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Don’t Blame the Parents! How can we use the MotC to understand parents without blaming or shaming them?

January 18, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Online MotC workshop led by Ben Grey & Juliet Kesteven with Rudi Dallos

The MotC, like the CARE-index, from which it derived its patterns, was born in a child protection arena, which had an impact on some of the language used.  However, its understanding of caregiving has always been both dyadic and systemic – with problems residing in relationships rather than individuals.  Even the kinds of caregiving (Sensitive, Controlling, Unresponsive) refer to how the parent’s care might be experienced by a particular child rather than describing a kind of parent.

However, these words appear morally loaded, and it still remains tricky to formulate an understanding from the MotC that can easily be shared with a parent without seeming to blame them for their child’s predicament.

Professor Rudi Dallos, former director of the Clinical Psychology Programme at Plymouth, experienced family therapist, and developer of Attachment Narrative Therapy has written a recent book whose title (Don’t Blame the Parents) we are using.  Rudi argues that one way out of this dilemma is to highlight parents’ corrective intentions – the better life they are trying to give their children, even as the MotC may also illustrate how those intentions might be undermined by defences against past trauma (‘replicative scripts’), and the shame of things not working out as intended.  The MotC is well placed to bring these issues to light in a way that emphasises the full complexity of parenting rather than blames either child or parent for the difficulties that arise.

What will happen?

The day will comprise of:

  • A presentation by Rudi on how corrective intentions and replicative scripts operate in family systems
  • A presentation by Ben of how this analysis can both assist and emerge from the MotC to enable compassionate formulation of family problems.
  • Discussion with Ben, Rudi, Juliet and the group as to how this way of using the MotC could assist in clinical practice.
  • ‘Live’, supported, classification of an MotC interview focussing on these issues, drawing out both corrective intentions and defensive caregiving and thinking how we might formulate this compassionately and non-judgementally.

NB: Anyone interested in the MotC can attend, whether trained, reliable or not.  The event won’t however offer an introduction to the MotC so those who have not had any training or introduction to the MotC may find some language or aspects of the day difficult to follow.


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January 18, 2021
10:00 am - 4:30 pm




Cambridge Centre for Attachment
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