Psychological therapies with children, young people, and families

Course overview

This innovative course will equip people to work therapeutically with children, young people and families.  It is also accredited by the The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) through membership of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists (TSP).

This course will train you to offer therapy based on psychoanalytic and systemic approaches, in addition to some other evidence-based treatments such as CBT and Mindfulness.

In year one you will:

  • study theory on assessment and engaging in therapeutic work
  • attend specialist workshops on fostering and adoption/autism/infant mental health
  • partake in small supervision groups
  • learn how to approach research
  • have fortnightly individual supervision
  • attend evidence-based practice seminars including mindfulness 
  • be in paid or voluntary work placements where you have the opportunity to see children/adolescents for individual psychodynamic psychotherapy

In year two you will:

  • study theory on the psychodynamic therapeutic approach
  • attend evidence-based practice seminars including CBT and systemic approaches
  • You will continue to attend specialist workshops on fostering and adoption/autism/infant mental health, partake in small supervision groups, have fortnightly individual supervision and be in paid or voluntary work placements where you have the opportunity to see children/adolescents for individual psychodynamic psychotherapy.

This is a two year Masters level course.  Students may exit after one year with a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip). Please note that students will only be qualified as a child and adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapist if they complete the full two years, along with all the required clinical work.

This course will train you to work therapeutically in child mental health settings with children, parents, young people and families.  It will provide foundations in developmental theory, key presenting issues in CAMHS, and give you an understanding of psychoanalytic, systemic and other evidence-based modalities.

The course will offer a range of supervision and forums for case presentation in which you will develop a number of specialist areas of therapeutic understanding and practice.  It will also equip you academically and professionally for a role that has become increasingly needed in the CAMHS and public sector child and adolescent workforce, as well as deliver counselling in schools and other settings.

Upon completion, you will qualify as a psychodynamic psychotherapist working with children, young people and families.

What our students say:

“I admire the fact that this course, which bridges different disciplines, schools of thought and modalities, has been made possible and I think it is really well taught and I am thoroughly enjoying it!”

“Practical teaching for mindfulness has been useful and different. It is impressive that this is included in our course.”

“This course has been hugely valuable to my professional development and is very relevant to apply to my job."

This course is for you if you are working in either a voluntary or statutory sector setting with children and families.  You may be a counsellor, social worker, education worker, psychotherapist, creative arts therapist, child and adolescent primary mental health care worker, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) practitioner, occupational therapist or nurse.

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

  • have successfully completed our course in Child, adolescent and family mental well-being: multidisciplinary practice OR
  • have successfully completed our course in Working with children, young people & families: a psychoanalytic observational approach or Working with infants and the early years: a psychoanalytic observational approach to the minimum of Postgraduate Certificate level (previously Diploma level) providing you have achieved 60 credits and 20 hours of infant observations and the necessary experience of working with children/young people, together with the other eligibility criteria for the course
  • have substantial experience of working with children, young people or families where you had a remit to address their behavioural, emotional or psychological difficulties.
  • hold an appropriate professional qualification relevant to your chosen career
  • have at least three years’ practice experience since qualification, preferably more
  • hold an undergraduate degree, degree equivalent or evidence of other relevant post registration education/experience
  • be in a full-time or part-time post (paid or voluntary), in which you are working with children and/or families and where you have the opportunity to provide individual therapy with children and adolescents
  • are in personal therapy for a minimum of one session per week with a BPC accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist or psychoanalyst by the time the course starts.

If you are invited to interview, you will be asked to demonstrate how you meet our Professional Suitability and Clinical Eligibility criteria.

If you have not completed one of our pathway courses

Applicants must demonstrate that their prior learning and experience is equivalent to the content and learning outcomes of our PgCert in Child, adolescent and family mental health and well-being. In particular, this must include an infant observation within a psychodynamic framework of at least 20 weeks, and participation in work discussion groups, along with 60 credits at Level 7 (PgCert). This must be detailed within the application and will be further explored during any subsequent interviews. If you are unsure about whether your prior learning/experience is equivalent to the above course, please contact us to discuss.

The annual fee for this course is £4335 for Home/EU students and £8670 for International students. 

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

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Please note that course fees will increase by 2% each year.

The previous code for this course was M34.

MA / Masters
Course length:
2 years
Admission status:
Course lead:
Nina Wessels

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