Attachment & Marte Meo with Robyn Dolby
2 Day Workshop

Paying attention to the emotional environment: introduction to a relational framework and to Marte Meo when working with children and families.

When children and families bring their concerns to you, what is the emotional work that needs to be done? It includes being curious about how families share and receive feelings and noticing the feelings that are evoked in you as you respond to the family dynamic. Through case material you will review examples of holding feelings and using relational language to put words to children’s feelings and relationship needs. Marte Meo is introduced to show how clinicians can assist parents to get into mutually supportive dialogue with their child/children and to learn a secure model for taking charge.

Participants are welcome to bring their video footage of their own parent-child or teacher-child or therapist-child interactions to review from an attachment and Marte Meo perspective. Appropriate sharing permissions must be approved by the subjects.

Marte Meo is a relational intervention that supports childrens attachment and development. It focuses on the importance of connection and communication in the building of relationships and emotional connections. It is the “how to” of attachment. It is an important approach in the fields of infant and child development and attachment.

Marte Meo was devised by Maria Aarts in Holland through the 1970s and 80’s. The term Marte Meo is derived from the Latin "mars martis", a term used in mythology to express "On one's own strength". This is the central Marte Meo focus on the idea of supporting children to find their own strength, as well as to focus on an enhance the ability of parents, teachers and professionals to connect with these children to enhance their social and emotional development.

Marte Meo was first developed first through Maria’s work with children with Autism to increase their social and emotional development and improve the connection with their caregivers. Since this time, Marte Meo has also been adapted to cover working:

  • Children with ADHD
  • Child care settings
  • Child protection & out-of-home care services
  • Children with developmental disabilities;
  • Children in child psychiatry settings;
  • Premature babies
  • Children in educational settings;
  • Children in residential care;

The Marte Meo programme was developed through observation and analysis of human interaction. Video is the most important tool used for interaction analysis and becomes a behavioural microscope. Everyday interactional sequences are recorded, and can then be analysed in detail. A number of such sequences from related areas provide information about more generable patterns. This then guides treatment planning around improving relationships, social and emotional development, and language development. During the training we will review video footage of parent-infant; parent-child and teacher-child interactions, to:

  • Make strong connections with children by entering into their world;
  • Activate child development rather than compensating problems;
  • Read the developmental message behind behaviour;
  • Recognising how to use supportive communication in the right moment;
  • Scaffolding social interactions to improve social connection and development;

Marte Meo has been found to improve attachment bonds; improves felt security; improves emotional intelligence, increases self-awareness and regulation of body movements; improves language in social contexts and therefore improves social skill development, improves attention and emotional and behavioural regulation, builds self-confidence, improves imaginative play, promotes predictability and co-operation.


Book Now


1st & 2nd March 2021
9am - 4pm


Apollo International Hotel 
290 Pacific Hwy


(Lunch will be provided

View Program

Presenter: Dr Robyn Dolby


Recommended Participants:

Marte Meo is valuable training for the following professionals:

  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Daycare and childcare workers
  • Professionals working in Disability Services
  • Teachers
  • School support officers
  • Special Education teachers

About the Presenter: Robyn Dolby

Dr Robyn Dolby is a Psychologist and co-founder of Secure Beginnings. She has worked in the field of Infant Mental Health for forty years. Her interest is in the emotional communications of infants and children and how these communications are understood by parents and educators. She introduces educators in early childhood settings to the way being still gives them room to really see themselves and the children and to be curious about what is happening in the moment. Robyn has written the booklets, “The Circle of Security: Roadmap to Building Supportive Relationships”“About Bullying”“Promoting Positive Behaviour”; and “Secure Transitions: Supporting Children to Feel Secure, Confident and Included”, published by Early Childhood Australia. Robyn is a licensed supervisor in Marte Meo.

Page Last Updated: 02 February 2021