Deborah Page, Rachel Swann

Therapeutic Parenting with PACE

Training pack

An Attachment, Trauma and DDP Informed Group Programme and Training Resource



This comprehensive training resource is based on materials developed for a group course that has been run over the past ten years with adopters, foster carers and residential workers in Sussex.

The resource is designed for training and supporting those who work with and care for young people who have experienced abuse and neglect.

The training gives an overview of the core concepts of developmental trauma, the provision of trauma-informed therapeutic care, and self-care for carers.

The underpinning model is Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP), an approach which allows carers to get beneath the defences and blocked trust of children in their care. The course supports carers’ capacity to provide therapeutic care through developing their understanding of the needs of the children they care for and supporting carers in the development of  an attitude of PACE-Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy-the core ingredients of the therapeutic approach.

See sample below 


ISBN: 9781912755547

Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication date: March 2021

About the Authors

DEBORAH PAGE is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, a certified DDP Practitioner and Consultant, and Clinical Lead of a specialist NHS and Local Authority CAMHS service. She specialises in therapeutic work with families in the area of fostering adoption and special guardianship. She has 30 years of practice and supervision experience, as well as experience in delivering training to local authority partners and others.

RACHEL SWANN is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist specialising in child and adolescent mental health, and a qualified DDP practitioner. She was Lead Clinician in an NHS and Local Authority Looked After Children’s Mental Health Service, where she worked for 14 years before leaving in 2018 to lead on the development of a new trauma informed model of care in a welfare secure children’s home.


  1. Introduction to the therapeutic parenting model, and the importance of non-verbal communication
  2. Understanding the impact of developmental trauma on brain development. Creating emotional safety by connecting to calm.
  3. Insecure and traumatised attachment styles. Supporting the development of emotional literacy by connecting accepting and naming feelings.
  4. Understanding Family Scripts and the importance of self-reflection.
  5.  Introducing the two-hands of parenting and the importance of self-care in therapeutic parenting.
  6. PACEful Parenting- Acceptance and  Curiosity.
  7. PACEful Parenting-  Empathy and Playfulness.
  8. Making sense of and managing behaviour with PACE.
  9. Creating a protecting environment and developing a PACEful approach to consequences.
  10. Understanding and responding to blocked care. Showing appreciation to support a growth mindset.
  11. A PACEful approach to understanding and addressing aggression, lying and stealing through connection not rejection.
  12. Therapeutic parenting and the stages of change


Mental health and social work professionals based in child and adolescent mental health services, local authority adoption and looked after children’s services, fostering agencies, voluntary groups and private practice who support foster carers, residential social workers and adopters in their care of young people with developmental trauma.


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