Understanding and helping children who have experienced maltreatment

Symposium: Safeguarding Children


Children who experience maltreatment from within their families can suffer trauma that is devastating to their physical and psychological development. The label developmental trauma has developed to describe this trauma and to guide diagnosis. This has been expanded to describe seven domains of impairment. Together these help the clinician to provide a formulation of a child’s difficulties which avoids multiple diagnoses and can guide treatment planning. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Practice (DDP) is an intervention model that can meet the therapeutic needs of the children alongside the support needs of parents and practitioners caring for them. The attitude of PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy) is central within DDP interventions, used by therapists, parents and practitioners who together make up the network around the child. Tailoring DDP interventions can be guided by a pyramid of need developed by the author. This helps clinicians develop flexible intervention packages tailored to the needs of the child, family and practitioner. Within the paper these ideas are explored illustrated by the fictional example of Janice. She was maltreated in early childhood and now lives in foster care with Mary and Simeon.

Published online: September 02, 2020

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paed.2020.08.002


Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.

Date: 2020

Journal: Paediatrics and Child Health

Volume: 30

Issue: 11

Page(s): 371-377

Subjects: , ,

Related Publications