When kids suffer from trauma that came from their parents at a young age, placing them in a new home does not mean that their problems are over but that new ones are beginning. Children expect to be physically and emotionally safe with the care of love provided by their parents. They can be scared and not trusting that their new parents will be any better. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy’s mission is to bridge the gaps between children and their parents to ensure a successful living arrangement.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an intervention for children who have experienced emotional trauma as a result of early maltreatment from their parents. In the 1980s, clinical psychologists Dan Hughes and Arthur Becker-Weidman decided to come up with a relationship-based therapy for children who experienced early trauma and could not look to their parents during stressful times. Ever since then, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy has expanded throughout the U.S.

Parents are taught a specialized parenting approach focused on trauma while the children learn emotional regulation and interpersonal relationship skills. They learn about attachment since children need to feel security, comfort, and feel they are living in a safe environment. Developmental trauma is also important as the abuse and neglect that children feel can impair their development, behavior issues, and relational problems. Intersubjectivity is useful in knowing that one person’s experience can influence another’s. This type of therapy is focused on the relationship between parent and child.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy works when therapists get to know the new parents of the child and teach them about PACE which is playful, accepting, curiosity, and empathy. Therapists help the parents engage with their child by learning about how they have used attachment in the past and how they can be a trigger in their child’s behavior. Then, the child takes part in therapy and the therapist shows the parents how to talk to the child as well as find the child’s understanding of their past to teach them about emotion regulation. The child will speak to their parents and see if any themes come up like how they feel about their abandonment. There would be several sessions of this type of therapy. Treatment ends when the child feels securely attached to their parents and a relationship holds without the help from a therapy. Children will be able to trust their parents and new ways of understanding their past.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.