DDP is family-based and is focused on facilitating the child’s readiness and ability to establish a secure attachment with their caregivers. It is called Dyadic Developmental Practice both to focus attention on the importance of reciprocity in parenting, caregiving and therapy, and also to draw attention to the fact that abuse, neglect and trauma can seriously impact on the child’s developmental age and stage. This intervention is theoretically based on the models of attachment theory and intersubjectivity, and is consistent with the needs of children and young people who have experienced developmental trauma. It is an approach that:
- Integrates the areas of neurobiology of trauma, early child development and attachment theory, to produce a therapeutic and parenting approach that assists professionals to understand and effectively support children with trauma- attachment problems, and their families.
- Communicates playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy (PACE) in order to help the child regulate their feelings (often fear, shame and anger) associated with past experiences and to create together new meanings to be integrated into the child’s life story (autobiographical narrative).
- Recognises the vital role which adoptive parents, foster carers and residential workers play in the recovery of traumatised, attachment-resistant children.
- Provides a set of principles that can support networks; inform and enrich parenting; and can support the child outside of the home eg in residential settings and at school