• Karen Doyle Buckwalter

Vivien Norris: Approaches to Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

Karen Doyle Buckwalter welcomes Dr. Vivien Norris as they explore her varied background that guides her work in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.

Vivien is qualified as a Certified Theraplay® Therapist and a Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Practitioner. She has worked as an NHS psychologist and in private practice for many years and has developed considerable experience with foster and adoptive families.


Throughout her career she has focused on the impacts of developmental trauma on children and their families and has sought ways to creatively support the whole family system, keeping parents and carers central. Her experience includes residential therapeutic community work with adolescents, provision of specialist therapy and facilitating broader based family support interventions such as residential camps and therapeutic family respite days.


Vivien has trained and supervised professionals, both across the UK and internationally, and her training programmes are consistently evaluated as excellent. Vivien delivers all levels of Theraplay and DDP training as well as bespoke courses in areas such as the integration of different modalities. She is one of only two dual-qualified Theraplay and DDP trainers in the world and the only one in the UK. Participants typically return to access the various specialist trainings and courses on offer.


As a leader in the field, Vivien has co-authored two core Theraplay texts: ‘Parenting with Theraplay; Understanding Attachment and How to Nurture a Closer Relationship with your Child ’ (Norris and Rodwell 2017) and ‘Theraplay: A Practical Guide for Practitioners’ (Norris and Lender 2020), alongside a number of chapter contributions to edited texts. She is author of ‘By Your Side: Support for children moving families’ (2019)* which focuses specifically on the transition from fostering to adoption. This resource includes trainings, a children’s book and foster carer, adopter and practitioner guides. Vivien believes strongly in the power of teamwork and collaboration and works tirelessly to bring people together in creative ways to provide her colleagues and the families they support with new opportunities. She is a keen open-water swimmer and greatly appreciates the healing impact of nature.


Full Episode:

For More:

Dr. Vivien Norris at The Family Place


*While originally published in 2018, this blog was updated in 2021

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