Getting in Sync with Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin

February 25, 2022, 12:00 pm

You can now view the slides for this event here.

In this workshop, Dan and Jon will present a brain-based model of how to help children with “blocked trust” feel safe enough to trust the intentions of trustworthy carers. Jon will explain the science of experience-dependent brain development, explaining how early life adversity can cause “double trouble”for the developing child: a chronically overactive self defense system plus chronically negative expectations about life. This enduring neurobiology of blocked trust supports chronic readiness to defend against getting too close to other people while suppressing the chemistry of comfort and joy. Adults who encounter this blocked trust day in and day out are at risk of developing “blocked care”from the constant stress of being mistrusted.The interplay of blocked trust and blocked care can too easily cause the parent-child relationship to be chronically out of sync. The key to helping such relationships get in sync is knowing that blocked trust and blocked care are treatable conditions, not permanent states of mind. Jon will explain the important concept of “neuroception” (Porges), the process by which our brains quickly assess safety and threat before we are even aware of doing so. This will provide therapists and carers with the knowledge of how to become non-verbal “brain whisperers”, messengers of safety who can buffer the child’s defense system to help the child shift into a state of open engagement.

Dan will explain how Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)targets both blocked trust and blocked care, enabling the parent and child to synchronize their states of mind to support mutual trust. Within DDP, the therapist is able to remain open and engaged with the defensive child and through attuned, nonverbal communications develops synchronized stories of healing to replace the child’s stories of shame and fear. At the same time, the therapist is helping the carer to join with the child in this synchronized state and create experiences of comfort and joy. Within the safety generated by DDP, the carer and child enter a synchronized mental state that enables the child to develop a secure attachment with the carer. Dan will also explain how the therapist’s compassion for the carer who is experiencing blocked care is a vital component of the treatment process.


Organisational members can purchase an SAIA Organisational Member General Admission ticket at a reduced price of £37 per person.

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