Therapy

Therapeutic Interventions

 

Core Approach – Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

When a child (due to their early experiences of abuse and neglect) is struggling to feel safe within his or her placement, therapeutic approaches which focus on strengthening a child’s attachment to his or her Carers are the most effective in achieving placement stability. I believe that it is through the development of a nurturing relationship with a Carer that a child can begin to heal from his or her past trauma. For this reason, I have specialised in the therapeutic approach Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and I am now fully accredited.

 

What is Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)?

DDP was developed by Dr. Daniel Hughes, a Clinical Psychologist based in America. It is an evidenced based and empirically validated treatment for children who present with attachment difficulties / developmental trauma secondary to their experiences of abuse, neglect and multiple placements. Therapy focuses on the relationship between Carer and Child. The Therapist supports the Carers in their ability to attune to their Child’s subjective experience of difficulties within the relationship; and make sense of this experience in light of the child’s traumatic past. The Carers reflect back to the child their understanding of the child’s difficulties in a way which helps to give meaning to the child’s feelings and behaviour. These ongoing reciprocal, intersubjective interactions are the building blocks of attachment security in infancy. Parents and Carers develop therapeutic parenting skills and adopt an attitude of PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy), helping their child to feel safe when disclosing often very painful experiences stemming from past abuse. The Child is helped to develop a coherent narrative around their experiences which challenges common negative beliefs around self blame and feelings of worthlessness. This helps the Child to develop trust and build their attachment to a new Carer. For more detailed information visit www.dyadicdevelopmentalpsychotherapy.org

 

Other Interventions:

As a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, I am trained in a range of theoretical and therapeutic models. Where a child presents with psychological difficulties but has a strong attachment to Carers and his or her placement is stable, other interventions can be valuable. For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help children with psychological difficulties associated with bereavement and loss, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder or social communication difficulties. Narrative approaches can help children develop a coherent life story which can help to challenge negative beliefs formed from their abusive experiences. Social Learning Theory can help motivate children to achieve their full potential.