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Child and Family Psychologist in Derbyshire
Call us on 07754 439891
email: admin@percuropsychology.co.uk


Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

DDP is a model of therapy developed by Dan Hughes, a Clinical Psychologist, and is based on psychological ideas around attachment, developmental trauma and intersubjectivity between a child and their caregiver(s). Children who have experienced abuse and neglect within their early primary caregiver relationships learn that the world is unsafe, affecting their ability to form safe and secure attachments. They may have learned that to survive they need to shut down their emotional systems and work hard to keep people at a distance. They may crave closeness and intimacy but at the same time fear it, resulting in them experiencing high levels of emotional arousal and engaging in 'push-pull' dynamics with their carers. They may also present controlling behaviours in an attempt to form a sense of security. Parents and carers may find it hard to connect with their child and feel lost in how to manage their behaviours. Traditional parenting approaches which rely on trust and emotional connection rarely work with children with such adverse early experiences.

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DDP is a longer term therapy where the therapist works with the parent and child 'dyad' using an affective-reflective dialogue that supports the child to make sense of their past and present experiences, feel the emotions surrounding them and to develop a model of relationships as safe. DDP begins with several parent-only sessions. These aim to support the parent in gaining a psychological understanding of their child's difficulties and how they have developed, ensure that they understand and are comfortable with attachment parenting approaches and to build mutual trust and respect. The therapist will usually explore parents' own experiences of being parented to highlight areas they may find particularly challenging in parenting their own children, and will support them with this. They will also help parents to understand their own role within the therapy sessions. Once the child is brought into therapy, the therapist will regularly touch base separately with parents to discuss progress and any issues they are experiencing.

For further information on the DDP model please visit https://ddpnetwork.org/about-ddp/dyadic-developmental-psychotherapy/

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