Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an evidence-based and effective form of treatment for children with trauma and disorders of attachment . It is an evidence-based treatment, meaning that there has been empirical research published in peer-reviewed journals. Craven & Lee (2006) determined that DDP is a supported and acceptable treatment (category 3 in a six level system). However, their review only included results from a partial preliminary presentation of an ongoing follow-up study, which was subsequently completed and published in 2006. This initial study compared the results DDP with other forms of treatment, ‘usual care’, 1 year after treatment ended.
It is important to note that over 80% of the children in the study had had over three prior episodes of treatment, but without any improvement in their symptoms and behavior. Episodes of treatment mean a course of therapy with other mental health providers at other clinics, consisting of at least five sessions. A second study extended these results out to 4 years after treatment how does morphine work . Based on the Craven & Lee classifications (Saunders et al. 2004), inclusion of those studies would have resulted in DDP being classified as an evidence-based category 2, ‘Supported and probably efficacious’. There have been two related empirical studies comparing treatment outcomes of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy with a control group. This is the basis for the rating of category two. The criteria are:
1. The treatment has a sound theoretical basis in generally accepted psychological principles. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is based in Attachment Theory (see texts cited below
2. A substantial clinical, anecdotal literature exists indicating the treatment’s efficacy with at-risk children and foster children. See reference list.
3. The treatment is generally accepted in clinical practice for at risk children and foster children. As demonstrated by the large number of practitioners of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and it’s presentation as numerous international and national conferences over the last ten or fifteen years.
4. There is no clinical or empirical evidence or theoretical basis indicating – that the treatment constitutes a substantial risk of harm to those receiving it, compared to its likely benefits.
5. The treatment has a manual that clearly specifies the components and administration characteristics of the treatment that allows for implementation. Creating Capacity for Attachment, Building the Bonds of Attachment, and Attachment Focused Family Therapy constitute such material.
6. At least two studies utilizing some form of control without randomization (e.g., wait list, untreated group, placebo group) have established the treatment’s efficacy over the passage of time, efficacy over placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an already established treatment. See ref. list.
7. If multiple treatment outcome studies have been conducted, the overall weight of evidence supported the efficacy of the treatment.
These studies support several of O’Connor & Zeanah’s conclusions and recommendations concerning treatment. They state (p. 241), “treatments for children with attachment disorders should be promoted only when they are evidence-based.”