growing healthy and secure family relationships

Trainings and Groups

The Attachment Center of Monterey Bay offers a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth and enrichment through groups (psychoeducational, process, and support) as well as trainings, workshops, and consultation. Below are some of our recent, ongoing and upcoming events. We are also able to tailor services like these to fit the needs of your particular organization. CEUs are provided for many of our programs (PCE #5367).

All events are at our Capitola office unless otherwise specified.


Therapeutic music groups for parents and their adopted* children

Incorporating Orff-Schulwerk music and Theraplay® approaches to promote attachment experiences together.

FAQ about Tune-Ups!

  1. Who exactly is the group for? Children, or parents, or both? Only adopted children, or can others attend? What ages?
  2. This group is focused on the parent-child relationship. It is designed for families with adopted children or children in a stable foster or kinship relationship (future offerings may include groups for families with different relational needs – please let us know of your interest).

    Tune-Ups is for parents (or other significant caregivers) and children to attend together, in pairs – one adult with one child (families who wish to have more than one child participate in the same group need to have additional adults as well). We do require that the same adult-child pair attends each session, as the activities build on each other and deepen as we go.

    Our prototype group is designed for early-elementary age children, about 5 – 8 years old. Future offerings may include groups for both older and younger children, and even tweens and teens – please let us know of your interest!

  3. What is Orff-Shulwerk music?
  4. Also called the Orff approach, or just Music for Children, this is a developmentally informed approach to learning music that combines music, movement, drama, and speech in a way that is similar to a child’s natural world of play. Children are the creators, composers, and choreographers while they enjoy making music as individuals and in groups, without the pressure to perform. They experience the joy of the collective attention, energy and creativity of the group, including the participation of other adults and parents in music making. “Orff activities awaken the child’s total awareness” and “sensitize the child’s awareness of space, time, form, line, color, design, and mood.” (for more information visit

  5. What is Theraplay®?
  6. Theraplay® is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding. (for more information visit

  7. Why combine the two?
  8. Theraplay® and Orff are like peanut butter and chocolate – two great ideas that go great together! They share some basic concepts – for example, they’re both developmentally based on natural patterns of play and healthy interactions, and they make use of familiar forms of expression (nursery rhymes, folk music, etc.) as well as adapted, improvised, and co-created activities. Plus, they’re both designed to be fun!

    Orff is typically taught in a classroom setting to groups of children, but using the Theraplay framework makes it easily accessible to parent-child pairs. The Orff activities have all the essential elements of Theraplay activities: structure, engagement, nurture and challenge.

    While the primary goals of each approach may be different (learning music vs. enhancing relationships), they’re certainly complementary! The way the body and brain engage in each of these processes help support the same outcomes: increased attunement and capacity for emotional regulation. Making music together has always been a way human beings “tune-in” (attune) to and connect with each other.

  9. What happens in the group? Is this a music lesson? Will my child learn to play an instrument?
  10. In each session, the facilitators (a certified Orff music instructor and a Theraplay-trained therapist) will guide the group in a variety of Orff and Theraplay activities. Parents will be guided in how to lead their children when appropriate. Each session will include one or more themes (such as “togetherness”) that support healthy relationships.

    Participants will play musical instruments including xylophones, drums, and non-pitched percussion instruments. We will also sing, chant, clap, dance, pat, and snap fingers! The music played is largely based on simple but forceful variations on rhythmic patterns. This makes for very simple and beautiful musical forms, which are easily learned by young children and adults and that have a universal appeal.

  11. It sounds like the mommy-and-me groups for toddlers, like Music Together or Kindermusik. Is it the same thing? Why would you do this with older children?
  12. There are certainly similarities. Many parents have found those groups to be a valuable and precious part of their families’ lives, and helpful in creating healthy family relationships. However, by elementary school age, those groups are no longer available to families, and that kind of special parent-child interaction often falls to the wayside as schedules get busy and music is left to the schools or lessons.

    For many families with children who have been adopted or are in foster care, those key experiences were not part of the developmental or relationship-building process, or there are still developmental and relational needs from that early period even when children are chronologically older.

    Tune-Ups! groups are unique in that they are focused on meeting those needs and enhancing healthy relationships through Orff music combined with the Theraplay approach.

    Above all else, the groups are FUN – and who doesn’t want to have more fun with their kids?

  13. How long is the group? Where is it held? How much does it cost?
  14. Our prototype group consists of 6 weekly 45-minute sessions, meeting in Scotts Valley, for $325 (discounts available for full payment in advance, or for multiple adult-child pairs from one family). This structure may change as we implement more groups.

Training for Clinicians:

Attachment-focused Professional Consultation/Study Group

For clinicians working with clients with issues of attachment, especially in foster or adoptive families. 2 CEUs/session. Monthly, 3rd Fridays, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., ongoing Contact or (831) 476-5758 for more information or to register

Focus on Fathers: The Importance of Dual Primary Attachment Figures

Presented by Craig W. Clark, M.A., MFT At Santa Cruz CAMFT’s “Café CAMFT” Friday, June 14th, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – noon. For more information: Or contact or (831) 476-5758

Got Attachment? A Retreat and Training for Therapists At this holistic, Experiential, personal exploration in California's Santa Cruz mountains, you will deepen your capacity to apply attachment theory and neuroscience in clinical practice.

October 11-13, 2013 For more information or to register: 25th Annual ATTACh Conference, San Antonio TX, September 18 – 21, 2013

Workshops facilitated by Craig Clark, MA, MFT:

Attachment-Focused Trauma-informed Treatment: An Integrative Approach

An introduction to modalities of attachment-focused therapy and mindfulness practices that address the needs of children who are impacted by their experiences of traumatic events.

Men: Exploring and Developing our Distinctive Roles as Caregivers

A workshop panel looking at the significant ways fathers contribute to helping children develop attachment security, learn appropriate pro-social behaviors, and develop capacity to express feelings with strength, sensitivity, and respect for others. For more information:

Past Events:

Connections: A Group to Explore Vulnerability, Courage, Authenticity and Shame

A program developed by Brené Brown, PhD (seen on TEDTalks)

Next 12-week sessions:

For women: Tuesdays, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., beginning June 18th, 2013 For men and women: Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., beginning July 18th, 2013 Contact or (831) 425-3414 for more information or to register

Circle of Security Parenting® Program

A Relationship Based Parenting Program for parents of young children Next 8-week session: Saturdays, 1:30 – 2:30, beginning July 20th, 2013 Contact or (831) 425-3414 for more information or to register

Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program to Advance Girl Power, Health, and Leadership

For middle-school girls: an evidence-based eating-disorder prevention program, and so much more! Next 10-week session: TBD – please contact us if interested This program can be provided at your school, club, or organization! Also available as a weekend-long intensive. Contact or (831) 425-3414 for more information or to register
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