One of the main jobs of a family therapist is to help members of the family to talk to each other in a constructive way about stressful topics. But may clients who have intense feelings, have had traumatic histories, or who have big problems in the family make this goal difficult. Therapists need a structured format, a “road map” for facilitating these tricky conversations. For example:
In these situations, it is very helpful to use the deliberate dialogue to help children and parents talk about their troubles in a safe way. The deliberate dialogue is inspired by techniques from dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP).
Use the Deliberate Dialogue to structure a productive conversation between child and parent
Guiding parents to stay accepting and empathic in the Deliberate Dialogue
Use the PACE (Playful Accepting Curious and Empathic) Attitude to discover what is truly bothering the child underneath
What to do with a child who says “I don’t know” or won’t use words to answer your questions
Find ways “talk about” and “talk for” a child to help deepen connection and understanding between parent and child.
Dafna is a family therapy expert and attachment specialist. Dafna is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), as well as an EMDR therapist. Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna’s style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter.
Dafna is author of Integrative Attachment Family Therapy (2023) and the co-author of Theraplay the Practitioner’s Guide (2020). She teaches and supervises clinicians in 15 countries in 4 languages: English, Hebrew, French and Spanish.
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