working therapeutically with looked after and adopted children and their parents and carers

I have over 13 years’ experience in working with children and families with children from all backgrounds and ages.

I have a particular passion for working therapeutically with looked after and adopted children and their parents and carers and I have been doing this for over 10 years. I continue to work for a national charity in this role.

This type of work means that there needs to an appreciation and understanding of attachment, and developmental trauma, my work in this area is DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) informed and I have undertaken Level One and Two Training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Parenting and I am supervised by a DDP Consultant for this work.

What is DDP?

DDP is grounded in and composed of attachment theory, current understanding about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, caregiving and attachment, intersubjectivity theory and child development.

Children who are in care or are adopted often have experienced many changes in the people who care for them as a consequence they find it hard to trust adults. Experience may have led them to believe that parents are not safe and that they cannot 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.

DDP helps children learn to trust again and is a family-based therapy that involves the child with his or her caregivers or adopted parents. 

The founder of DDP Dan Hughes recognised the vital role that adoptive and foster parents, play as attachment figures for children who have experienced trauma and loss early in life. 

Through his research he came to conclusion that ordinary parenting often failed to help the children and developed his therapeutic model to encompass a new way of day to day parenting based on the principles of PACE.


This work is more complex and to work with this type of case, I will need to complete an initial set up consultation with the parties involved to understand the particular needs of the work.

This may be adoptive parents and social worker, and will include gathering information regarding the child’s history, current presentation, understanding of parents’ attachment histories etc.  

From here, and after this has been collated and understood, we would agree the initial number of sessions that may be needed. There would then be a set of individual sessions with parents and child separately to gather further information and form a working therapeutic relationship.

The agreed sessions would then take place with parents, and child separately before potentially starting sessions together depending on need and appropriateness.

These would reviewed regularly together to monitor progress and assess goals. We always look to prepare families for endings and  an ending session to complete the work is very important.

If this work is through ASF then Reviews will be provided, relevant meetings attended and a final report supplied as required.


Face to Face

Face to face is perhaps the most common way of attending of counselling and psychotherapy sessions. I welcome you to come to my therapy room; a neutral safe space where I work with you to help and support you in your own understanding of the difficulties you may be dealing with. Here I will work with you to help you make your own choices about what will be best for you.


There are plenty of ways to contact me for a chat about if therapy is for you, you can fill in the enquiry form below, drop me a text, give me a call or send me an email. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

 If I am in a session I won’t be able to reply straight away, but I do check and reply to all forms of contact as soon as I am able.


‘Please provide your contact details and I will contact you to discuss your needs