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About Karen Ditchfield

Founder & Director of Haven & Base, Attachment Practitioner: Specialising in Infant Mental Health & Early Parenting Coach.

" I have been working with families, babies and children for over 25 years as a nurse, midwife and health visitor and I have trained extensively in attachment theory specialising in Infant Mental Health. Over the past 25 years I have had the privilege to work in many rich and varied roles including; working privately as a children's sleep advisor, as a baby massage & baby yoga instructor, as a parent educator and as a baby & toddler expert for CBeebies. I currently split my working week between Haven & Base and working as an NHS Health Visitor".

My Philosophy

I am a kind, non-judgemental and empathetic practitioner who never 'teaches' but rather supports a parent to find their own 'eureka' moments with their own child.

As a mother myself, I celebrate being 'good enough' and I encourage the parents that I work with to let go of always trying to be the 'perfect parent'. Your children don't need perfection, they just need you, to be with them in their exploration of the world and to meet them in times of emotional distress.

I recognise and value the importance of a positive early years experience for both a child and their parent and my support is built upon this assumption.

For a child, early experience with a parent provides the foundation for life and can shape and form the way a child grows and develops, how a child copes with feelings and emotions and how a child forms relationships across their lifespan.

For a parent, early experience can impact upon capacity to parent well, on mental health well-being and upon self-identity.

I have trained extensively in attachment theory and I use attachment theory as a framework to guide my practice. Attachment theory is built on over 60 years of research and can help us to understand how and why we behave in relationships. It can be a useful tool when working with children and parents alike.

I am passionate about empowering parents with evidenced based and meaningful support so that they may truly embrace being a parent and find joy and curiosity with their own child. 

Parenting is a tough job, especially if you are new to it or have had to deal with a past difficulty or trauma but I truly believe that a family can flourish with the right support.

My Experience & Qualifications

Academic Qualifications

2018 MSc Attachment Theory Roehampton University

2012 Dip HE Children's Sleep Open College Network, London

2004 BSc Public Health: Health Visiting University of Surrey

2000 BSc Midwifery Thames Valley University

1998 Dip HE Nursing: Adult Buckinghamshire University

Attachment Training

2023 Circle of Security Parenting, (COSP)  Licensed Facilitator

2020 Meaning Of The Child (MOTC)

2018 Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)

2018 INFANT CARE- Index

Additional Training

2023 Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Breastfeeding (3 day course)

2023 Adult & Child Safeguarding (advanced)

2023 Adult & Paediatric Resuscitation

2013 Relaxation, Mindfulness & Meditation Instructor

2012 Rhythm Kids Instructor

2011 Baby Yoga Instructor

2010 Baby Massage Instructor

Professional Membership

The Nursing Midwifery Council, (NMC).

The Royal College of Nursing, (RCN)

Institute of Health Visiting (iHV)

The Association of Infant Mental Health, (AiMH)

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