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Fri 15 Nov

Dan Hughes - Providing Therapy and Care for Children and Youth with Problems Due to Relational (Developmental) Trauma

Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin

€80 IASW members/€165 non-members

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This full day workshop with Dan Hughes has been organised by the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) SIG.

Children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect are at high risk for significant difficulties in their neurological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral development. The central place of attachment in enabling an individual to resolve conflicts and traumatic experiences, develop affect regulation and reflective functioning, and establish a coherent narrative will be explored in this one day presentation.

An attachment-focused therapy--Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) is experiential and reflective and involves establishing attuned states between the young person and the therapist and caregiver in order to safely explore past traumas and current behaviors involving both fear and shame. The therapy involves assisting the young person to develop a coherent story that integrates past abusive experiences with current experiences in a safe setting. This story-telling stance is characterized by playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy (PACE). Strengths and vulnerabilities, reciprocity and conflict are all understood and accepted. Conversations emerge that fully accept the subjective experience of each participant.  Such conversations become templates for satisfying and productive relationships in all areas of life. Principles of DDP may be utilized in individual therapy, an attachment-focused family therapy, and in providing care for traumatized children and youth.

Principles and strategies of both psychological therapy and daily care which utilize our understanding of both attachment and trauma will be presented and discussed. This model of intervention will be demonstrated with videos of treatment sessions or of role plays as well as in reciprocal conversations about developmental themes.





Part One

Multiple Symptoms of Relational Trauma

            Attachment Security, Intersubjectivity, and their developmental effects


 Principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice for Young People and their Caregivers

     Intersubjective Presence: attunement, joint attention and intentions.

     PACE:  Playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy.

     Shame vs. Guilt



Part Two

Principles and Interventions of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

            Attachment Principles in Individual and Family Therapy


Caregiving Principles and Interventions

             Exploring the Parents’ parenting and attachment histories

             Day-to-Day Care

             Connect before you correct

             Making sense of the behavior rather than reacting to it

             Two Hands of Discipline

             Relationship repair


Role Play involving PACE




Specifics of Therapy:

            Focusing under the symptoms


            Affective-Reflective Conversations

            Co-regulating affect while Co-creating stories

            Speaking for/Speaking about

            Interactive Repair


Role Plays involving

  1. PACE
  2. Co-creating Stories



Dan Hughes, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma.  This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment.   He has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the past 20 years.  He is also engaged in extensive training and supervision in the certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals.   He is past-president of DDPI, a training Institute which is responsible for the certification of professionals in DDP.  Information about DDPI can be found on   Dan resides in Damariscotta, Maine.

Dan is the author of many books and articles.  These include  Building the Bonds of Attachment (2012) and, with Jon Baylin, Brain-Based Parenting (2012) and The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy (2016). More recently he wrote Healing Relational Trauma with attachment focused interventions (2019) with Kim Golding and Julie Hudson, and Healing Relational Trauma Workbook, 2024, with Kim Golding.