About this course

Training Outline

Interviews such as the Parent Development Interview (PDI, Slade et al, 2004) that tap into parents’ representations of their child, themselves as parents, and the parent-child relationship can provide rich and meaningful information about the quality of the attachment relationship between a child and their caregiver. This training will compliment the Reflective Functioning (RF) on the PDI course. 

Anna Freud LP LO 8833 RT.jpg

The PDI RF coding system provides one method of assessing the quality of how parents think and talk about their relationship with their child, i.e. the mentalizing capacity.  

However, the PDI can be used to assess other clinically relevant aspects of parental representations which are complex and multifaceted.

The aim of this course will be to provide participants with a broader multidimensional view on some of the other current theoretical and empirical ideas around the assessment of parental representations. 

This will enable practitioners to further their understanding of, and capacity to assess:

  • A broad range of parental states of mind in relation to their child
  • Parental states of mind that predict relational disturbances, many of which are often under-recognised.
  • The relationship between parental states of mind and arousal, mentalization and affect regulation
  • Parental representations that can serve as starting points for intervention 

The training will provide a theoretical overview of the features of parental representations that are associated with risk and resilience in the parent-child relationship.

Trainees will then be introduced to a coding system that can be used to assess these features in PDI transcripts, the “Assessment of Representational Risk” (ARR). The system has been used in coding e.g. clinical, prison, war traumatized, and substance-abusing samples of mothers, and has been found to be very helpful and informative in these (high) risk samples. 

The course will cover
  • An introduction to parental representations and attachment
  • An overview of the dimensions of parental representations that are related to risk/ resilience
  • Introduction to the ARR, a user-friendly coding of parental narratives
  • Coding and discussions of interview transcripts
  • Preparation for reliability in using the ARR 
Reliability Test

Participants will have the opportunity following the training to complete the reliability test for the ARR coding system. This will entail independently coding a set of interviews and the scores will be compared with the trainer-agreed scores. Passing the reliability test will enable practitioners to use the coding confidently in their own practice.Taking the reliability test will enable participants to use the ARR instrument in research.

Who is this course suitable for?

Clinical, academic and research professionals working with children and their caregivers who are interested in learning more about the assessment of parent-child relationships.

Aims of the course?
  • To familiarise participants with current research and theory relating to parental representations and attachment
  • To introduce the Assessment of Representational Risk (ARR) coding frame
  • To give participants some experience of coding interviews with the ARR coding frame
System requirements for online training

The online platform Zoom will be used to deliver this training. Prior to booking on, please ensure you meet the system requirements so you're able to join this training. 

Before the training, please test your equipment is working by going to and follow the instructions.

24th April 2024 - 26th April 2024
  • Online – live via Zoom (Joining instructions will be sent to the email address you booked on with at least one working day before the event)
  • 24th, 25th & 26th April 2024
  • Two days spread over three days
  • 09:00 - 17:00 (UK time) on 24th April and 09:00 - 12:30 (UK time) on 25th & 26th April

Training Fee

Training fee with reliability


The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.