Dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP) is an attachment-based therapy for caregivers and their children (5 y.o. to 17 y.o.). The caregiver-child relationship is highlighted as the therapist provides co-regulation and assists the child with developing a coherent autobiographical narrative that is not fragmented by shame. At the core of DDP is the PACE model, which integrates playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy into the session.
DDP is comprised of 2 phases. In the first phase, the therapist visits with the caregivers alone. This stage includes a description of the process of the treatment, as well as the caregivers’ central roles in co-regulating emotional states, reducing the impact of trauma on the child, assisting the child with turning to them for comfort and safety, and assisting in the development of new meanings of the trauma itself and its effect on the child’s future. During the second phase, joint sessions are convened. The therapist facilitates intersubjectivity, as well as affective-reflective dialogues among the caregivers and the child to enable the child to experience safety and joy, and to create a more coherent autobiographical narrative. DDP originally was developed by Dr. Daniel Hughes.