DDP was created by a Clinical Psychologist called Dan Hughes as a treatment for families with adopted or fostered children who had experienced neglect and abuse in their birth families and as a result had suffered from significant developmental trauma. DDP brings together different theoretical models which are key to the approach – attachment theory, developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caring, intersubjectivity theory and child development.

The approach focuses on the fact that children with trauma in their backgrounds or who have had many changes in the people who look after them, can find it hard to trust adults and build relationships. They may not feel emotionally safe in their relationships with parents/care givers and struggle to form secure attachments. The main aim of DDP is to support children to learn to trust within their relationships and it involves the child with care givers in sessions (the dyadic element).

A key component of DDP is the PACE parenting model – Playfulness, Acceptance, Commitment and Empathy which encapsulates the principles of therapeutic parenting required for deepening emotional connection with children who have insecure attachments. Playfulness brings enjoyment to the relationship. Acceptance creates psychological safety.  When we curiously explore within a relationship we express a desire to know the other more deeply. Empathy communicates our curiosity and acceptance, as we recognize and respond to the other’s emotional experience. To find out more visit https://ddpnetwork.org/

Here at The Psychology Place we can offer attachment based work using DDP principles to help you in therapy sessions with your child to build relationships and in supporting your parenting approach with parent-based consultations. Please click here to contact us and discuss further.

DDP can be funded through the Adoption Support Fund. Please click here to find out more about how to access our services for Adopted Children.