Child, adolescent and family mental well-being: multidisciplinary practice (D24G, Stroud)

Course overview

Delivered at the Gloucestershire Counselling Service in Stroud, this award winning course will introduce you to the fundamental aspects of child, adolescent and family mental healthcare and practice, informed by psychodynamic, systemic and child development theories. 

On this course you will learn through theoretical seminars and lectures, infant observation and/ or family observation, work practice discussions, experiential groups, personal tutorials and a four-day group relations conference. All teaching takes place in multidisciplinary groups. As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to attend a specially designed, multidisciplinary group relations conference entitled 'Exploring the Complex Realities of Inter-agency Working', which seeks to explore the difficulties and benefits of interdisciplinary and inter-agency work.

Theoretical seminars
Will develop your understanding of psychodynamic, systemic and developmental concepts and how they can be applied in working effectively with children, young people and families where emotional and mental health difficulties exist. You will study child and family development theories and research and explore the factors that affect mental health and wellbeing in children young people and families and common presenting issues.


You will undertake an observational module choosing between an infant / young child or family observation. These seminars will draw upon psychodynamic and systemic theories and develop your observational skills and capabilities in this work. You will have the opportunity for experiential group learning via work discussion, and participation in a group relations conference.

Work discussion
These multidisciplinary professional practice seminars will draw on your practical work experience and aim to develop your capabilities in thinking and in practice. These components aim to facilitate the integration of relevant theoretical ideas and research in order to develop advanced therapeutic practice skills in working with children, young people and families. 


Experiential group

You will have the opportunity for experiential group learning via a range of delivery modes; work discussion, experiential group and group relations conference. The experiential group will take place every other week. This offers an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the processes at work in groups and their own role in these processes. During this course, you will undertake theoretical seminars and lectures, infant observation and/or family observation seminars, work practice discussions, experiential groups, personal tutorials and a four-day group relations conference. 

A personal tutor will support your professional and personal development on the course.

Students will attend GCS at Stroud every week on Thursday afternoons, with a monthly Friday all day symposium (unless otherwise arranged for webinars). In addition,  weekly web-based learning is attended online from your work or home.  You will be fully supported by the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit at the Tavistock and Portman, based in London.

This is a unique opportunity to study on an award winning multidisciplinary course. 

You will be able to develop a theoretical framework for understanding child, adolescent, and family development and family functioning that will inform your practice.  You will gain advanced knowledge, clinical capabilities and skills drawing upon psychodynamic and systemic theories.  You will have the capability to undertake informed early assessment, skillful and effective preliminary work, and/or know how and where to refer children, young people and families for more specialised treatment whilst always having the service user perspective at the centre of your practice.  

What our students say about the course: 

"The work discussion group is incredibly useful and the discussions we have there are rich and thought provoking. The multidisciplinary aspects of the course are also reflected in the smaller groups, and members' contributions are informed by their respective disciplines. Experiential group has been very valuable as it has helped us process much of the emotional impact on the course."

 "I work as part of a multidisciplinary team, so the learning from my fellow students has been incredibly enriching and useful to me in my work. I have contributed insight gained while on the course in social work/ safe guarding meetings, also the clinical/therapeutic practice meetings. I have also applied it in my direct work with children and young people."

 "I speak to my immediate team informally about my learning from the course and on one occasion have used aspects of my learning when delivering training to partner agencies. I have used learning from work discussion to help other professionals recognise counter transference in multi-agency meetings. I feel I can offer much more in pathway reviews." 

"Truly exceptional, experienced and committed tutors - with no ego! (Sounds strange but I love the Tavistock ethos - hands on, grounded and equal)."

This course is for you if you are working in the field of child, adolescent or family mental health, and wish to improve your knowledge and capabilities. You may be a counsellor/psychotherapist who wishes to gain experience in their field, a social worker, nurse health visitor, education professional, occupational therapist, creative arts therapist, child and adolescent primary mental healthcare worker or a child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) practitioner. 

The course would also suit you if you are working with children and families in another role as a professional in the voluntary or statutory sector.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • hold an appropriate professional qualification relevant to your chosen career 
  • have at least two years’ practical experience in working with children and families since qualification
  • have an undergraduate degree, degree equivalent, or evidence of other relevant   post-registration education/experience  
  • are in a full-time or part-time post (paid or voluntary) in which you are working with children and/or families experiencing difficulties be they  behavioural, emotional or psychological where you have a remit to make a difference in your work.

Dr Akhtar is a Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist and also the course lead for London based Mental health & well-being:multidisciplinary practice with young people and adults (D24A) course.

Fees for the academic year 2020/21 are coming soon.

Postgraduate Certificate
Course length:
1 year
Thursday (weekly) and Friday (once per month)
Admission status:
Course lead:
Dr. Khuzuma Akhtar

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