Therapeutic Communication with Children (D30)
This course offers an applied psychodynamic approach to workers who are already engaged in direct work with children, but who have no formal training in psychoanalytic models.
Who is this course for?
Why study with us?
Closing date for applications
What students say about this course
Students are employed in a broad range of settings including health, education and social care. Due to its particular theoretical focus it can be equally suitable for those with a professional qualification and those without. Our current group includes amongst others: Social workers, nurses, learning support assistants, youth offending workers, and counsellors in voluntary organisations.
The course consists of three elements:
- Theoretical Seminar / Lecture Series
- Work Discussion Seminar / Small Group Discussion
- Individual Tutorials
The theory seminars introduce psychoanalytic ideas through discussion, lectures and reading. The relevance of these psychodynamic concepts is applied to work with children and is explored with reference to wide ranging clinical examples.
In the first term, there is a focus on child development (from a psychoanalytic perspective) from infancy through to adolescence. In the second term, these developmental ideas form the basis of a model which helps enhance students’ existing relationships with children and young people to become more thoughtful interventions that are based on therapeutic communications. In the third term staff offer presentations based on specialist areas such as work with fostered and adopted children, or working with children with autism with illustrations from their own practice. These presentations help illustrate how the psychoanalytic ideas and concept can be applied to a range of children with differing needs. Careful attention is paid to thinking about the family, social, institutional and the cultural context in which our work with children takes place.
The work discussion seminars comprise up to six students together with a Seminar Leader who is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, or other clinically trained practitioner. Students take it in turns to present detailed accounts of their current work with a child, basing this on careful observation of interactions. They are asked to bring a written record to be discussed in the seminar. Emphasis is placed on understanding the developmental and situational preoccupations of the child and the issues the worker is facing. The seminar aims to develop the student's capacity to think about the emotional dynamics in the relationship with their child client and the personal impact this has.
Each student is allocated a personal tutor from the staff group who they meet with on a regular basis. Tutorials offer an opportunity for students to explore issues arising from the course and the impact this learning is having on their professional development.
- PG Certificate accredited with the University of East London (UEL)
- Some of our students are participants in the NHS Training Skills Escalator
Students will develop a psychodynamic theoretical framework for enhancing their work with children and young people.
All services to children and young people require their workforce to be more informed about the emotional well being of children. This course provides a way of understanding the emotional needs of children and how to use their interventions in a more meaningful way.
Working with children and young people can often have a significant impact on the workers. This course sets out to help workers understand what is being communicated to them through these emotional responses and to use this to enhance and develop their intervention skills.
An applicant must be working in some context with at least one child individually and be able to provide anonymised current material for presentation to the work discussion group. Entry will be based on an application form, a professional reference and an interview.
We are aware that many people in the children’s workforce do not hold professional or academic qualifications but would like to develop their knowledge and skills. While it is usual that applicants will have a degree or higher education qualification, applications will be considered from people who can demonstrate the potential to do
This is a one year, part time programme offered from 1:30 – 5:00pm one day per week.
Please contact the course administrator to discuss applying for academic year 2013/14.
Robin Solomon is a Consultant Social Worker at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, where she is a senior member of the Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care Team in the Child and Family Department. She has also had clinical training in therapeutic work with children and in adult psychotherapy.
Robin has previously been the course organiser for the MA in Fostering and Adoption Studies, and continues to teach on numerous courses in both the CAMHS and SAHMS Directorates including, D24, M42, M22; M34, and D60/50.
Before joining the Tavistock in 2001, she worked for 16 years in graduate, none graduate and post graduate training of social workers. She is a strong advocate for the helpfulness of psychoanalytic thinking when working in frontline services
Robin has set up fostering programs in Poland and Russia and has consulted widely to other organizations and professions regarding their work with Looked After and Adopted children
She supervises dissertations at both MA and professional doctorate level.
Her most recent publication on working therapeutically with children has been:
Solomon, R. ( 2010 ) Working with Endings in Relationship Based Practice in (eds) Ruch, G.; Turney, D. and Ward, A. Relationship-Based Social Work : Getting to the Heart of Practice
The course tutors are all child and adolescent psychotherapists or other therapeutic practitioners, who are actively engaged in clinical practice, supervision and or research and consultancy.