When Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy developer Dan Hughes first started working with children who struggled with serious behavioral and emotional problems, he knew something was missing in his approach. Dan found the answers he was looking for in Attachment Theory—or at least most of them. Attachment Theory told him plenty about the symptoms and behaviors of his clients, but there were no instructions he could immediately apply to working with kids and families. He had to experiment and think outside the box to develop his own attachment-informed way of doing therapy.
One of the crucial skills he’s developed over the years is learning how to gain the trust of a child who has every reason to fear and mistrust adults. Dan does this by carefully helping kids develop their own story about their lives, communicating that he’s genuinely interested in getting to know them. In this brief video clip, Dan recreates the words and affect that arose when he listened to the story of a 5-year-old boy who’d been abused at the hands of his father.
After years of doing this attachment work with kids and teens, Dan offers the sort of practical guidance that didn’t exist when he first got interested in Attachment Theory. In the Networker Webcast When Attachment is the Problem, he talks about the approach of PACE—being playful, accepting, curious, and empathic—and how to use it successfully with kids, teens, and families.
When Attachment is the Problem:
Putting Attachment Theory into Practice
Click here for full course details