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Sarah Foster


Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Sarah Foster is an academic psychologist who teaches psychological and research concepts to students on Social Work and Guidance and Counselling degree courses.

Sarah undertakes research exploring applications and implications of psychological concepts to clinical and social work practice. Of particular interest are the concepts of attachment, childhood adversity, trauma, resilience and mentalizing.

Sarah has been involved in a Wellcome Trust funded research programme, led by Dr Robbie Duschinsky at Cambridge University, which examined the meaning and implications of the infant disorganised attachment classification. Through her collaboration with Dr Duschinsky, Sarah has also critiqued the use of attachment theory in practice, including in family court decision making, and explored the theory of mentalizing. Sarah is currently undertaking doctoral research on attachment and reflective functioning in relation to clinical and social work practice. 

Sarah runs the North East Attachment Special Interest Group. This provides a forum for practitioners and academics to come together to consider the implications of attachment theory, research findings and assessments for practice. If you would like more information, or wish to join the group, please contact Sarah. 

Sarah Foster

Campus Address

Coach Lane Campus East

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Trauma and loss in the Adult Attachment Interview: Situating the unresolved state of mind classification in disciplinary and social context, Bakkum, L., Schuengel, C., Foster, S., Fearon, R., Duschinsky, R. 8 Feb 2023, In: History of the Human Sciences
  • Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues, Forslund, T., Granqvist, P., van IJzendoorn, M., Sagi-Schwartz, A., Glaser, D., Steele, M., Hammarlund, M., Schuengel, C., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Steele, H., Shaver, P., Lux, U., Simmonds, J., Jacobvitz, D., Groh, A., Bernard, K., Cyr, C., Hazen, N., Foster, S., Psouni, E., Cowan, P., Pape Cowan, C., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Wilkins, D., Pierrehumbert, B., Tarabulsy, G., Carcamo, R., Wang, Z., Liang, X., Kázmierczak, M., Pawlicka, P., Ayiro, L., Chansa, T., Sichimba, F., Mooya, H., McLean, L., Verissimo, M., Gojman-de-Millán, S., Moretti, M., Bacro, F., Peltola, M., Galbally, M., Kondo-Ikemura, K., Behrens, K., Scott, S., Rodriguez, A., Spencer, R., Posada, G., Cassibba, R., Barrantes-Vidal, N., Palacios, J., Barone, L., Madigan, S., Mason-Jones, K., Reijman, S., Juffer, F., Pasco Fearon, R., Bernier, A., Cicchetti, D., Roisman, G., Cassidy, J., Kindler, H., Zimmerman, P., Feldman, R., Spangler, G., Zeanah, C., Dozier, M., Belsky, J., Lamb, M., Duschinsky, R. Jan 2021, In: Attachment & Human Development
  • Mentalizing and Epistemic Trust: The work of Peter Fonagy and colleagues at the Anna Freud Centre, Duschinsky, R., Foster, S. 8 Jul 2021
  • Six attachment discourses: convergence, divergence and relay, Duschinsky, R., Bakkum, L., Mannes, J., Skinner, G., Turner, M., Mann, A., Coughlan, B., Reijman, S., Foster, S., Beckwith, H. 4 Jul 2021, In: Attachment and Human Development
  • Attachment histories and futures: reply to Vicedo’s ‘Putting attachment in its place’, Duschinsky, R., van IJzendoorn, M., Foster, S., Reijman, S., Lionetti, F. 2 Jan 2020, In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • Attachment difficulties and disorders, Turner, M., Beckwith, H., Duschinsky, R., Forslund, T., Foster, S., Coughlan, B., Pal, S., Schuengel, C. 1 Apr 2019
  • The infant disorganised attachment classification: “Patterning within the disturbance of coherence”, Reijman, S., Foster, S., Duschinsky, R. 1 Mar 2018, In: Social Science & Medicine
  • Disorganized attachment in infancy: a review of the phenomenon and its implications for clinicians and policy-makers, Granqvist, P., Sroufe, L., Dozier, M., Hesse, E., Steele, M., van Ijzendoorn, M., Solomon, J., Schuengel, C., Fearon, P., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Steele, H., Cassidy, J., Carlson, E., Madigan, S., Jacobvitz, D., Foster, S., Behrens, K., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Gribneau, N., Spangler, G., Ward, M., True, M., Spieker, S., Reijman, S., Reisz, S., Tharner, A., Nkara, F., Goldwyn, R., Sroufe, J., Pederson, D., Pederson, D., Weigand, R., Siegel, D., Dazzi, N., Bernard, K., Fonagy, P., Waters, E., Toth, S., Cicchetti, D., Zeanah, C., Lyons-Ruth, K., Main, M., Duschinsky, R. 2017, In: Attachment & Human Development

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