Therapeutic CARE and the Triple-A method

As a practising Clinical Psychologist and as a father to three boys I often think of child-rearing as akin to being a farmer who grows crops.

The farmer expends significant effort preparing the soil and sowing seeds. Then the farmer waits and hopes. The success of his endeavours is dependent on his preparation of the soil and climatic conditions through the growing period. Until his crop is reaped, the farmer is never completely certain of the outcome of his endeavours.




Similarly, in order to grow up happy, healthy, well-developed and well-adjusted, children require a range of experiences and responses to their needs that, in combination, constitutes child-rearing. The colours on the picture opposite represent important experiences and responses to needs that constitute good CARE.




Black Page




The results of our endeavours in child-rearing are not always obvious, and there may be dark times where we doubt the effectiveness of our endeavours on behalf of our children.






Whole Child




However, little-by-little, where there is good CARE, the whole child will shine through.








Neglectful CARE




Unfortunately, not every child is offered the important experiences and responses to needs that constitute good quality CARE with a consistency that promotes their development, wellbeing and adjustment.





Neglected Child


Where CARE is neglected, the whole child in all of their potential cannot shine through.

In order to be whole, these children require adults in a caregiving role to enrich their experience of CARE and fill in the gaps.

This is the primary task (Kahn, 2005) of therapeutic care; getting back-to-basics and offering enriched experiences of CARE that promotes the child’s development, wellbeing and adjustment.







In the forthcoming revised and updated Second Edition of A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder (available December 2016) I describe in detail what is good quality CARE, how it benefits outcomes for the developing child, and how to enrich CARE to promote attachment security and associated positive developmental, behavioural and mental health outcomes for children.






AAA-Model-of-Therapeutic-CareIn the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care I provide a therapeutic CARE framework and a step-by-step approach to the implementation of a therapeutic care approach to children recovering from abuse, neglect and insecurity.


To register your interest in purchasing the revised and updated Second Edition of A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder, please email me at

For more information about the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care, currently implemented as a therapeutic care approach among TUSLA foster carers in Donegal Ireland, please click here.

To cite this article, please use the following:

Pearce, C (2016). Therapeutic Care and the Triple-A Method. Attachment and Resilience:


Kahn, W. A. (2005) Holding Fast: The Struggle to Create Resilient                         Caregiving Organisations, Hove and New York: Brunner-Routledge.

About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
This entry was posted in AAA Caregiving, Adoption, Attachment, Fostering, Parenting, Trauma, Wellbeing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Therapeutic CARE and the Triple-A method

  1. ajg64 says:

    HI Colby – I get the ‘picture’ I like the paint based activity = John

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