Dan Hughes, Founder

The development of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Dan Hughes PhD photo-1

Dan Hughes, PhD

“About 30 years ago, in the early 1980s, I struggled with the reality of not being able to make a difference in the lives of children who had been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents.  My initial efforts had been to help their parents in raising their children. I often failed for many reasons and I wanted to know why.

I rediscovered attachment theory and I became convinced that the children I was trying to help had great difficulty developing a secure attachment with their foster or adoptive parents.

Attachment theory shows how important it is for children’s development that they be able to turn to their caregivers for comfort and support whenever  they are in distress.  The children who I was trying to treat would not do that.

So in the late 80s I began struggling with how to use this incredibly rich theory that helped me to understand the horrible impact that being traumatised by your attachment figures has on all aspects of your development. I developed an initial model of treatment called  Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP).

Building The Bonds of Attachment, 2006

Building The Bonds of Attachment, 2006

DDP has been taught in many areas of the US, Canada and UK as well as on a smaller scale in other countries. As DDP expanded the need increased to establish certification procedures for DDP therapists, consultants, and trainers.  The DDP Institute was establishedin 2009 for this purpose and there are a growing number of DDP certified professionals in North America and Europe. DDP certification for organizations is now being piloted. The Institute is also developing international protocols to collect  practice-based evidence on the effectiveness of this model of treatment.

The current Board of DDPI work hard and well in strengthening DDP and making it more available internationally.  Please contact me or any of these other Board members if you have any questions or ideas that you would like to share with other members of the DDP community.

In 2014 this DDP website has been developed for professionals, parents and carers, and the community as a whole. I am truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to work with all of you in continuing to develop this attachment-focused model of treatment and caregiving:  DDP.”

Dan Hughes March 2014


Secure Attachment and Intersubjectivity

This brief “Workshop Series” video clip, about 3 minutes long, published on YouTube by The Ackerman Institute on Dec 15, 2014 is now in the Resource Library.

In his presentation Dan provides an overview of the crucial role of a secure attachment and intersubjectivity in a child’s neurological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral development.

Dan Hughes is being interviewed by The Ackerman Institute for the Family who have given permission for this clip to be included on the website.


Further reading from the Resource library

How I founded DDP: A personal perspective – Dan Hughes

All publications by Dan Hughes

For more information about Dan Hughes please view his Practitioner Profile or visit his website www.danielhughes.org