Dyadic Developmental Practice

DDP stands for Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. DDP was originally developed by Dan Hughes as a therapeutic intervention for families who were fostering or had adopted children with significant developmental trauma and insecurity of attachment.

Troubled children may have had many changes in the people who look after them and find it hard to trust adults. They may believe that parents aren’t safe and can’t always be turned to for comfort and help. They may develop insecure attachment patterns and try to stop their new parents from becoming emotionally close to them.

While DDP was originally developed as a therapy it has a much broader application as Dyadic Developmental Practice. This provides a set of principles that can support networks, inform and enrich parenting and can support the child outside of the home, for example in residential settings and at school.  It helps the professionals understand, work together with and be effective in their support of children and their families.  Crucially, this therapeutic parenting approach helps children and young people learn to trust.

We have recognised that the young people we care for have experienced some form of trauma which affects their emotional and social development.  As such, we believe that a therapeutic parenting model which applies the principles of DDP, best meets the needs of our children and young people.

What is meant by PACE?

Playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy. Central within DDP is PACE, a way of thinking which deepens the emotional connections in our relationship with others.

PACE is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving that aims to make the child feel safe. With PACE, the troubled child can start to look at themselves and let others start to see them or get closer emotionally. They can start to trust.

For adults, using PACE most of the time, they can reduce the level of conflict, defensiveness and withdrawal that tends to be ever present in the lives of troubled children. Using PACE enables the adult to see the strengths and positive features that lie underneath more negative and challenging behaviour.