One of the key approaches we use in Amicus is Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Parenting and Practice (DDP). This is a model for professionals and parents to support children to recover from trauma and disrupted attachments through the parenting, education and care they receive as well as in some cases therapy.
DDP aims to ensure the child has the best possible relationship with one or two adults who have a parenting role through day-to-day care. Helping them develop as much attachment security as is possible through consistent and attuned parenting, having a safe place to live in a home that is as permanent as possible. Enable whoever is in the most permanent, safest, consistent and attuned primary parenting role understand the child in the context of their past history and experiences. Help those who are involved in parenting to develop the most effective ways of helping and supporting the child, to manage behaviours that are concerning to both them and to others. Be proactive with foster families, and the networks around them, in suggesting and promoting the most effective supports and interventions to be in place for the child and the parent(s), such as educational, social, practical as well as therapeutic. Help all professionals working with the child ensure that their behaviour is understood and that they feel as safe as is possible at home, in school, and in social activities.
Our Amicus therapist is a certified DDP practitioner, consultant and trainer and all the social workers in Amicus are supported to complete training in DDP to level 2. Amicus provide social workers with DDP focused group supervision and foster carers with training and on going groups utilising this approach specifically focusing on using PACE
What is meant by PACE?
PLAYFULNESS, ACCEPTANCE, CURIOSITY AND EMPATHY.
PACE is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving that aims to make the child feel safe. It is based upon how parents connect with their very young infants. As with young toddlers, with safety the child can begin to explore.
PACE focuses on the whole child, not simply the behaviour. It helps children be more secure with the adults and reflect upon themselves, their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, building the skills that are so necessary for maintaining a successful and satisfying life. The child discovers that they are doing the best that they can, and are not bad or lazy or selfish. Problems diminish as the need for them reduces.
Through PACE and feeling safer, children discover that they can now do better. They learn to rely on adults, particularly their parents, and trust them to truly know them. They learn that their parents can look after them in a way that they could never do on their own.
When children experience the adults doing the best they can to understand them and trying to work out together more effective ways for the child to understand, make sense of and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviour they start to believe that the adults really will keep on trying until things get better for all of them.
For adults, using PACE most of the time, they can reduce the level of conflict, defensiveness and withdrawal that tends to be ever present in the lives of troubled children. Using PACE enables the adult to see the strengths and positive features that lie underneath more negative and challenging behaviour