Aims and Objectives
Many parenting classes and courses offer skills to address a child’s challenging behaviour. This course is very different. It is about enabling parents and children to have the best possible relationship with each other much like family counselling therapy. An enormous body of research shows that the quality of parent-child relationships is of paramount importance for a child and teenager’s long-term health and well-being. Yet many parents and children never sit down to talk about the good things and difficult things in their relationship. As with couple relationships, parent-child relationships can get stuck in patterns of aggression, conflict or emotional distancing. Sometimes, big events in the family cause attachment ruptures, leaving parent and/or child reeling and unable to re-connect. When things are going wrong, safe short-term intervention from professionals can do so much. Parents and children can be helped to talk to each other about the things that matter, sharing those unspoken resentments, appreciations, hopes, fears and hurts. In addition, the entire family culture can be changed from one of on going relational battle or emotional distance, to a deep enjoyment of, and mutual respect for, each other. Therefore these parenting class / courses are designed to:
- Help parents and children to talk to each other about the things that matter
- Work through painful life events e.g. parents separating, criminal behavior, trauma, loss
- Improve the quality of parent-child, parent-teenager interactions on a daily basis
- Empower parents with lovely ways of relating to their child
- Enable parents to be more empathic, attuned and playful
- Enable parents to feel more fulfilled in their parental role arts
- Narrative Family Therapy
- Filial Therapy
- Video Interaction Guidance
- Transactional Analysis
- The Parent-Child Game
- Creative Arts Family Therapy
- The PACE method (originator Dan Hughes)
Interventions covered on the course
The course offers largely attachment-based interventions. The approach is psychodynamic, and so takes into account the complex interplay of inner and outer world realities in both parent and child.
The course will be taught by internationally acclaimed psychologists, psychotherapists, family therapists and Parent-Child Therapists to be selected from:
UKCP registered psychotherapist working with parents and children in private practice. Worked previously for Family Futures (a service offering family therapy and individual therapy for children/ teenagers who have been adopted.) He has worked therapeutically in many settings including schools, with school-excluded children and on the Teens and Toddlers project. He is the author of ten published storybooks for children.
Alison Eldridge (Parent-Child work using the arts)
Director of Options Child and Family Therapy Services. Former Psychiatric Nurse with 20 years experience Adult Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Child Psychotherapist. Alison draws together her knowledge and creative interventions to help parents to strengthen their relationship with their child.
Mark Hayward (Narrative Therapy)
Head of Family Therapy for Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust. Founding Director of The Institute of Narrative Therapy. Taught Narrative Therapy in a number of European countries as well as Russia, China, Brazil and Australia. He has worked with children and families for 30 years and will be focusing on the nitty-gritty of clinical practice from a narrative perspective.
Dr Hilary Kennedy (Video Interaction Guidance)
Author: Video Interaction Guidance as a Method to Promote Secure Attachment. This is a key intervention for healing troubled parent child relationships. 35 years experience as Chartered Educational Psychologist working with families, schools and child professionals. Honorary Senior Lecturer, University College London. Honorary Research Fellow, Newcastle University.
Debi Maskell-Graham (Parent-Child Attachment Play)
Works primarily with parents and carers and their babies and children in the UK and in Africa and Asia. Focuses on the quality of the attachment relationship and the parent-child relationship using Reflective Functioning and Play. This work begins in the community and ends up directly in the family home. Debi is Director of Big Toes Little Toes and author of "Reflective Functioning and Play: Strengthening attachment relationships in families from pregnancy to adolescence". She has published many papers and wrote the recent Department for Education's professional briefings based on the Safeguarding Children Research Initiative.
Dr Margot Sunderland (Effective change in Parent-child relationships and key assessment tools)
Author of over 20 books in the field in Child Mental Health including the forthcoming book, Helping Children with Troubled Parents and What Every Parent Needs to Know (First Prize award with British Medical Association), Draw on Your Relationships (key techniques for relational skills). Director of Education and Training, Centre for Child Mental Health, London. Child Psychotherapist working with parents and children for over thirty years.
Due to unforeseen and exceptional circumstances we reserve the right to make changes to our staffing.
Certificate in Parent-Child Therapy
For any professional working in education, social work, therapy or other helping profession who want to facilitate effective therapeutic conversations between parents and children. Personal therapy is strongly recommended much like family counselling therapy.
Diploma in Parent-Child Therapy
- For professionals with a recognised qualification in Counselling or Psychotherapy or who are on their second, third or fourth year of a recognised psychotherapy or counselling training and who have already accrued supervised client hours as part of their course.
- All candidates must prove they have the maturity, skill and knowledge base to use the course content in such a way that they can form their own integrative model rather than expecting the course to provide specific models of integration.
- Students will only be accepted onto this level of training when they have found parent child dyads who want to work with them therapeutically. We provide suggestions for finding clients but ultimately this is the student’s responsibility.
- Personal therapy is a requirement for the duration of this three term course.
- Please note, additional fees are required for the Diploma: £250 (Dissertation Marking Fee) & £65.60 (DBS fee, payable to the DDC)
How to apply
If you have already attended an advanced training at the Institute, please provide an application form and a short covering letter stating why you want to do the course. If you have not attended a course at the Institute for Arts, you will need to attend a Taster Day / Application Day.