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Family Systemic Support


Family Systemic Support

A family-focused approach to therapy that incorporates well-researched principles that focuses on relationships, 

attunement, intersubjectivity, and sensitive responses.

Lisa is a trained Filial Coach and Practitioner in the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and integrates both models to suit your family’s needs.

The Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Approach

DDP is a treatment for families with adopted or fostered children who had experienced neglect and abuse in their birth families and suffered from significant developmental trauma. DDP is based on and brings together attachment theory, what we understand about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caregiving, intersubjectivity theory and child development.  Children with troubled pasts have normally had many changes in the people who look after them and find it hard to trust adults. They may believe that parents aren’t safe and can’t always be turned to for comfort and help. They may develop insecure attachments and try to stop their new parents from becoming emotionally close to them.

Dyadic Developmental Parenting

The creator of DDP, Dan Hughes, realised the vital role that adoptive parents, foster parents, relatives, and residential workers play as attachment figures for children who have experienced trauma and loss early in life and who have good reasons for finding it hard to trust adults. He found that ordinary parenting often failed to help the children and so developed his therapeutic model to encompass a new way of day to day parenting based on the principles of PACE.


Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy

Central within DDP is PACE, a way of thinking which deepens the emotional connections in our relationship with others.  Playfulness brings enjoyment to the relationship. Acceptance creates psychological safety.  When we curiously explore within a relationship we express a desire to know the other more deeply. Empathy communicates our curiosity and acceptance, as we recognize and respond to the other’s emotional experience.

Dyadic Developmental Practice

All professionals supporting children and families need a model that brings together knowledge about developmental trauma, attachment, interpersonal neurobiology and child development. Dyadic Developmental Practice is an all encompassing approach that includes parenting and caring for children as well as the therapy. It helps the professionals understand, work together with and be effective in their support of children and their families.

Research, evidence, base and outcomes

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) is an effective form of treatment for children who have experienced significant Developmental Trauma. A large empirical outcome study across three countries is currently in process, and will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals following outcome data processing.

What to expect in a DDP session

Primarily this is a supportive and guiding approach and non-judgmental. As a practitioner of DDP Lisa will provide all the information that you require to understand your child’s behaviour and how best to restore harmony within the family home using the PACE principles. 

For more information please refer to the DDP website

Filial Coaching

Filial coaching is a programme set to help parents communicate more productively with their children by strengthening

the relationship and providing a sense of harmony within the family unit.

 When to use Filial Coaching?

Filial coaching is an excellent programme for parents who may be feeling lost or wanting a more harmonious life. Many parents also say they’re tired of feeling guilty or not listened to. When you notice this strain in the relationship and see behaviours in your children such as frustration or anger then filial coaching will show you another path to change the family dynamics and reduce the stressful situation for everyone.

Why use Filial Coaching?

It’s been said that the family that plays together stays together.  This a family intervention that is designed to strengthen families through the use of play for smaller children or creative therapy for teenagers.  In filial coaching the parents are the agents of change in bringing a more positive response to events within their family unit and you will be fully supported by Lisa throughout.

In filial coaching, under the coach’s guidance, the parents learn to conduct a special type of play session with their own children. There are several advantages to parents being the ones to conduct the play sessions: 

• Parents are the most important people in their children's lives.  By strengthening this relationship the whole family benefits.
·   It can be used if the child or young person resists other therapeutic interventions. 
• When parents are involved in play therapy as they are in filial coaching, the changes are usually positive and long-lasting.
• When involved in filial coaching, parents will learn how to improve their understanding of their children through play or creation.  This understanding can help parents as they make childrearing decisions.

 How effective is Filial Coaching?

Filial coaching strengthens the parent-child relationship directly and this impacts the whole family.  

Usually children and parents alike really enjoy their sessions together, and using play to help children with their feelings and problems can make the change process easier for everyone.

This type of family-oriented play therapy is relatively short-term, but it does require some commitment and work on the part of the parents.  Most parents report that this effort is well-worth-it in terms of the positive outcomes they've experienced.

The research and clinical experience over the past 40 years shows that it consistently helps reduce children's behavioural problems, helps parents feel less stressed and more confident, and improves the understanding parents have for their children.  

This educationally-oriented approach to strengthening parent-child relationships truly empowers families. 

For more information please follow the links:

What should I expect in the sessions?

Predominately a Filial Coach is there to support you, the parent.  You will be taught therapeutic play skills and techniques to help create and develop a strong bond between you and your child. The coaching sessions are one-to-one and an hour long.   You will then use the learnt techniques at home, having initially only 10 minutes of ‘special time’ with your child each week.  Once you feel confident in the techniques you will then work with your child and Coach who supports you throughout the process. Constructive feedback is provided from your 12 sessions together.

For further information please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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