Becoming a Part of the Child Client’s Story

Dan Hughes on the Effectiveness of Psychological Hand-Holding

Trying to help clients who have emotionally shutdown is one of the greatest challenges therapists can face. When that shutdown client is also a child, the path to effective treatment gets even rockier.

Daniel Hughes, author of Building the Bonds of Attachment and Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook, has many techniques to suggest when working with troubled children who have put up a wall.

In a quick video clip, Dan talks about the importance of becoming a part of the child client’s story, rather than just an observer, and how this will help the child to better regulate their emotions.

Watch the video on YouTube.


Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day. 

Dan Hughes

Daniel A. Hughes, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in the treatment of children and adolescents who have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma and attachment disorganization. He helped to develop Dyadic Developmental psychotherapy, an attachment-focused treatment model that relies on the theories and research of attachment and intersubjectivity. He is known for creating the PACE Model which facilitates play, acceptance, curiosity and empathy when working with children. 

Dr. Hughes is the author of several books including, Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd edition (2006), Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011), and co-wrote Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment. He has provided training and consultations to therapists, social workers and parents throughout the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia and provides regular trainings across the United States and Europe. Dr. Hughes received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Ohio University.