This paper aims to critically explore the current research coming under the umbrella of attachment theory and the implications this may have for the practice of art psychotherapy with children whose experience of early care has been inadequate. The author sets out a model of three ways areas of work within the therapeutic relationship where the therapist is modelling the experience of an attuned relationship regulation, affect processing and developing narrative. We discuss the development of an individual's capacity to regulate, to process affect and to develop a narrative within a secure and attuned relationship during infancy, along with the ways in which art psychotherapy is uniquely positioned to make up for deficits in these areas. The model is shown to provide a meaningful framework for thinking about the therapeutic process. Vignettes are used to give an insight into work within each of these three areas from the author's clinical practice.