The Advanced Studies in Child and Family Development is an intensive course offered to graduates of the Foundation Course, Psychotherapeutic work with children, parents and young people.


Successful completion of the Advanced Studies course leads to Associate Membership of the Association of Child and Family Development. The Course is also recognised as relevant prior learning for University accreditation.

Overview of the course

This innovative course for professionals helps to develop the skills and expertise required to deal with the challenges of child and family mental health in the 21st century.

The course is underpinned by The Psychodynamic Method which takes, as its starting point, that all behaviour has meaning and is a communication. The Psychodynamic Method emphasises the importance of understanding the common developmental task which is the foundation for all emotional growth.

Aims and objectives

  • To offer a sound developmental framework for understanding the behaviour of children across the age range from infancy through to adolescence
  • To learn how to apply this understanding in everyday work with children and young people who present with a wide range of problems including ADHD, problems of early childhood, depression, and behavioural problems
  • To develop strong observational skills which can be applied to carrying out effective assessments and case management
  • To emphasise prevention, promote health and work in partnership with parents

Who can attend

All professionals who work with children, adolescents, parents and families, in any setting.

These may be:

  • social workers
  • psychologists
  • doctors
  • teachers
  • maternal and child health nurses
  • child care staff and kindergarten teachers
  • school and college counsellors
  • community and youth workers.

Professionals with decision making responsibilities may find the course particularly useful, such as managers of health or welfare teams, managers of high risk infant teams, and professionals concerned with linking policy with good practice.

No previous therapeutic experience is necessary and the course is not a psychotherapy training.