Dr Kerry Sweeney

Kerry Sweeney

TESSA Therapist

Service Provided
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, CPsychol

Kerry has worked for twenty years in the NHS as a Clinical Psychologist with Children, Adolescents & Families, nearly thirteen of which have been as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Lead for Therapeutic Services for Looked After & Adopted Children who have experienced developmental trauma and neglect. As well as assessment, consultations throughout the network and training, Kerry directly provided therapeutic support to enable children to begin to recover from their earlier life experiences using a range direct therapeutic approaches to children and their caregivers such as, Theraplay, Systemic/Narrative approaches, EMDR, other Trauma based models. However Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy has been the most influential model in her career and she became a Certified DDP Practitioner in 2015. DDP has been so central throughout her practice influencing the system, therapeutic parenting and DDP therapy with children and young people.

What is DDP?

DDP was developed by Dan Hughes a Clinical Psychologist in America back in the 1990’s as he could see how anxious children who had experienced developmental trauma were of connecting with new caregivers, who just wanted to love them. DDP has evolved driven by the desire to connect, understand and help and has been adopted and developed further by a number of Psychologists and Therapists in the UK. It has evolved into three areas.

  • DDP Practice- with professionals and caregivers throughout social care and care giving networks
  • DDP Parenting (see below)
  • DDP Psychotherapy (see below)

DDP Therapeutic Parenting

Therapeutic parenting can be provided to parents to explore the impact of developmental trauma that leads to the children needing a different parenting approach involving PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy). During the therapeutic parenting support, we will explore the meaning behind some of the key concepts such as developmental trauma & brain development, understanding attachment & survival strategies including blocked trust/fear of relationships.

We will consider the different elements of PACE and how they work together to create a parenting attitude. We will think about parenting principles to enable parenting children with insecure attachments. DDP Therapeutic Parenting is provided before inviting the child to DDP sessions and at points throughout the therapy with the child too.

DDP Psychotherapy

DDP Psychotherapy provides a direct therapeutic environment where relational experiences, which were lacking before can be safely experienced. These safe relational experiences are critical for a child’s neuropsychological and relational development.

Through the therapeutic relationships in DDP the child can be enabled to identify, regulate and express emotional states, seek comfort and engage in relational repair. All DDP Psychotherapy is provided with the caregiver present to enable relational safety to develop.

Please Book for DDP Support through:

Contact kingsbridgeprivatehospital.com


Text BOOK to 66777 (*10% off Adoption UK/Tessa members)


Please contact TESSA

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