to the attachment foundation of the course, it may be helpful for those interested in the latest attachment science. The course will have some experiential elements that will require participants to make use of aspects of self and share their own personal experiences. As the course may evoke emotional material, participants are encouraged to have access to adequate support when needed.

Raphael Lopez de Soto | Psychotherapist | CPD Adoption Course

What are the aims of this Adoption course?


  • To enhance awareness about how attachment styles and protective strategies of children and parents interact and co-create what happens within the family system.

  • Clarify the legislative and legal framework of working with adoptive families.

  • Explore the different types of adoption and how this impacts those involved and the most common adoption practices in the UK.

  • Explore and examine the multiple losses experienced by the child, birth family and adoptive family.

  • Gain an understanding of the how current attachment theory has developed since Mary Ainsworth.

  • To examine how each self-protective strategy can manifest.

  • Gain an understanding of the adoption process from the perspective of the birth parents, child, the adoptive parents and social worker.

  • Learn how to assess and plan effective interventions with adoptive families.

  • Make use of live supervision and share experiences of working with adoptive families.

  • Enhance understanding of the self-protective functions of narratives and how these are used to make meaning and perceive the world.

  • Learn how to make use of theory to inform practice.

  • Examine and identify practice challenges and opportunities when working with adoptive families.

  • Learn how memory systems and information processing are an integral aspect of attachment.

About the course trainer

One of the main intentions of the trainer is to provide a space in which transformational adult learning can occur, where learning has a life of its own and has an energetic capacity to transform both the learner and the teacher (Chapman Hoult, 2012). As such the learning space is welcoming, and values a wide range of methods, practices, theories and life experiences.


Raphael Lopez de Soto is a qualified UKCP registered and MBACP child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist, forensic psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor. He has experience of working with individuals, families, couples and as a group therapist and facilitator. He has worked in the NHS, primary care, education, specialist inpatient environments and family centres. Raphael works with adults and young people who are involved in the criminal justice system and with adoptive families and children in foster care who have experienced early life trauma or abuse. Raphael has developed family therapeutic interventions that are attachment focussed and do not isolate any member of the family, and these have proved effective when working with children and adults who have experienced abuse.


Raphael has worked in adoption and permanency, post adoption team, within a local authority and brings both a social worker and therapist perspective. He has also been involved in child protection Section 47 investigations and has supervised both front-line child protection social workers and specialist practitioner social workers. Raphael works independently with individuals, adoptive families, and children in foster care and with local authorities. He undertakes parenting capacity, sibling and risk assessments and forensic assessments and develops and runs bespoke training for therapists, foster carers and social workers.


Raphael has trained with Dr Patricia Crittenden and continues to study the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment & Adaptation. Raphael has carried out research into child trauma and dissociation and continues to research this area. His understanding of attachment and neuroscience has led to developing clinical training. Raphael has also lectured on the Attachment Studies MSc at Roehampton University which is grounded in the DMM.

Course details, price and how to book

Course title:  

CPD Adoption Course - The Fundamentals of Working with Adoption (6 Days).


Course dates:  

Weekend of 26 & 27 November 2022 (Module 1)

Weekend of 10 & 11 December 2022 (Module 2)

Weekend of 21 & 22 January 2023 (Module 3)

Course times: 

09:30 start to 17:30 finish.

Course duration:  

6 days total, split into 3 x 2-day modules.


CPD hours: 

42 hours.


Course commitment: 

60 hours total including pre-course reading.


Course price:  



Course refreshments:

Refreshments will be provided. Lunch will not be provided but a varied range of lunch options are available in New Haw.

How to book: 

If you would like to book, or if you have any queries about the course, please contact Raphael Lopez de Soto by email at or leave a message with Terry Davies at Holistic Health Centre Woking, telephone 01483 724300.

Payment details:  

Payment of £825.00 will be required before the course starts on 26 November 2022. The payment contact is Terry Davies at Holistic Health Centre Woking, telephone 01483 724300 and email

Course venue details

Course venue:

New Haw Community Library in New Haw is approximately 4 miles from Woking, and 3.5 miles from M25 Junction 11.


Venue address:

New Haw Community Library

The Broadway

New Haw


KT15 3HA


Venue SAT NAV:

KT15 3HA


Venue parking:

The library is situated on the corner of The Broadway, which is the main shopping street in New Haw. There are two parking spaces and one disabled space outside the library. There is also some free on street parking on The Broadway, and on the surrounding roads.


Venue accessibility:

The venue has disabled access and facilities, for more information please visit Surrey County Council’s website;


Nearest railway station:

West Byfleet railway station is the nearest railway station which is approximately 1 mile from New Haw Community Library.

Useful directions links and map


New Haw Community Library via Surrey County Council’s website:


Google Maps:


The AA Route Planner:

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