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Making the connection between trauma and behaviour

Human beings cannot exist in isolation. Survival depends on the relationships around us that help us meet our needs and allow us to feel safe and to belong. From the moment of birth, we develop critical neurological pathways to navigate our world and survive within it. 

Children who experience trauma when their primary caregiver is not responsive to them in a loving and nurturing way are unconsciously restricted by a deficient emotional framework which leads to negative self-protective and self-limiting behaviours.

As attachment-led therapists, we seek to rebuild that framework through strengthened connections that build trust and create the missing sense of safety and belonging. We can then slowly encourage the child to change their survival toolkit and create a new narrative. Rebuilding trust. Transforming lives.


What do we mean by 'trauma'?


How do children living with trauma behave? 


How can attachment-led therapies help?

A therapy to support the whole family

Children living with trauma fall back on coping strategies they developed to handle early experiences of abusive behaviour. Often these children are seen through the lens of ‘behavioural problems’, or 'misdiagnosed' with ADHD or autism. If we want to help, we must shift from asking ‘what is wrong with you?’ to ‘what has happened to you?’


Families Empowered specialise in the principles and practice of DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy). DDP was created by clinical psychologist Dan Hughes as an effective treatment for families with adopted or fostered children who have experienced neglect and abuse and suffer from developmental trauma.

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