Testimonials to the MotC

“The MotC should be an assessment that every social worker working with children should be able to readily utilise, it can make the difference in getting it right from wrong.”
Barry Tilzey, Consultant Practice Development Lead – London Borough of Wandsworth

Please Click Here to read more feedback from social workers, psychologists, therapists and commissioners about the MotC, and training in the MotC.

Publications and Empirical studies about/using the Meaning of the Child

Ash, Z., & Grey, B. (2022). ‘I feel … I need to defend myself’: Exploring the influence of social worker’s attachment history on the social worker-client relationship. Human Systems: therapy, culture and Attachments.

Barrow, V., Grey, B., & Essau, C. A. (2022). “I am not exaggerating, literally a monster … a Jekyll and Hyde type thing”: Understanding the lived experience of adoptive fathers whose children display violence and aggression’.  Human Systems: Therapy, Culture and Attachments. 0(0)

Chapman-Moyle M (2021). ‘The Agony & the Ecstasy: Managing a Chronic Pain Condition Whilst Being a Mother’, PhD thesis, University of Plymouth, Available online here.

Dallos R (2022) ‘Attachment Narrative Therapy’ in Dallos R ed. Attachment Narrative Therapy: Applications and Developments, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland

Dallos R (2022) ‘Chapter 8: Attachment and Parenting’, in O’Shaughnessy R., Berry K., Dallos R., and Bateson K’, ‘Attachment Theory: The Basics‘, Routledge, London and NY

Dallos, R., Grey, B., & Stancer, R. (2022). Anger without a voice, anger without a solution: Parent–child triadic processes and the experience of caring for a child with a diagnosis of autism. Human Systems: therapy, culture and Attachments.

Dallos, R., & Vetere, A. (2021). Systemic Therapy and Attachment Narratives: Applications in a Range of Clinical Settings (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Drzymala, H., Grey, B., & Fowler, N. (2022). Exploring the triadic parent–child–sibling relationship: How do mothers’ view of their children impact sibling relationships? Human Systems, therapy, culture and Attachments, 0(0).

Granville, Sian Rachel (2016) ‘A qualitative inquiry of clinicians’ relational experiences within a perinatal infant mental health service contextualised with quantitative analysis of outcome measures.‘ Doctoral dissertation, University of Essex

Grey, B., (2014), ‘The Meaning of the Child to the Parent: The Development and Validation of a New Method of Classifying Parenting Interviews for the Nature of the Parent-Child Relationship’, PhD thesis, London: University of Roehampton.  Available online here

Grey (2017) ‘The Meaning of the Child to the Adoptive Parent: Understanding the Contribution of the Parent to the Parent-child relationships in Adoption’, Seen and Heard, Vol. 27:2.  Available here by kind permission from NAGALRO

Grey (2023): Beyond Sensitivity’: Understanding caregiving compromises in adverse contexts using the Meaning of the Child Interview in Chrząstowski S and Vetere A ‘Safety, Danger, and Protection in the Family and Community
A Systemic and Attachment-Informed Approach.  Can be purchased here.

Grey, B and Farnfield, S (2017a), ‘The Meaning of The Child Interview (MotC) – A new procedure for assessing and understanding parent-child relationships of ‘at risk’ families’, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Vol 22:2, pp. 204 – 218 DOI: 10.1177/1359104516633495.  Pre-publication version available here

Grey, B and Farnfield S (2017b), ‘The Meaning of The Child Interview (MotC) – The initial validation of a new procedure for assessing and understanding the parent-child relationships of ‘at risk’ families, Journal of Children’s ServicesVol 12.1, pp. 16-31. Pre-publication version available here

Grey B. and Gunson J (2019) Invisible Children? How attachment theory and evidenced-based procedures can bring to light the hidden experience of endangered children’ in Bunston W and Jones S. (Eds.) ‘Supporting Vulnerable Babies and Young Children: How to Work with Complex Challenges’ UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  Prepublication version available online here

Grey, B., Dallos, R., & Stancer, R. (2021). Feeling ‘like you’re on … a prison ship’ – Understanding the caregiving and attachment narratives of parents of autistic children. Human Systems: Therapy, Culture and Attachments. Can be downloaded here:

Hollingsworth (2019) ‘Can we predict the dyadic emotional interaction style in the Marschak Interaction Method by how a parent thinks and talks about their child in the Meaning of the Child Interview?’, MSc Thesis presented to the University of Roehampton, London, UK

Karamat-Ali R and Dallos R ‘Self Harm: Moving from Dyads to Triads’ in Dallos R ed. Attachment Narrative Therapy: Applications and Developments, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland

Laplanche, M (2022) ‘Towards a Secure Expiration of Attachment and Shame using Attachment Narrative Therapy’, in Dallos R ed. Attachment Narrative Therapy: Applications and Developments, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland

McPherson, S., Andrews, L., Taggart, D., Cox, P., Pratt, R., Smith, V., & Thandi, J. (2018). Evaluating integrative services in edge-of-care work. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 40(3), 299–320. (note this is a study of the Norfolk PIMAP project that used the MotC in intervention with high risk families – it does not describe the project in depth or the role of the MotC; this is set out and illustrated in Smith et al. 2018).

Smith V, Pratt R, Thomas C, and Taggart D (2018) ‘Norfolk Parent-Infant Mental Health Project (PIMAP): Working towards integration in attachment, mental health and social care’ in Leach P, ed. ‘Transforming Infant Wellbeing: Research, Policy and Practice for the first 1001 Critical Days”.  London and New York: Routledge.  Click here to download.

Conference Presentations

Grey B (2010) ‘The Meaning of the Child in Parenting Interviews: A comparative study using the Parent Development Interview and the CARE-Index’ Poster and seminar presented to the 2nd Biannual Conference of the International Association of Attachment in Cambridge, August 2010

Grey, B (2014), ‘The Meaning of the Child to the Parent – An Inter-subjective Approach to Assessing Representations of Caregiving’, Poster presented at the World Association of Infant Mental Health Conference, Edinburgh, June 2014. Available online here

Grey, B and Kesteven J (2018), ‘The Meaning of the Child Interview: Assessing Risk and Resilience in Parent-Child Relationships Through the Way Parents Speak about their Child‘ (Workshop Presented at the 16th WAIMH (World Association of Infant Mental Health) congress in Rome, May 2018).  Available online here

Grey, B, and Robertson M, “Understanding Parents: Beyond ‘one size fits all’ assessments and interventions“.  Presentation to the Wiltshire Family Justice Board Conference, Swindon, November 2016

Grey, B and Gunson, J (2014), ‘What’s Missing? Can a multi-disciplinary approach to using attachment theory and evidenced-based procedures make visible the gaps in protecting children highlighted by serious case reviews?’ Poster workshop presented at the World Association of Infant Mental Health Conference, Edinburgh, June 2014. Available online here

Kesteven, J (2012) ‘Moving Beyond Blame and Shame – Using the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment to inform Parent-Infant Therapeutic Interventions’ Poster presented to the 3rd Bi-annual Conference of the International Association of Attachment (IASA) in Frankfurt, 2012. Available here

Also of interest may be the presentation giving by Dr Grey on research being undertaken using the MotC with parents of children who have autism:

References to other relevant other work

Aber, J., A. Slade, B. Berger, I. Bresgi & M. Kaplan, (1985 – 2003) The Parent Development Interview: Interview Protocol, Unpublished manuscript: Barnard College, Columbia University, New York.

Bowlby, J (1988), ‘A Secure Base: Parent Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development‘, Routledge, London

Crittenden, P.M. (2007) Infant/Toddler Care-Index Coding Manuals, Miami Florida: Family Relations Institute (unpublished)

Crittenden, P (2016) ‘Raising Parents’, 2nd Edition, Routledge, London

Crittenden, P and Landini A (2011) ‘Assessing Adult Attachment: A Dynamic-Maturational Approach to Discourse Analysis’, Norton, New York

Dallos (2019) ‘Don’t blame the parents: Positive Intentions, Scripts and Change in Family Therapy‘, Open University Press, Abingdon, UK

Fonagy, P. (2006) ‘The mentalization-focused approach to social development.’ In Allen, J.G. and Fonagy, P. (Eds) Handbook of mentalization-based treatment. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. 53-99.

Fonagy, P., Target, M., Steele, H., & Steele, M. (1998) Reflective-functioning manual, version 5.0, for application to adult attachment interviews, unpublished manuscript

Fonagy, P., Gergely, G., Jurist, E. L., & Target, M. (2004). Affect regulation, mentalization and the development of the self. London: Karnac books.

Forslund, T., Granqvist, P., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Sagi-Schwartz, A., Glaser, D., Steele, M., … & Duschinsky, R. (2021). Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues. Attachment & Human Development, 1-52

George, C. & J. Solomon, (2008) ‘The Caregiving System: A Behavioral Systems Approach to Parenting.’ in Cassidy, J. & P. Shaver (eds.) Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications, 2nd edition, New York: Guilford Press, pp.833-856

McKenzie, R., Dallos, R., Stedmon, J., Hancocks, H., Vickery, P. J., Barton, A., … & Ewings, P. (2020). SAFE, a new therapeutic intervention for families of children with autism: a randomised controlled feasibility trial. BMJ open, 10(12), e038411.

Reder, P. & S. Duncan, (1995) ‘The Meaning of the Child’ in Reder, P. & C. Lucey (eds.) Assessment of Parenting: Psychiatric and Psychological Contributions, Paperback edition, London: Routledge, pp.39-55

Reder, P. & S. Duncan, (1999) ‘Lost Innocents: A Follow-Up Study of Fatal Child Abuse’, London: Routledge.

Slade, A., E. Bernbach, J. Grienenberger, D. Levy & A. Locker, (2005) ‘Addendum to Reflective Functioning Scoring Manual’, Unpublished manuscript: The Psychological Center, The City College of New York, New York.

Strathearn, L., P. Fonagy, J. Amic & P. R. Montague, (2009) ‘Adult Attachment Predicts Maternal Brain and Oxytocin Response to Infant Cues’, Neuropsychopharmacology, 34 (13) pp.2655-2666

White, S., Wastell, D & Gibson, M., and Walsh, P. (2019). Reassessing attachment theory in child welfare: A critical appraisal. Policy Press