Marguerite McCarron and Associates

Phone: (905) 379-0042


What is Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy?

Traditional therapy with children who have spent time in an institutional setting, or experienced multiple caregivers such as in foster care usually means one on one sessions with just the therapist and the child.  Traditional talk therapy requires the therapist to see the child or youth alone to develop a therapeutic alliance with him or her.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy seeks to strengthen the relationship between the child or youth and his parents and family. Children with histories of trauma and loss may have a hard time trusting parents and may display behaviours that keep parents at a distance. Because the childs needs for care and nurturing were not met, the child develops a dysfunctional worldview that he is bad and must take care of his/her own needs rather than relying on parents. In order for the child to repair these erroneous beliefs, therapy MUST involve the family. A primary relationship between the child and the therapist will not suffice to help the child to connect to the family.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy differs from traditional therapy for children by the inclusion of the caregivers as active participants in therapy sessions.  The therapeutic relationship is with the entire family. Through Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, the child learns to trust his family, to connect with his parents and siblings, and to challenge his negative beliefs about  himself and the world.