Attachment Focused Family Therapy (AFFT)
A.F.F.T., also known as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) is a specialized treatment for traumatized children and their parents (i.e. adopted -and foster children and children in institutions). The therapy was developed by Dan Hughes and is based on the attachment theory.
What is it
Has your child experienced trauma? Are there problems in your family, conflicts, divorce, bereavement, estrangement or adoption? Has this experience lead to detachment, unsolved conflicts or a deep feeling of not being seen or connected making it difficult to comfort or help your child in his or her development ?
When children are afraid, feeling alone and have been hurt they develop a coping strategy which can develop into an alarming behavior pattern that is hard to understand or know how to deal with. This especially when your child’s behavior is pushing you away and seems to be saying that they have no need of you or your love. A stifling, emotional hold on both yourself and your child.
The therapy helps families strengthen themselves from ‘inside out’ and focuses on repairing the parent/ child relationship by developing a better attunement. On the one hand your child will develop his or her ability to express his or her feelings so that parents can understand their child in a way that their child can feel their empathy. On the other hand parents will be helped in redeveloping their parental strategies and receptiveness so that their child can understand and have a grip on his or her own feelings, emotions , thoughts and behavior, thus feeling safer and therefore be more able to regulate their own thoughts, emotions and behavior.
What we will do
The therapy’s first session is with the whole family and then a couple of sessions with the parents so that they can express and explore all their feelings, worries and thoughts about their child and their parenting, preparing the way to the family sessions.
Keywords in the therapy are safety, attachment, connection, attunement, receptiveness, sensory integration, life narrative and PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy)
For more information please see the website www.ddpnetwork.org