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Developmental Trauma

Socrates Developmental Assessment and Relational Trauma Service (DARTS)

Our DARTS team comprises of a range of highly experienced professionals who are trained to deliver a number of potential interventions including:

  • Dyadic Development Psychotherapy (DDP)

  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  • Theraplay

  • Filial Therapy

  • Play and Creative Arts Therapy

  • Therapeutic Life Story Work (Richard Rose Model)

  • Therapeutic Parenting with Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) and Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (PACE) principles


The team specialise in assessing children and young people with complex presentations related to developmental trauma and consist of individuals with the following professional backgrounds:

  • Clinical Psychologists

  • Play Therapists

  • Psychotherapists

  • Occupational Therapists

  • Speech and Language Therapists


The team also offer supervision, consultations with schools, residential settings, other professional groups, ad hoc training on a range of mental health presentations and PACE training to professional groups.

What is Developmental Trauma?

Developmental trauma is a term used to describe the impact of early repeated trauma and loss within a child’s early relationships. A child exposed to chronic difficulties and significant adversity within their home e.g., abuse and/or neglect, witnessing domestic violence or having a parent with a significant mental health problem, can experience significant harm.


Traumatised children can develop a range of difficulties through living with the constant sense of feeling under threat and/or their needs being consistently unmet. Without a feeling of safety and, in the constant state of emotional arousal, a child may struggle to develop the essential daily living skills needed and may feel isolated, disconnected, and unable to regulate their emotions.

In addition to a range of developmental challenges, the behavioural impacts of trauma can include not being able to calm down when angry or upset (emotional dysregulation), presenting as jumpy and restless, agitated or impulsive (hyperarousal), being tearful and clingy (inability to self-sooth), daydreaming, lack of focus, seeming withdrawn (hypoarousal), and difficulties in maintaining friendships or relationships (attachment insecurity).

Unaddressed, these difficulties can extend into adulthood, potentially impacting on future relationships, mental health and general day to day functioning. It is important that children exposed to chronic trauma receive the help they need as early as possible. Children are generally resilient and adaptable and, with consistency and the right support, can heal from their trauma or certainly ameliorate some of the impact of their experiences.

Socrates DARTS process

We accept referrals from a variety of sources including the Adoption Support Fund, Local Authorities, self-funding, schools, and health insurance companies (e.g. BUPA).


Aims to gather information to develop an understanding of why the young person may benefit from further assessment or therapeutic input.

Initial Consultation

This may not happen in every referral but there may be a need for additional assessment, for example, cognitive assessment, attachment focussed assessment, school observation, developmental history.

Further assessment
Therapeutic pathway

Specific interventions which may be one to one therapy with the child, Dyadic approach (parent and child), therapeutic parenting sessions and/or consultation with other professionals.

Review of therapeutic pathway once concluded and consideration of further support, which may include additional therapeutic pathway interventions.


At the conclusion of the process the child is discharged from our service.

Get in touch

Cote Royd House

7 Halifax Road



01484 514594

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