Therapeutic Communication with Children

The course is aimed at clinicians working directly with children who are interested in deepening their understanding of an applied psychoanalytic approach.
Participants are drawn from a broad range of professions such as social work, clinical, educational, counseling and community psychology, teaching, nursing, art and music therapy.

Admission Requirements:

  • A minimum of one year’s professional experience involving direct work with children, adolescents, parents or caregivers
  • The intention of continuing such work for the duration of the course
  • A reference from an established professional who has knowledge of their work
  • A capacity for self-reflection

Applicants will be interviewed by a course tutor.

Course aims:

  • To develop insight into the psychodynamic processes that occur between workers and children
  • To enhance understanding of the communication of child and adolescent clients
  • To encourage the application of clinical insight through intervention
  • To work more reflectively within the parameters of the clinical setting
  • To develop skills in detailed observation and recording of interaction with children
  • To provide a framework for thinking about the development of the personality from birth to adulthood
  • To promote a critical understanding of the application of psychoanalytic theory to specific difficulties in childhood, including trauma, loss, abuse and disability
  • To promote sensitivity to cultural, racial and gender issues and their impact on the relationship between workers and children
  • To develop confidence in liaising appropriately with professionals, agencies, parents and caregivers

Course Content

The course comprises of the following modules:

  1. Infant Observation
  2. Psychoanalytic Theory
  3. Work Discussion/Clinical Seminar (only for Diploma)

Requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate (One year)

  1. Infant Observation:
    • A weekly hour of observation of a baby for its first year of life
    • A weekly seminar for a minimum of 30 seminars (depending on when a baby is found, this may need to be extended)
    • A written portfolio to be submitted at the completion of the first year of observation
  2. Psychoanalytic Theory:
    Two theory courses chosen from the following modules: Freud, Klein, Bion or Winnicott (a preliminary introductory course on psychoanalytic concepts and thinking will be available to those who have not had previous exposure to psychoanalytic theory
  3. A short essay on one of the chosen modules

Requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Therapeutic Communication with Children (Two years)

  1. Infant Observation:
    • A weekly hour of observation of a baby for its first two years of life
    • A weekly seminar for a minimum of 60 seminars (depending on when a baby is found, this may need to be extended)
    • A written portfolio at the completion of the first year of observation and a paper on the infant observation on completion of the observation
  2. Psychoanalytic theory:
    • Four theory seminar modules on Freud, Klein, Bion and Winnicott
    • An essay on one of the module’s needs to be submitted (questions in Psychoanalytic Theory Courses)
  3. Work Discussion/Clinical Seminar:
    • Attendance at 30 weekly seminars over a period of a year for the purpose of supervising clinical work with a child or adolescent or community
    • A paper must be submitted at the end of the seminars

Papers will be assessed by tutors who have not taught the student concerned as well as by an external examiner from the Tavistock Clinic.