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Title: Adoptive mothers' experiences of dyadic developmental psychotherapy : unpacking the invisible suitcase
Author: Turner, Krystina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 8410
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Introduction: This study examines adoptive mothers' experiences of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) which is an attachment focused intervention for families with children with attachment difficulties. It is recognised that children with attachment difficulties are difficult to parent and such difficulties are associated with adoption disruption. The aims of published DDP have lacked focus with little investigation of specific outcomes targeted by DDP and the experiences of people who have had DDP. Therefore, a qualitative approach was adopted to investigate the in-depth experiences of people who engage in this approach to identify what they felt DDP was and the changes, positive and negative, they experienced because of it. Objectives: The study aimed to provide a qualitative, phenomenological exploration of adopter's experiences of DDP and their perspective of the changes it had made to them and their family. Design: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to investigate the in-depth experiences of adopters who underwent DDP. Methods: Participants were recruited via the clinician who delivered their therapy and an online message board. Semi-structured interviews were completed with six adoptive mothers in their own homes. Transcripts were analysed using IPA. Results: The analysis identified six super-ordinate themes. These were 'starting therapy', 'experiences of the general therapy approach', 'challenges of learning to adapt parenting approach', 'improved understanding of child', 'recognition, acknowledgement and working with adopters/parents' own needs' and 'relationship changes'. Discussion: This study identified that participants were aware of the therapeutic approaches used in DDP and as a result of therapy they experienced improved understanding of their own needs and their child's background and behaviour. Surprisingly, given the focus and theoretical basis of DDP, attachment was not explicitly mentioned by half the participants and DDP therapists need to be aware that attachment might need to be explained more during therapy. Problems associated with the openness of the model and the impact on trust are described. The findings of this research are also discussed in relation to wider psychotherapeutic processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available