What is Cambridge Centre for Attachment?

Cambridge Centre for Attachment (CCA) is based upon the work of its directors Dr Ben Grey, CPsychol, and Juliet Kesteven, in partnership with associated colleagues. Its heart is a collaborative multi-disciplinary network of professionals across the UK, aiming to integrate the insights of attachment theory, research, and assessment methods into their work with parents and children.

“Understanding the way parents think about their relationships is key to assessing risk and resilience”

CCA believes that all intervention with children and their families should be founded upon an attempt to fully understand their history and relationships, and that attachment theory offers both a non-judgemental and illuminating way to achieve this. The approach of Cambridge Centre of Attachment looks to integrate on-going relevant research with evidence based practice, to the enrichment of both.

Cambridge Centre for Attachment provides training and consultancy to Local Authorities, NHS trusts, Social Care organisations, and Independent practitioners.

CCA is based in Cambridge, but offers a service across the UK and internationally. Small group training and workshops are also conducted at CCA’s new garden training venue.


We no longer offer direct assessments to the family courts, owing to increased training commitments. We do however offer analysis and classification of attachment interviews and videos to practitioners using these procedures.

Cambridge Centre for Attachment is also the home of the Meaning of the Child Interview (MotC: www.meaningofthechild.org), an interview based assessment tool, based on attachment theory, designed to understand the nature of parent-child relationships (Grey and Farnfield 2017a, 2017b). Dr Grey and Ms Kesteven are currently involved in training professionals, Local Authorities, and Voluntary Organisations in the use of the MotC, and supporting them in integrating the use of this procedure in their work with children and families.

“The MotC should be an assessment that every social worker working with children should be able to readily utilise, it can make the difference in getting it right from wrong.”

Barry Tilzey, Consultant Practice Development Lead – London Borough of Wandsworth

[For further testimonials regarding CCA’s work with the MotC click here]

For training courses offered here at CCA’s garden annexe training room, please see events

Dr Ben Grey and Juliet Kesteven:

Dr Ben Grey and Juliet Kesteven previously ran Family Care’s Centre for Attachment in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Juliet Kesteven is a social worker who has worked with children and families for 30 years, and has considerable added psychological training and expertise. Dr Grey is a chartered psychologist, Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, and registered social worker.

Dr Grey is now a Principal Lecturer (Research) on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is former director of the Attachment Theory, Research and Practice postgraduate programme at the University of Roehampton. Through Cambridge Centre for Attachment he teaches internationally on the application of Attachment theory to clinical and forensic practice.

Ms Kesteven also works as clinical supervisor and mentor to individual practitioners, practices, and also to Milton Keynes Children and Family services, where she also runs a training programme jointly with Dr Steve Farnfield.

Dr Grey and Ms Kesteven are trained and reliable in many different psychological, research validated assessments of attachment, trauma and family relationships, and have a long history of integrating these into in-depth and expert assessments of risk in family relationships. They both have longstanding experience of carrying out assessments with parents and children who have learning difficulties, as well as a specialist interest in autism.

With the support of Juliet Kesteven and other colleagues, Dr Grey developed as part of his doctoral research, The Meaning of the Child Interview (MotC), a method of classifying parenting interviews for the nature of the parent-child relationship (Grey 2014, Grey and Farnfield 2017a, 2017b). The MotC is now taught internationally and used across a wide variety of mental health, occupational health and safeguarding services. See www.meaningofthechild.org

Dr Grey has been part of the development of a protocol for assessing attachment in adults and children in Family Court proceedings, developed through IASA (the International Association for Study of Attachment). The protocol was tested over a 4 year period involving reports submitted to 15 judges in 5 different countries internationally, and Dr Grey is a co-author of the paper on the protocol published in the Journal of Forensic Practice (Crittenden et al. 2013).