Children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and/or multiple placements provide a serious challenge to parents and therapists. For the past 20 years Dr. Hughes has specialized in the treatment of children who manifest serious deficits in their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development, and at the same time demonstrate considerable difficulty establishing and maintaining secure attachment relationships.
Dr. Hughes' treatment is family based and focused on facilitating the child's ability to establish a secure attachment with his/her caregivers. Developmental attachment theory and research is the primary model for relationship development and trauma resolution. Dan blends various approaches in his treatment modality. These include strategic and structural family therapy, Ericksonian hypnotherapy (utilization principle), psychodynamic principles, psychodrama, interventions congruent with Theraplay, and narrative work. He actively communicates empathy and acceptance of the individual child while providing him/her with the comforting and containment needed to explore and resolve past trauma and shame-related experiences. At the same time he is actively facilitating the child's ability to form positive, reciprocal relationships with his/her parents. Within the safety of these relationships, the child is able to finally face and resolve his/her past traumas. Also, as the child gradually develops a secure attachment with his/her caregivers, (s)he develops a positive and integrated sense of self.
Dr. Hughes received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Ohio University, with a clinical internship at the University of Rochester Medical School. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and the Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh). He consults with various mental health, social service, and residential treatment agencies in Maine and in other states and countries. He also presents workshops and trains therapists throughout the country. Dan is the author of Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd Ed 2006, both published by Rowen-Littlefield. He recently published Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook, 2011, by WW Norton. He conducts week long training sessions for therapists at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, ME providing both Level 1 and Level 2 workshops.
Creating PACE for the special children in our lives.
Playfulness - Acceptance - Curiosity - Empathy
Daniel Hughes Ph.D.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
Attachment Focused Treatment for Childhood Trauma & Abuse