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Event Tag: Polyvagal

Understanding and Managing the Impact of Trauma on the Nervous System: A DDP Perspective with Dr Kim Golding

Who this is for

This day is suitable for practitioners who are interested in supporting parents of adopted children who have experienced trauma within their family of origin.


Neuroscience has greatly increased our understanding of the nervous system and how trauma impacts on its development and functioning. For example, Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory helps us to understand how our autonomic nervous system responds under conditions of perceived threat and perceived safety. Deb Dana explores ways of applying this theory to practice and Jon Baylin and Dan Hughes have considered how an understanding of the neuroscience can enhance our DDP interventions.

“Very useful to have a more focused look at DDP. Although I have been aware of it and the principles, my knowledge was not in depth. It was helpful to have the links to attachment, intersubjectivity and neuroception theory and research and to think about DDP as an attitude. I also like the idea of story-telling and co-creating stories.” Attendee, 2020

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) was developed by Dan Hughes as an approach to helping children who have experienced trauma from within the family. This is both a therapy offering therapeutic support to the child, supported by the parent and a model for parenting and practice. DDP as a therapy and informing parenting and practice helps parents and practitioners to emotionally connect with their children in ways which increases feelings of safety and security. Understanding and regulating our own nervous system is an important starting point for both parents and practitioners to remain open and engaged to the child who has experienced developmental trauma and to return to this state when the impact of this trauma is pulling us all into defensive states.

Kim was a brilliant, engaging trainer. Her expert knowledge of the subject was clear, making her explanations and examples very clear” Attendee, 2022

The training will provide a clinician’s perspective on understanding and managing our own nervous systems allowing the child to also become less defensive. We will experientially explore how this insight into the nervous system can be used within DDP interventions, thus increasing sense of safety and security for the children.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the nervous system and how it responds under conditions of perceived threat and safety
  • Develop ways of recognising when we and others move into defensive responding
  • Learn ways of returning to open and engaged states at times of defensiveness
  • Understand how this learning can enhance DDP interventions

About the trainer

Kim Golding

Kim is a Clinical Psychologist living in Worcestershire, UK. Kim worked with children and families within the NHS for thirty years, specialising in working with parents or carers to develop their parenting skills tailored to the particular needs of the children they are caring for. She was involved in the setting up and evaluation of the Integrated Service for Looked After and Adopted Children; providing support for foster, adoptive and residential parents, schools and the range of professionals around the children growing up in care or in adoptive families. Kim now has her own business providing training, consultation and supervision.

Kim currently sits on the board of the DDP institute and is involved in accrediting and training other professionals in this approach. She is also one of the directors of the Community Interest Company: ‘DDP Connects UK’. Amongst her books, Kim co-authored: ‘Healing Relational Trauma with Attachment-Focused Interventions Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy with Children and Families’ with Dan Hughes and Julie Hudson, published January 2019.

Kim has additionally developed two DDP-informed programmes. ‘The Nurturing Attachments Training Resource’; and ‘Foundations for Attachment Training Resource’ Kim’s ‘Everyday Parenting with Love and security’ has been written to accompany Foundations for Attachment.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

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