Child, adolescent and family mental wellbeing: multidisciplinary practice (D24)

Course overview

This award winning course explores the fundamental aspects of child, adolescent and family mental healthcare and practice, informed by psychodynamic, systemic and child development theories. The course was awarded the Excellence in multi-professional education and training 2014 by Health Education North Central and East London and is accredited by the Association of Family Therapy.  We welcome applicants from BAME and other diverse backgrounds.  

Want to hear more? Join this course information session at our virtual open day on Saturday 25 June. Book your place using our booking form here.

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. Issues relating to equalities, diversity and inclusion are addressed directly through specific theoretical lectures as well as being embedded in the lecture and seminar series more broadly.

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. You will be encouraged to think carefully about aspects of your own and the observed family’s identity and the relationship between these as part of the observation process.  If you choose and successfully complete the family observation module and a small amount of additional work, you will achieve the AFT foundation level award.

Work discussion
These small multidisciplinary professional practice groups 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 week and offers an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the processes at work in groups and their own role in these processes. You will be encouraged to explore your experience of working in the group with others who can be different from yourself in terms of race, gender, sexuality and socio economic background and you will learn from others’ perspectives and examine your own relationship to these.

As part of the course you will have the opportunity to attend a specially designed multi-disciplinary 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.    A personal tutor will support your professional and personal development on the course.

Please note: This course can be studied over two years.  You may study on Monday afternoons (2 to 6pm) for one year and then Monday mornings (10am to 1pm)in the second year, or vice versa depending on your circumstances.  This can be discussed with you at application and/or interview stage.

This is a unique opportunity to study on an award winning multidisciplinary course on a part-time basis. 

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 and fundamental therapeutic 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:

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,  social worker, nurse, health visitor, education professional, occupational therapist, creative arts therapist, child and adolescent primary mental healthcare worker,child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) practitioner or working with children and families 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 and direct 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.

Due to the increasing popularity of this course, applications will close on Friday 13th August 2022.  If you apply before this date and meet the entry requirements, we will interview you by August 2022 and we strongly advise you to apply as early as you can. 

If you apply after this date, we cannot guarantee you an interview for a place starting in September 2022.


This course can be studied over one year (when studying a full day per week) or two years (when studying half a day per week).

One day per week: You will study all day Monday from 10am - 6pm for one year.  This mode of study is sometimes referred to as full time.

Half a day per week: you will study on Monday afternoons (2pm - 6pm) for one year and then Monday mornings (10am - 1pm) in the second year, or vice versa depending on your circumstances.    This mode of study is sometimes referred to as part time.

This can be discussed with you at application and/or interview stage.


The three main modules (Module 1 – Work discussion groups and lecture series, Module 2 – Infant / Young child Observation Seminars OR Module 3 - Family Observation and Module 4 - Child Development and current research lecture series) are each assessed by way of an academic essay.

Submission dates for these are spread out over the spring and summer terms.

In order to successfully complete the course you will need to pass the three essays, attend the Group Relations Conference and have a minimum of 75% attendance on all parts of the course. 

Dr Margaret Lush

Dr Margaret Lush is a child psychotherapist who has a background in music. She has a strong interest in the creative arts and her doctoral thesis investigated the links between states of mind and the drawings done by an adolescent boy in his psychotherapy sessions.  Her doctoral research led to a wider interest in creative approaches to researching the psychotherapy process and the opportunities offered by the paradigms of complexity and chaos theory. Publications include 'Clinical facts, turning points and complexity theory' (2011) Journal of Child Psychotherapy Vol 37:1 and a book review of 'The Non-Linear Mind. Psychoanalysis of Complexity in Psychic Life'  Taylor and Francis online, Feb.2017.

She is the senior liaison tutor for the Applied Psychoanalytic portfolio and she teaches on several clinical and pre clinical courses at the Tavistock and Portman.

This course can be taken over one or two years. 


  • One day a week over one year:  £4,995 per annum
  • Half a day a week over two years :£2,910 (afternoon only),or £1,940 (morning only)

The remainder of the full fee will be charged in academic year 2022/23 and will be subject to an inflationary uplift


  • One day a week over one year:  £9,900 per annum
  • Half a day a week over two years: £5,820 (afternoon only) or £3,880 (morning only)

The remainder of the full fee will be charged in academic year 2022/23 and will be subject to an inflationary uplift.

For more information about how Brexit may affect your fee status, please see Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses. 

Bursary opportunities

New for 2022:  We are delighted to be offering four bursaries worth 50% of the total course cost for applicants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds who secure a place on the course starting in September 2022.  Please download more information and an application form here.

Postgraduate Certificate
Course length:
1 year / 2 years
All day Mondays
The Tavistock Centre, London, Stroud
Admission status:
Course lead:
Dr Margaret Lush

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