Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level I & II

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Playful | Present | Passionate

Dafna is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families with attachment in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna’s style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter. She is as likely to break out into song as engage in serious intellectual discourse.


With the Trauma Research Foundation

Dafna is very excited to collaborate with Trauma Research Foundation to offer this complimentary workshop beginning on Wednesday, March 23. During each monthly session in this 8-part series, Dafna will focus on various challenges that parents face and how to approach parenting from a trauma informed perspective in order to promote secure attachment.

March Workshop: How to regulate a child who is acting silly/chaotic

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4 Week Program

Integrated Attachment Family Therapy

Using principles from two attachment-based modalities – Dyadic Developmental Psychoteraphy and Theraplay – learn how to enhance regulation, connection, and joy between parents and children, as well as a guide to parents to do reparative work around family trauma.

April 14, 21, 28 & May 5, 2022

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET

Dafna IAFT April 22 Banner 2

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New Blog Post!

Doing Our Own Work Differently: An EMDR Portal to Our Clients’ Healing

An excerpt from Dafna's case study published in Psychotherapy Networker's September/October 2021 magazine.

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A Model Developed by Dan Hughes

Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP)

Join Dafna Lender for a 5-day course this winter and spring on Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an approach which assists therapists and other professionals to understand and effectively support children, young people and their families.

Level 1: January 24-26 & 31, Feb 1 (FULL) | More dates coming soon!

Level 2: January 4-6 & 10-11

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Online Learning

Expert Discussions

Sit down with Dafna Lender as she shares with you conversations with 3 different experts: Peter Levine, Stephen Porges, and Bessel van der Kolk.

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A conversation with
Interview: Inspired Evolution with Amrit Sandhu

Power of Play in Parenting

Amrit and Dafna have a deep conversation about the power of play and laughter in parenting. A rich conversation about the power that play has to connect and have a harmonious relationship, to find a moment of hope and heal past trauma, and to live in this world as our own true self.

They talk about Dafna’s journey into the profundity of play and her beautiful definition of play.

They converse about what happens to a baby when their caregiver is not responsive or is abusive and how parents can approach a child that is damaged or has been rejected.

Furthermore they cave into a dialogue around parents expectations and how they can handle them, how just one moment of play and connection can heal an extended period of disconnection, qualities of a parent that can help a disconnected child, what is the symptomatic of a healthy functioning relationship, the importance of repair and reconnecting, and how to deal with discipline.

E-book: Instant Access

Calming our Emotional Reactivity to Our Children

Download this complimentary E-book to help parents become less reactive to their children’s behavioral challenges, allowing them to be more present with their children. Use this guide to introduce this concept and exercise to your clients and help them restore regulation and a sense of calm in stressful moments. This loose script can be adapted to meet your and your client’s needs.

A special edition for parents also available in this collection.

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E-book: Instant Access

Interrupting Intergenerational Trauma

Download this complimentary E-book to examine a case study of one family’s experience with attachment centered family therapy and learn why incorporating parents into the therapeutic process is an integral part of disrupting the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

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Essential Read

Theraplay: The Practioner's Guide

Theraplay is an intervention that focuses on enhancing the connection, trust and joy between a child and a parent. It involves interactive, playful activities using simple face-to-face reciprocal interactions, and involves using all of the senses, including rhythm, movement and touch.

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Theraplay book cover

Latest Blog Posts

Dafna Howto 2710
#43 – Posted Wednesday March, 16th 2022

How To Address Toxic Shame

On today’s How to Tuesday, Dafna discusses the concept of toxic shame and how to tell your child “no” without sending them the message that they are a bad kid.

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Dafna Howto 2109
#42 – Posted Tuesday March, 1st 2022

How To Set Consequences

As parents, we are told to be consistent while setting consequences. In today’s How to Tuesday, Dafna explores how to navigate the subtle nuances that can help parents determine the best approach for their child.

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Dafna Howto 2710
#41 – Posted Wednesday February, 9th 2022

How To Give Nonverbal Praise

On today’s How to Tuesday, Dafna talks about verbal and nonverbal praise that parents give children.

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