What children and families will benefit from DDP?
DDP can help children who have been hurt and/or neglected within their families in their early years. Children can be traumatized by these experiences and find it difficult to feel safe and secure within their new families. This is sometimes called developmental trauma.
It is not unusual that the experience of being parented in the present reminds children of the way they were parented in the past. Even though they are no longer being hurt or neglected the children feel as though they are or think that they might in the future.
This means that children struggle with normal, healthy parenting. The children are afraid of ‘parents’. They develop a range of ways to manage these high levels of fear.
Parents find it hard to manage the child’s behaviour. The parents also find it hard to connect emotionally to their children.
These difficulties are best understood as:
- Difficulties in attachment; the children find it hard to feel safe and secure with their parents.
- Difficulties in intersubjectivity; the children find it hard to give and take in relationships.
These difficulties are most obvious in the children’s strong need to experience control in their relationships. Controlling behaviours provide a fragile sense of security when the experience of attachment and intersubjective relationships is frightening. However these behaviours make it harder for them to experience relationships which can help them recover from trauma.
These difficulties can also extend beyond the home. The children can have difficulties in lots of their relationships. This can impact on friendships, school and leisure activities.