Dan Hughes: The Importance of Relationship Expectations in Childhood – How They Develop & How They Change

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
Dan Hughes

A very special online opportunity to spend time learning directly from and with the wonderful Dan Hughes. This day is open to anyone working with and / or supporting children & young people – this includes parents & carers as well as professionals, practitioners & volunteers.

Content Summary: 

The initial interactions with the important people in a child’s life, cause the child to expect that similar interactions will occur in relationship to those people as well as people in general.

When the child has been hurt in these early interactions, the child’s brain quickly develops a bias toward protecting self through “fight, flight, or freeze” and often misses cues that this relationship willl create safety and opportunities for nurturing engagements.

These biases make it difficult to help the child to respond to and be influenced by caring and supportive interactions being provided by a new caregiver, teacher, or counsellor / therapist.  Routine frustrations and disappointments with these new adults are often experienced as being frightening, harsh, or even abusive.

In our efforts to assist these children in developing reciprocal positive relationships with others, we need to keep in mind that the child’s response to us may be primarily determined by their expectations based on past abusive experiences.

We need to relate in ways that generate safety and an openness to new learning.

We need to perceive and respond to the child’s inner life rather than to the behaviours that are problems and symptoms secondary to trauma.

We need to discover who the child was before being traumatized, who the child is underneath the traumatic symptoms.

These discoveries will help us to become engaged safely with the child and to invite him into relational experiences that generate new expectations of nurture, comfort, and joy.

This will be a rich, fun and inspiring day with Dan that will include time for questions and discussion, as well as the likelihood of some role play. Please note: Dan will be beaming in live from the East Coast of America – hence the timings of the workshop. We suggest you attend having already had lunch as there will only be two short breaks during the training in order to cover the equivalent of a full day’s content.

An uplifting, informative and transformational day with an incredible trainer – not to be missed!

About Dan:

Dan Hughes is a world-leading practitioner in healing troubled children. He is held in the highest esteem globally for his profoundly transformative therapeutic work with the most traumatised children and young people. Dan’s empathic way – encompassing his own PACE guidelines which he developed early on in his career – of relating to children and young people can bring about major life enhancing changes often in just a few sessions. He is an inspirational trainer and his workshops on PACE have impacted the lives and careers of thousands of parents and care givers as well as professionals and students.

Dan is highly respectful of family work and parent-child work and of healing a fraught or ruptured relationship between adult and child. He works as a Clinical Psychologist in South Portland, Maine, USA, where he specialises in working with children who have suffered abuse and neglect. He is a Consultant to Family Services programmes and also to therapists, case managers and parents struggling with the treatment of children who are locked in a life of anger, rage, hate or cruelty.

Dan founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma. This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment. He has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for the past 25 years. He is also engaged in extensive training and supervision in the certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals. He is president of DDPI – a training Institute which is responsible for the certification of professionals in DDP. Information about DDPI can be found on ddpnetwork.org.

His many books and articles include: Healing Relational Trauma with Attachment-Focused Interventions, The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy: Enhancing Connection and Trust in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents (with Jon Baylin), Brain-based Parenting: The neuroscience of caregiving for healthy attachment (with Jon Baylin), Creating Loving Attachments (with Kim Golding), Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children. Dan’s website is www.danielhughes.org



This workshop counts as 5 CPD hours as part of the CPD Access Pass 12 hour allowance. The Access Pass is a key part of The Sunflower Network’s commitment to providing affordable and accessible high quality CPD to our peers, and can be bought by individuals who have joined our free Sunflower Hub multi-disciplinary resource.



The ticket price includes any handouts the trainer may wish to share with you – which will be sent out AFTER the event has taken place – and a CPD certificate. Please note: The decision to share any content either during or after the event always rests with the trainer as the owner of the intellectual property, which The Sunflower Network will respect and honour at all times.



It is a requirement that all participants adhere to ethical conduct in the context of events including:

  • Respect for Sunflower staff, trainers and other attendees
  • Adherence to policies and procedures
  • Maintaining confidentiality and privacy
  • Sensitivity to complex issues being discussed

Anyone in breach of these threshold requirements may be removed from an event and could be unable to attend further events in the future. This is to safeguard the staff and participants as well as to enable quality assurance for the safety and wellbeing of all attendees.

In booking an event these criteria are agreed to in principle and committed to in practice.



Therapeutic trainings can work with complex and emotive topics that may be deeply personal for some delegates, depending on their lived experience. There will be breaks included on the day and one to one support will be available if needed, but please do reflect on whether you feel able to attend.  Your safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.



Please note – The Sunflower Network does not record events for purchase or view at a later date nor permit recordings of the event to be made. All our events are ‘as live’. This is to safeguard the nurturing and contained environment we create online in order to maintain our culture of safe, private and supported interactivity and sharing.



On behalf of the trainers we work with, we do not allow content shared during our CPD days to be replicated or used in any way without due credit to the copyright owner. Doing so without previous consent may result in exclusion from further Sunflower events.



It is possible to arrange payments for tickets to our events in instalments on the condition that the full balance has been received no later than two weeks before the chosen event takes place. We also offer discounts for groups / teams of 3+, discounts for individuals booking multiple events, and to arrange invoices for your place of work to way for you (advance payment required).  To discuss or arrange any of these ways to pay, please email [email protected]



Please note that from 1st January 2024 we are required to add VAT onto all our services. This will be added at the point of payment on the website or onto your invoice if you choose to pay in instalments and we cannot make any exceptions.



All bookings to be paid in full except where private arrangements have been made to pay in instalments and agreed by us. Tickets &/ or any instalment payments are non-refundable once payment has been made. You can re-sell or transfer your ticket to another attendee up to 24 hours before the event opens – as long as we have notice in writing with their name. On request The Sunflower Network Ltd. may be able to help advertise and/or facilitate any re-sales but this will incur an admin fee of £15.00 to cover our costs including subsequent charges we receive from the ticket providers. Please note The Sunflower Network Ltd. cannot ever guarantee a successful re-sale and responsibility for finding a new purchaser remains with the original ticket holder at all times. No transfer or refund will be considered for a ‘no show’ on the day of the event or should you choose to leave the event early.

If you are booking a ticket as part of a discount offer, only ONE discount can be applied to a ticket at any one time.

The Sunflower Network Ltd. reserves the right to make changes to the booking terms and conditions, the timetable, content and/or any events at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of cancellation by us and if we cannot offer an alternative date, we will refund the cost of the ticket price for the event in full. We will not be responsible for any further cost incurred by you in relation to your booking.


2 March
12:00 pm-5:00 pm


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available