Dan Hughes on Active Empathy

I recently came across this short excerpt from a video interview conducted by Rich Simon of the Psychotherapy Networker with Dr. Dan Hughes, the creator of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Hughes developed DDP for working with traumatized children to help them “establish a secure attachment with his/her caregivers”. I’ve seen him present on his work several times; it’s impressive and inspiring. Much of his therapeutic use of self is easily adapted to our work with couples, especially his careful attunement to clients’ emotions.

In this three minute video, Hughes succinctly describes how he uses not only his felt sense of the child’s experience, but also the emotional impact it has on him in the moment to create safety, a shared understanding and co-regulation of affect. The result, says Hughes, is that the negative emotions are ‘experienced in a new way, with new meaning’. Sound familiar from your EFT training? The video is a little grainy, but you’ll get the idea. Let me know what you think.


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