National Hot Chocolate Day

On National Hot Chocolate Day, here’s an invitation to think about PACE like a cup of hot chocolate!

In Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), we talk about cultivating an attitude of PACE – playfulness, acceptance, curiosity & empathy. It’s a way of being & a way of communicating, rather than a technique for changing behaviour.

In safe, secure relationships, the healing from trauma occurs. An attitude of PACE, expressed in the way that we come together, learn about each other, & explore the meaning of our experiences, is so important to creating & deepening that relational security.

How is a PACE-ful conversation like a cup of hot chocolate shared by good friends? At its heart is warmth & a sense of comfort. It’s not to be rushed & there’s a joint focus of attention on the content. There’s a curiosity to discover just how it is. Empathy & acceptance provide containment, like a cup & saucer. There’s the opportunity to share & create stories. Sometimes there might be spills & things can get sticky, but always there’s a desire to mop up & get back into enjoying being together. We look out for sparkling moments & delight in them, as we might the marshmallows floating on the chocolate top.

PACE, like hot chocolate with a friend, can connect us. It is a taste of being truly seen & appreciated, by someone who knows & cares for us. It’s a sense of time well spent.

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