Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: An Attachment-Based Treatment for Children Who Have Experienced Abuse and Neglect

Presented by Daniel Hughes, PhD on 01-18-2013 at 9 a.m. Pacific

This presentation focuses on the treatment of children and youth who have experienced intrafamilial, interpersonal trauma. This treatment is informed by the theories associated with attachment, intersubjectivity, and trauma. Since attachment is understood as being fundamental to the child’s development of a sense of safety and security and since it is associated with many factors involved in the development of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills, its relevance in the treatment of trauma (defined in part as the absence of safety) is compelling. Infant intersubjectivity is a well-established theory of how infants learn about self, others, and the world, and its relevance in how older children re-learn such fundamental psychological realities when their original learning was embedded in experiences of abuse and neglect is also worth serious consideration by those who provide treatment to such children.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy facilitates safety and new learning through the relationship that the abused and neglected child has with his therapist and actively works to replicate the characteristics of this relationship with one or more of the child’s attachment figures in his daily life. These attachment figures are actively engaged and the caregiving behaviors that will facilitate secure attachment in the child in their care are actively supported and developed. This Web Conference will present central features of this treatment including the attitude of PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy) and the open and engaged, affective-reflective dialogue that is utilized throughout explorations of past traumas and current life experiences.



This web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Describe the importance of psychological safety from the perspectives of both attachment and neuropsychological theories and research;
  2. Clarify three central characteristics of intersubjectivity and their relevance to psychological treatment;
  3. Understand how the therapist maintains safety for the child or youth while actively exploring past traumas and current secondary symptoms;
  4. Explore two principle ways that the therapist facilitates the ability of the child’s attachment figure(s) to provide the child with psychological safety.

If you have any questions about this Web Conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

In short, participants will be able to listen to the event by calling in to our teleconference center. Prior to the event, all participants will be sent an email with instructions on how to login to the teleconference center. This event will include lecture, interaction, and question and answer periods.

388CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy.org is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content and is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This Web Conference is available for free to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Meet the Presenter

Daniel Hughes, PhD

Daniel Hughes, PhD

Dan Hughes, PhD, has spent most of his career specializing in providing therapy to children and youth with severe behavioral and emotional problems. His treatment program for children involves the parents resolving their own attachment history and also participating in their child’s treatment. Working primarily with foster and adopted children and their parents, Dr. Hughes borrowed heavily from intersubjectivity, trauma theories, attachment studies, and research to develop a model of treatment called Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). DDP is applied to challenges between child and parent as well as family and marital relationships. The treatment model is also known as Attachment-Focused Family Therapy.

Dr. Hughes has authored a number of articles and books including Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd. Ed. (2006), Attachment-Focused Parenting (2009), and Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011). More recently he has published a book of poetry, It was that one moment... (2012, Worth Publishing), focusing on the children and families that he has treated. This year he has written Brain-Based Parenting (2012) with Jon Baylin and Creating Loving Attachments (2012) with Kim Golding.



Dr. Hughes has provided therapist training internationally for over 15 years and offers ongoing consultation and supervision to various therapists and agencies. He has created a certification program for clinicians interested in becoming proficient in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. For additional information about Dr. Hughes and his work, please visit www.danielhughes.org.

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA approval applies to all events listed after May 2011.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.