A Brain Based Attachment Model for Working with Traumatised Children, Young people and their Carers and Families.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

What is this training about?


As an emerging knowledge base, the neuroscience of caregiving is critical to responding to the needs of traumatised and at-risk children and young people. An in-depth understanding of attachment and the process of therapeutic parenting has been used as the basis for the development of therapeutic foster care, residential and family group home programs. It is also at the heart of family support services that aim to strengthen parenting capacity through enhancing attunement and self-reflection.

Dr. Dan Hughes and his Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute have been at the forefront of using attachment and neuroscience in resourcing adaptive and positive connections between traumatised children and their parents or caregivers. His approach is family centred and offers very practical strategies fora wide range of professionals who work with vulnerable children and their relationship contexts.

Training courses in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Practice (Level 1 and Level 2)The training courses in DDP provide the core knowledge of theory, principles, and interventions that are central in developing the skills necessary to practising DDP successfully.

Level 1 and Level 2 courses each involve 28 hours of in-depth learning.  Each level is offered in small groups to enhance the learning experience.  This small group approach ensures maximum participation, relevant case discussion, and opportunities for real skill building.

Please note: In the current COVID-19 environment, we are offering Level 1 and Level 2 courses as real-time online workshops, with courses running for 5 consecutive days.  You will find the details for each 5-day course in the registration section below.

What will you learn?


During the courses, the DDP trainer will provide extended presentations about the knowledge base underpinning DDP including how to:

  • Support children and carers to start to resolve traumatic experiences through shame interruption, interactive repair, co-regulation of arousal and affect, shared meaning making,
  • Involve parents and/or caregivers in a rhythmic dialogue with children that is effective and reflective,
  • Resource parents and caregivers to reach out to the parts of their children that feel vulnerable, lost and insecure,
  • Position an understanding of the neurobiology of attachment and concepts of blocked parenting to know how to prepare for and carry out therapeutic engagement with children, young people and their caregivers;
  • Present and collaboratively analyse videos of therapeutic sessions with children and carers as a way of understanding how DDP is put into practice;
  • Use role plays to develop specific skills relevant to the practice of DDP;
  • Examine how the attachment history of practitioners shapes and influence their way of undertaking DDP;

Why study Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy?

Hear from Foundation CEO Dr Joe Tucci on why he believes this modality is so valuable.

What difference will this make to your practice?


The training courses in DPP are both theoretical and practical. They provide real strategies that enable practitioners who work with relationships to know what to say, when and why, so as to orient children and caregivers to each other’s reciprocal needs in a way that opens up a rapport, trust and receptiveness to growth and development.

The training is thought-provoking and moving. The DDP framework respects the insights offered by the neurobiology of trauma and attachment. However, DDP also integrates into therapeutic responses to children a much wider appreciation of the importance of metaphor, play, and intersubjectivity when working with families as a whole. DDP trainers are very generous with their ideas and experience. Practitioners will leave with the knowledge that they have fully examined this seminal therapeutic model.

Across Australia, the provision of DDP training is shared between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Compass.  You can visit the Compass website here.