The POWER of the DYAD can be experienced within the context of many types of intimate relationships between any two human beings… When one member of a dyadic relationship experiences a very stressful situation, he or she may automatically turn to his or her dyadic partner for emotional support and comfort, beyond practical problem solving efforts wherein two minds are often better than one. The profoundly calming and comforting experience of having one’s dyadic partner physically accessible, in-person, to dramatically and sometimes magically alter an emotional state of extreme stress and emotional discomfort, is fundamental to human’s emotional and physical well-being (PB Collman, 8/15/18).
This emotionally transformative power, or “dyadic over ride”, is bestowed by the mere physical presence of a dyadic partner at critical times of emotional need (PB Collman, 8/15/18). Sometimes members of an intimate dyad feel as though they are not entirely whole as persons without the close physical presence of their dyadic partner. This attests to the power of the dyad. While dyadic relationships seem to be a critical component of the intimate relationships of adults and even teens, dyadic relationships are an essential feature of relationships between babies, toddlers, very young children and their caregivers (PB Collman, 8/15/18). This is, at least partially, because the developmental “mini-milestones” and fundamental accomplishments of babies and toddlers occur in very rapid succession (PB Collman, 8/15/18) and within the context of a special relationship with a caregiver or caregivers. The quality of this relationship between very young children and their caregivers will, to a certain extent, determine success with early language development, intellectual or cognitive developmental, socioemotional development, secure attachment,… Additionally, research evidence suggesting that a child’s temperament and personality may be partly influenced by his or her early relationship with a primary caregiver now exists. These findings originated in the decades of research investigating the adverse effects of maternal depression on the developing child, and more recently the negative consequences to a very young child when his or her mother suffers from anxiety and substantial stress. This vibrant body of research now extends such adverse consequences of maternal depression , anxiety and stress to the unborn child and prenatal period (please see Prep and Support Pregnancy Therapy services for further information).
Developmentally-targeted dyadic therapy (DTDT) is a brief or intensive therapy that addresses an infant or very young child’s progress with respect to fast evolving developmental mini milestones. As such developmental progress mostly depends on the quality of the very young child’s relationship with a primary caregiver, therapeutic work is focused on the infant-caregiver dyad. Caregivers are most often a mother, but can also include a father or other caregivers who spend many hours each day with the very young child. Developmentally-Targeted Dyadic Therapy may be especially helpful for the following common scenarios:
(1) Babies who have spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU);
(2) Babies with known or suspected developmental handicaps;
(3) Babies of parents who are exceptionally busy or stressed (with other children, work…);
(4) Babies whose parent suffers from mild or moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety or both;
(5) Babies of parent’s experiencing grief, or substantial life stressors;
(6) Caregivers of babies who had problematic early childhood relations with their own parents;
(7) Babies of single parents;
(8) Caregivers of babies who are in therapy to heal from emotional abuse or trauma; and
(9) Caregivers of babies who doubt the importance of his/her caregiver dyadic relationship.