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Strategies Clearinghouse

Circle of Security (COS)

What is it?

Circle of Security (COS) is a video-based intervention program designed to improve secure attachment. The program is designed for parents that struggle to meet their children’s attachment needs. COS focuses on increasing parents’ empathy for their children, capacity to identify attachment needs, regulate stressful emotions, provide comfort when their children are in distress, and practice security-promoting behaviors. COS can be delivered to individual parents, couples, or groups. The facilitator conducts the intervention by playing videos and pausing at designated moments to ask reflective questions to parents. The program consists of eight chapters that are delivered through 90-minute sessions each week. 

What is the evidence base?

Parents who participate in COS demonstrate a decrease in parent stress, a decrease in hostility toward children, an increase in parent efficacy, and an improvement in their ability to understand and respond to their children’s needs. Children show an increased ability to communicate their needs more effectively to their parents and a decrease in behavioral issues. 

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