Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

Dr. Daniel Hughes and Arthur Becker-Weidman created the attachment-focused therapy known as dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP). It is an empirically supported therapy for complex trauma, RAD, and other attachment-related problems. Children in foster care and adoptive families frequently get it, especially those who have suffered trauma, abuse, or neglect. Incorporating well-researched ideas such an emphasis on relationships, attunement, inter subjectivity, and sensitive response, DDP is a family-centered approach to treatment.

Children who were harmed or neglected in their early years by their families may benefit from DDP. These events have the potential to traumatize children, making it challenging for them to feel safe and secure in their new family. Sometimes this is referred to as developmental trauma. To learn more about Dyadic developmental Psychotherapy, seek Online Counselling at TalktoAngel.

Children frequently have flashbacks to how they were raised in the past when they are experiencing parenting in the present. Even if they are no longer being harmed or mistreated, the kids still believe they will be in the future.

Children therefore experience difficulties with good, conventional parenting. The kids are terrified of “parents.” They evolve a variety of coping mechanisms for these extreme degrees of terror.

Parents struggle to control their child’s behavior. Additionally, it’s challenging for the parents to emotionally relate to their kids.

The best way to understand these challenges is as:

  • Attachment issues make it difficult for the kids to feel secure and safe around their parents.
  • Inter subjectivity issues; kids have trouble giving and receiving affection in relationships.

This type of psychotherapy was initially created as an intervention for kids who had gone through emotional trauma as a result of persistent early mistreatment in the caregiver relationship, according to Dr. Becker-Weidman, one of the main developers. The major objective of DDP is to assist these kids in acquiring the capacity to uphold attachment-based relationships with parents and other adults. The strategy is based on a number of theories, such as attachment theory and the writings of John Bowlby and Daniel Stern.

The parent-child bond is highly valued by DDP, and this “dyad” serves as a foundation for recovery. While receiving treatment, parents are given a specific, trauma-informed parenting style, and kids develop emotional control and social skills. DDP targets both of these processes at the same time to encourage a stable and dependable bond between parent and kid.

Some of the fundamental ideas and principles of dyadic developmental psychotherapy are listed below:

Attachment is a general phrase that refers to a certain emotional bond that forms between a kid and a caregiver and in which the child looks for both psychological and physical safety. A youngster that has a successful attachment is given comfort, security, and a conducive atmosphere. The development of the child’s brain, emotions, and body are all influenced favorably by secure attachment.

Early childhood trauma that negatively affects a child’s development is referred to as developmental trauma. This frequently entails painful experiences, abuse, or neglect that occurred as a result of the parent’s failure to act in a protective manner. Developmental trauma can lead to concerns for a child later in life, such as behavioral problems, relationship issues, and impaired development.

Inter subjectivity: This phrase describes the interaction between two people who have similar experiences. In other words, inter subjectivity happens when two people have a reciprocal interaction and one has an impact on the other’s experience.

Relationship-Focused: Family therapy and relationship-focused treatment are the main focuses of the treatment.

The goal of dyadic developmental psychotherapy is to strengthen the bond between parents and children. The therapist concentrates on assisting the parents in giving their children sensitive, responsive care. This is achieved by creating a safe space for the kid to address memories, feelings, and current events that may be upsetting, unpleasant, avoided, or completely rejected.

The establishment of safety in DDP, according to Dr. Becker-Weidman, involves making sure that memory, experiences, and emotions are addressed with nonverbal sensitivity, reflective and nonjudgmental discussion, empathy, and reassurance. As a result, the child receiving therapy is able to develop an autobiographical story that is essential for a secure and healthy attachment. A youngster can also benefit from this process by building up strong defenses against potential mental health problems.

According to the DDP Network and pertinent research, many kids and families benefit from dyadic developmental psychotherapy in the ways listed below:

  • Decrease in controlling habits
  • Enhanced bonding and relationship quality
  • Enhanced capacity for stress management and enhanced emotion control
  • Increased understanding of emotional events
  • Enhanced interpersonal communication abilities
  • Enhanced sense of trust and safety with caregivers

Research reveals that attentive, loving, and responsive parenting supports healthy brain development and strong emotional bonds between parents and children in addition to these benefits that have been identified. To further support DDP’s effectiveness, the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute (DDPI) is committed to extending the research literature to include randomized controlled studies.

Parents are first introduced to PACE parenting by DDP therapists. Playful, Accepting, Curious, and Empathetic is the acronym for PACE. Parents are trained to interact with their children and attempt to comprehend their behavior while being composed (emotionally regulated) despite challenging circumstances.

The structure of DDP treatment generally follows this:

  1. The therapist gets to know the parents first before evaluating their parenting practices and teaching them the PACE approach.
  2. The therapist then assists parents in practicing and being ready for their part in involving their child in therapy sessions. Examining the parents’ personal attachment histories and how they can be triggered by their child’s behavior is one aspect of this preparation.
  3. The child is brought into treatment when the therapist thinks the parents are ready.
  4. The therapist will take time to practice talking with the child, find out how the youngster understands his or her past, and teach the child how to control their emotions.
  5. After the child has spoken with his or her parents, the therapist will identify a theme. The subject of abandonment, for instance, might come up. The therapist will help parents and their child interact while guiding them as they safely explore the selected theme. The therapist will advise the parents on how to assist the youngster in giving the experience of abandonment a new meaning.
  6. In order to check in and readjust as necessary, the therapist will conduct multiple sessions in this manner and will occasionally have parent sessions.
  7. When the therapist determines that the kid is securely bonded and the inter subjective connection develops without the therapist’s assistance, the treatment will come to an end.

If you or your partner wants more information on DDP, feel free to seek Relationship Counselling at TalktoAngel.

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