Therapy for adopted and “looked after” children and their families

  • I have Level Two training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and have supervision in this model. This therapy is based on neuroscience and the work of Dan Hughes. It is used widely with children who are have been ‘looked after’ or adopted.
  • DDP helps parents to learn how to parent therapeutically with children who have developmental trauma from difficult early experiences. It can enable you to connect with a child who has attachment difficulties, and support them to learn how to manage their feelings safely.
  • I have also trained in a therapeutic model called ‘mentalisation’ for foster carers and adopters, this involves working on the ability to “think about thinking”. We focus on what is going on in your mind and in the mind of your child, and link this to understand and reduce problematic behaviours. 


“When you are introduced to a psychologist you wonder if you’ll be able to talk to them. Fortunately, when we first met Jenny she was able to get rid of that worry quickly. She swiftly established a positive relationship with my wife and I. It meant we could spend time working on solutions rather than “sizing each other up”.

What we most liked about working with Jenny is that she gave us practical strategies for us to implement after each session with her. These were ideas that really helped us manage our adopted daughter better and improve the bond between us.

Jenny was also very good at being realistic about situations. Rather than rely on textbook best practice, she adapted ideas so that they would work for our specific situation. During our sessions we felt able to talk freely and never felt judged. At the same time she was able to gently move us into new ways of thinking and acting that have improved our family life.

I would wholeheartedly recommend working with Jenny.”

Adoptive Father

“We met Dr. Jenny Griffiths when my husband and I were referred by our Adoption Support worker to CAMHS. We had adopted a daughter who had been with us for just over ten years, and she had at that time just finished two years of play therapy.

We had tried very hard to support our daughter over the years, and we had read widely and met with professionals to understand how the traumas she had experienced in early years had affected her emotional development. Whilst in theory we were very able to offer therapeutic parenting, we were finding it hard to put it into practice because of the relentlessness of D’s sabotage behaviours.

My natural instinct is to ‘fix’ problems, but I had become exhausted and exasperated by my lack of success in trying to get D to overcome her anxieties and deep-rooted insecurities. My husband was feeling disappointed that the family dynamic wasn’t ideal to say the least.

It’s very hard to admit that you’re struggling as a parent, and that sometimes you don’t feel as much love as you want, but I felt comfortable in admitting to Jenny just how hard things had become. Jenny was not judgmental, and she appreciated that mine and my husband’s own well-being was a key factor in maintaining the best support for our daughter.

Jenny had many practical ideas and strategies, which we talked through in our sessions, and she followed these up with additional reading matter, and links to information. She was clearly very experienced at dealing with the kinds of situations that we were encountering, and she understood that D found it very difficult to implement positive changes. We therefore discussed where my husband and I could intervene, and where to step back. It was very helpful for us to have time with Jenny together so we could establish and agree clear plans for moving forward.

We both found our meetings with her to be extremely beneficial, and we would gladly recommend her.”

Adoptive Mother