Client Relationships That Heal

Using attachment theory in coaching relationships

A 3-Part On-Demand Exploration with Alison Whitmire and Dr. David Drake


Discover How Attachment Theory Can Enrich Your Coaching Relationships

The coaching relationship itself is a powerful resource that coaches can use to help clients achieve their desired outcomes. By understanding the 'attachment style' our clients have developed as a result of how they were parented, we can understand how they relate to themselves, others, and the world, particularly under stress.

And as coaches, our own attachment style can influence our relationships with clients.

How might our attunement to attachment styles inform our coaching?

How does an attachment style show up in a client's narrative?

What are the characteristics that clients may demonstrate related to their attachment style that shows up in coaching sessions?

Which coaching approaches might we use for working with clients with different attachment styles?

We'll cover this and more in this enlightening co-hosted on-demand series.

Attachment Theory and Relational Intelligence



What You'll Learn


Using Attachment Theory to Understand and Enrich the Coaching Relationship

In this session, David will show you how to deepen your client relationships using an understanding of attachment theory. You will learn:

  • The four levels of attachment security and how to increase the levels for clients so they feel safe and strong enough to do their work with you
  • How to use the coaching relationship to help clients learn new relational patterns
  • How to create moments of meeting as opportunities with clients to help clients (and you) grow


Using Attachment Theory to Understand How Clients Relate

In this session, you’ll learn how the attachment patterns discussed in the first session impact how clients relate to others, themselves and their lives. We’ll explore:

  • The connection between a client’s attachment style and where they focus, the feelings they access and where they place their trust
  • How an attachment style shows up in a client’s narrative and the “symptoms” that clients experience when relating using their attachment styles
  • Ideas for coaching approaches for working with clients with different attachment styles


Integrating Attachment Theory and Relational Intelligence in Coaching

This intimate session features a rich dialogue between David and Alison. Together they explore:

  • How their respective bodies of work can be used to strengthen your coaching relationships with clients
  • How to dig beneath the surface to connect the client with themselves and what matters
  • Why the coaching relationship is more important to clients and their outcomes than we think
  • How to use stories as a way to discern the attachment needs of clients and how to address them through the coaching relationship.

Taught by Subject Matter Experts


Alison Whitmire

PCC and President, Learning In Action

Alison Whitmire is committed to connecting people. She connects people with a fuller experience of themselves, with ideas that help them make meaning of their lives and with others in community. Alison is a leader in the field of emotional and relational intelligence and is the originator of Learning In Action’s WE Intelligence.

She is a Professional Certified Coach, Master WE-I Practitioner, and Certified Narrative Coach. She serves on the faculty of Moment Institute teaching Narrative Coaching and is certified as a 200 RYT Yoga Teacher, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and Breathwork Teacher. Alison has been a TEDx speaker and a three-time TEDx Conference organizer.

David Drake

Founder and CEO of The Moment Institute and Narrative Coaching

Dr. David Drake is the Founder and CEO of The Moment Institute in Portland, Oregon (USA) — a global leader in the transformative development of practitioners and professional practice. He is most well-known as the founder of Narrative Coaching, and he has taught this work to over 20,000 practitioners in over 40 countries. His current work in Integrative Development offers practitioners a profoundly new way of working with people to support their learning and growth.

David has worked with 70 public and private sector organizations around the world to help them achieve their change and coaching objectives. Clients include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dropbox, Google, Logitech, Nike, Penske, PwC, and numerous government agencies in the US and Australia.

He is a Thought Leader for the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. He earned his PhD in Human & Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University in California. He is the author of over 60 publications on leadership and coaching, including as lead editor of The Philosophy and Practice of Coaching (2008), co-editor of SAGE Handbook of Coaching (2016), and author of Narrative Coaching: The Definitive Guide to Bringing New Stories to Life (2018).

Are you ready to enhance your coaching relationships?



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