‘Using ACEs, Attachment, and Trauma to inspire change’ – 2020 Emanuel Miller Memorial Lecture and National Conference


Event type National Conference

Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE

The Emanuel Miller Memorial Lecture and National Conference returns with a truly incredible line-up, focusing on ‘Using ACEs, Attachment, and Trauma to inspire change’

Quick links about the event

About the day
Key takeaways
About the talks
Who should attend
About the speakers
Prices and booking
How to get here

About the day

Through decades of research studies coupled with our understanding of child and adolescent brain development, the evidence is now clearer than ever: adverse early experiences, in terms of ACEs and attachment security, have a pronounced, pervasive impact across the lifespan, that come at a high individual and societal cost. Now, more than ever, the critical importance of the caregiver-child attachment and mitigating the effects of ACEs and early trauma, is being emphasized, and has propelled the development of innovative early interventions to improve child and adolescent well-being, reduce suffering, empower parents, and reduce the financial strain on society.

Key takeaways

  • A critical stance on attachment and its application over the years in research and practice, to see what is working and what is not
  • Discover the very latest research findings on Adverse Childhood Experiences and its links with neurodevelopment
  • Disentangling complex trauma and the links with psychopathology in children and adolescents
  • The development of psychological trauma and adapting to exposure to danger
  • Designing and implementing early interventions for children exposed to trauma

About the talks

Dr. Stephanie Lewis
What is so complex about complex trauma?

The term ‘complex trauma’ describes traumatic events that involve multiple interpersonal threats in childhood, such as repeated child abuse or severe bullying. In this talk I will describe psychiatric presentations experienced by young people exposed to this type of trauma, and contrast this with presentations experienced by young people exposed to other non-complex types of trauma. Additionally, I will consider the origins of these presentations, by explaining the role of pre-existing vulnerabilities. Throughout, I will highlight implications for clinical practice and future research.

I will discuss how research on these topics has important implications, including for clinical practice – informing assessment, treatment, and prevention – and for future research – informing theory and study design. I will focus on trauma associated with an increased vulnerability for psychiatric presentations, and will also discuss factors that are associated with increased vulnerability for trauma exposure.

My 3 key learning points

  1. To understand the nature of psychiatric presentations experienced by young people exposed to complex and non-complex traumas
  2. To recognise vulnerabilities linked to increased risk of complex and non-complex trauma exposure
  3. To appreciate the role of pre-existing vulnerabilities in psychiatric presentations experienced by young people exposed to complex and non-complex trauma

Who should attend

This day would be particularly beneficial to those who work in a research setting. In particular; Directors of research, Professors, Senior researchers, Principal investigators, Associate Professors, Researchers or Investigators, Assistant researchers, Post-doctoral fellow, Ph.D. students, Junior researchers.

Additionally, those who work with children affected with mental health issues, such as; Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Psychologists, Speciality Doctors, Clinical leads, Nurse Practitioners, Educational Psychologists, Social Workers, and those that work with children and young people affected with mental health issues.

About the speakers

Professor Peter Fonagy
Professor Peter Fonagy

Professor Peter Fonagy OBE FMedSci FAcSS FBA PhD is Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London; Consultant to the Child and Family Programme at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine; and holds visiting professorships at Yale and Harvard Medical Schools. He has occupied a number of key national leadership positions including Chair of the Outcomes Measurement Reference Group at the Department of Health, Chair of two NICE Guideline Development Groups, Chair of the Strategy Group for National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies and co-chaired the Department of Health’s Expert Reference Group on Vulnerable Children.

His clinical interests centre on issues of early attachment relationships, social cognition, borderline personality disorder and violence. He has published over 500 scientific papers, 260 chapters and has authored or co-authored 19 books. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Social Sciences and the American Association for Psychological Science and was elected to Honorary Fellowship by the American College of Psychiatrists. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from several national and international professional associations including the British Psychological Society, the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorder, the British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder, the World Association for Infant Mental Health and was in 2015 the first UK recipient of the Wiley Prize of the British Academy for Outstanding Achievements in Psychology by an international scholar.

Dr. Patricia Crittenden
Dr. Patricia Crittenden

Dr. Patricia M. Crittenden studied under Mary. D. Ainsworth from 1978 until 1983, when she received her Ph.D. as a psychologist in the Social Ecology and Development Program at the University of Virginia. In addition to Mary Ainsworth’s guidance and support, her psychology master’s thesis, on the CARE-Index, was developed in consultation with John Bowlby and her family systems research, on patterns of family functioning in maltreating families, was accomplished with guidance from E. Mavis Hetherington. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education, with specializations in mental retardation and emotional disturbance (University of Virginia, 1969.)

Dr. Patricia Crittenden has served on the Faculties of Psychology at the Universities of Virginia and Miami and held visiting professorships at the Universities of Helsinki (Finland) and Bologna (Italy) as well as San Diego State University (USA) and Edith Cowan University (Australia).

In 1992, she received a Senior Post-doctoral Fellowship, with a focus on child sexual abuse and the development of individual differences in human sexuality, at the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. In 1993-4 she was awarded the Beverley Professorship at the Clark Institute of Psychiatry (Canada).

In the last two decades, Dr. Patricia Crittenden has worked cross-culturally as a developmental psychopathologist developing the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM) of attachment and adaptation, along with a developmentally attuned, life-span set of procedures for assessing self-protective strategies. DMM-based theory and empirical research authored by Dr. Patricia Crittenden have been widely published as books, chapters in books, and empirical articles in developmental and clinical journals.

In 2004, Dr. Patricia Crittenden received a career achievement award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Child and Family Development” from the European Family Therapy Association in Berlin. Currently, Dr. Patricia Crittenden’s work is focused on preventive and culture-sensitive applications of the DMM to mental health treatment, child protection, and criminal rehabilitation.

Professor Paul Ramchandani
Professor Paul Ramchandani

Professor Paul Ramchandani is LEGO® Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at Cambridge University, UK. He leads a research team investigating the role of play in children’s early development. He also works as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in the UK National Health Service.

He trained as a doctor in Southampton before obtaining a degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He then completed training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and obtained a DPhil from Oxford University in 2005. Prior to taking up his appointment in Cambridge in January 2018, Paul led the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Group at Imperial College London.

Paul’s research is focussed on early child development and he has a particular interest in how we give children the best start in life, including the prevention of emotional and behavioural difficulties. Much of this work has explored the role of fathers, as well as mothers, in children’s lives and development. This research has been supported by Fellowships awarded by the MRC and Wellcome Trust and by substantive grant funding from the National Institute of Health Research.

He works with a multi-disciplinary team including expertise in psychology, neuroscience, education, and psychiatry. Details of the current work of the team, and recent publications can be found at the PEDAL website and the pPOD website

Professor Helen Minnis
Professor Helen Minnis

Professor Helen Minnis is a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow. She spent time working as an Orphanage Doctor in Guatemala in the early 1990s prior to training in Psychiatry, and this stimulated an interest in the effects of early maltreatment on children’s development. Her research focus has been on Attachment Disorder: clinical aspects, assessment tools and behavioural genetics. She is now conducting intervention research for maltreated children, including a randomised controlled trial of an infant mental health service for young children in foster care.

Dr. Stephanie Lewis

Dr. Stephanie Lewis is a Clinical Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She studied medicine at Imperial College London, and since graduating has undertaken integrated clinical and academic training, including psychiatry training at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She is currently undertaking an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, and continues to work as a psychiatrist in child and adolescent mental health services.

Steph’s research focusses on understanding the mental health difficulties experienced by young people who have been exposed to traumatic events, in order to inform and improve psychiatric care for those affected. As part of this work, she has studied trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young people, to understand the prevalence and clinical features of trauma and PTSD, and factors that predict the development of PTSD after trauma exposure. She also studies mental health difficulties experienced by young people exposed to different types of trauma, including complex types of trauma, such as child abuse or bullying. Additionally, she studies health service use and the recognition and treatment of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent mental health services.

Prices and Booking

  • Publications/Digital member rate: £99
  • Platinum member – EARLY BIRD £159, thereafter £179
  • Gold member – EARLY BIRD £179, thereafter £205
  • Silver/Bronze member – EARLY BIRD £199, thereafter £231
  • Non-member – EARLY BIRD £209, thereafter  £257

Ways to book;

  • Online via the button above
  • Call the office Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00 on 020 7403 7458
  • Complete and return the booking form, or;
  • If you want to be invoiced we must have a Purchase Order number for us to be able to raise an invoice, please email events@acamh.org for details

The events we organise are not profit-making, many are subsidised through our other commercial activities, without which they would not be able to run. As a charity, any surplus that we make is invested back into the business to benefit our Members and the sector. Members get a discounted rate and we hope you consider joining.

All delegates will receive a CPD certificate for 5 hours, emailed after the event. Prices include tea/coffee and pastries on arrival, two-course hot/cold lunch, and refreshments throughout the day, with cakes in the afternoon.


Slides are password protected, those we have permission to share will be made available when they are supplied to us.

  • Dr. Patricia Crittenden – slides tbc
  • Professor Paul Ramchandani – slides tbc
  • Professor Helen Minnis – slides tbc
  • Dr. Stephanie Lewis – slides will not be available for download
  • Peter Fonagy – slides will not be available for download



How to get there

Map of the venue via Google Maps

You may find it useful to use Transport for London Journey Planner to plan your route

Nearest Underground

  • Great Portland Street; 5 min walk, 0.2 mile (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan)
  • Warren Street; 9 min walk, 0.4 mile (Northern, Victoria)

Nearest Mainline Train

  • Euston 15 min walk, 0.7 mile. Underground connections; Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Victoria
  • King’s Cross St Pancras, 25min walk, 1.3 miles. Underground connections; Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Victoria