Watch and Wonder Patron and Advocates
Dr Dan Hughes Patron of Watch and Wonder
Dan Hughes, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma. This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment. Dan has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the past 20 years. He is also engaged in extensive training and supervision in the certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals. He is the founder of DDPI a training Institute which is responsible for the certification of professionals in DDP. Information about DDPI can be found on ddpnetwork.org.
Dan has three daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson — all magnificent! Dan is also the author of many books and articles. These include Building the Bonds of Attachment, 3rd Ed. (2017), Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011) and, with Jon Baylin, Brain-Based Parenting (2012) and The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy (2016). Along with Kim Golding and Julie Hudson, Dan has recently had published Healing relational trauma with attachment-focused interventions: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy with children and families (W.W. Norton, 2019).
Alistair Bryce-Clegg is an established educational consultant specialising in the education of children in the Early Years.
He has written for various magazines and other publications and working with Bloomsbury has published over 20 books.
Alistair is passionate about inspiring children to reach their potential and equipping practitioners with the skills and enthusiasm to achieve this.
“Giving your children opportunities to do things like ‘Watch & Wonder’, gives your children a really positive subconscious link between a space and something that’s occurring within that space, that’s fascinating. We’re not trained as teachers to think about atmosphere, in the same way that we are to think about phonic progression and maths progression, but the subconscious cognitive link is more important that the conscious cognitive one because it’s how we feel as a learner, it’s about atmosphere within the space whereas, the conscious cognitive links are basically exchange of knowledge and taking in information. Besides the obvious element of them watching something and lots of opportunities for language exchange and thinking, there are all sorts of other really subtle things going on, in terms of their internal well-being and also their internal subconscious cognitive links, that’s really positive for them, i.e., what that language means, what that cooing means when the parent is doing what the parent’s doing and how does the parent feel, how does the baby feel? A really useful way of exploring feelings.“
Director of the Wellbeing Faculty IATE
I am writing as the Director of the Wellbeing Faculty at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education. I am former Principal and have been in education, training and practice for over thirty years. This includes the work of developing standards in the field of regulation for Child Psychotherapists and Child Psychotherapeutic Counsellors. I am also an advocate for Trauma-Informed approaches and Child Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioners who work in organisations where children live, learn and play. This contextual training is relevant to all residential settings in social care as well as health and education disseminating more widely knowledge and expertise in the field of Looked After Children.
This year we pioneered Watch and Wonder as part of our third-year training course. This was over a period of six months including watching a parent and child together on a regular basis to directly research how child development happens in action through the interactions between parents and caregivers, with babies and infants. We were able to consider the broader and far-reaching implications of this with insights for older children and adolescents. We have been astounded by the potency and impact of this training linking attachment theory, brain development, trauma-informed understanding with adverse childhood experiences. The integration of research-informed perspectives from affective neuroscience, theoretical knowledge on child development and the experiential reflective process has created a superb training opportunity. This has been integrated within our qualifying course and we would want to celebrate and value the wealth of understanding this has brought to our students and trainee therapeutic practitioners.
The work of Watch and Wonder has so much potential to deliver successful training outcomes for staff, parents and carers in so many different settings. Helen Craster and Michele Crooks are taking a lead in this area in the UK with initiatives to share more widely what every parent and carer needs to know. They are qualified, and experienced psychotherapists, educators and trainers who have evidenced their ability to complex ideas in simple accessible ways which are instantly applicable in practice. I would highly recommend their contribution to any service provider, knowing that they will approach this with the teaching and facilitation skills to make it an inspiring and meaningful journey for every participant. They have the most thorough integration of organisation skills including a wealth of managerial and supervision experience, as well as the ethical understanding to enable quality assurance in practice. This is a very exciting and impactful training opportunity for any service where the needs of children and young people are relevant. There is nowhere that would not benefit from this approach to training for all their staff, or for foster carers and adoptive parents.
This can ensure safer and more effective practice in building and strengthening reparative relationships with children and young people, and I cannot recommend this approach more highly.