Understanding development – adolescence (Online)

Course overview

Adolescence is a time of life that is central to our sense of who we are in the world. It is a time of intense emotion, of startling changes, of growth and of passionate feelings. 

This course is aimed at those who are interested in how we grow into and through adolescence and on how better to understand and relate to the young people we know, work or live with as they negotiate a complex developmental process. The challenge in managing this complex stage of life is often as much for the adults in an adolescent’s life as for the young person themselves, and this course offers a way of thinking about the process, and on ourselves in it, that uses a psychoanalytic perspective. We will think about development, will focus on observation of ourselves and others, and will stress throughout the importance of relationships in all aspects of development. Core psychoanalytic concepts will be introduced as they relate to the developmental process.

The course aims to provide a practise-focused introduction to ways of working with young people, and offers students the opportunity to develop an applied psychoanalytic model of working.

This is an online self-study course delivered through our virtual learning environment, Moodle. It utilises video clips of clinician-trainers talking through concepts and examples, interviews/discussions available as audio podcasts, interactive tasks and full text online reading. A discussion forum is provided, and you are encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas as you progress through the course.

A self-study course is arranged to provide flexibility of time management as you are not required to connect to the optional live online meetings. It is an excellent way to get acquainted with a subject.

This course incorporates the following elements:

  • Directed online study - you are given access to study resources such as video lectures, interviews, discussion forum activities, podcasts and quizzes
  • Reading pack - you are also given access to full online texts such as ebooks, case studies, conference papers and journal articles.

The course is arranged as ten units to be studied weekly.

Each unit covers a particular theme including:

  • Development of the personality
  • Infancy, young childhood and going to school
  • Adolescents - adolescence
  • Observation
  • The use of the self in the relational model
  • Groups, families and organisations
  • Crowds, gangs, prejudice and bullying

A new unit is released weekly and will require roughly 2 hours study (1 hour per video lecture, 1 hour for additional reading, discussion forum activity etc). Once open, units remain available for the duration of the course and a short period afterwards to allow you to flexibly schedule your time.

There will also be three optional live online seminars - at the start, midpoint and end of the course - where the course tutor will discuss further concepts and course content and where you will be able to feedback your experiences of studying this course.

This course is an awareness course that is aimed at those with a specialist interest in adolescence whether for career purposes or as a precursor or taster for further study – as well as those with a curiosity about how to relate better to young people. For those new to a psychoanalytic approach it is also an introduction to core concepts as they apply to adolescence, so it is also relevant for professions including psychiatrists, social workers, probation officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, residential care workers etc.

Course start: Monday 12th September 2022, for 10 weeks.

Please use the 'apply' button on the left of the screen to book.

Further cohorts are planned for January and April 2023.

Start of Course: Weds 21st September - 11:00AM to 12:30PM

Mid Course: Weds 26th October - 11:00AM to 12:30PM

End of Course: Weds 23rd November - 11:00AM to 12:30PM

Please note that the live meetings are optional; the course can be fully completed without attending. They are intended to be interactive, so are not recorded; they are offered to provide you the opportunity to clarify concepts and share your learning.


Please use the green ‘Apply’ button on the left of the screen to book your place using our MyTap booking system. 

Upon successfully booking you will be sent an automated acknowledgement. You will then be sent login instructions approximately one week before the course is due to commence. If you are booking within a week of the course starting, logins will be sent within two working days of booking.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course. Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying). Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website: https://library.tavistockandportman.ac.uk

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
10 weeks
Young People & Adolescents
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
September 2022 to November 2022

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