This programme is intended for those working in the child care professions who wish to gain a greater understanding of the psychology of child development and the impact of parenting on behaviours, socialisation, peer relationships and the child’s world view.

The course consists of five 2 day weekends and one three day weekend held over a period of 12 months. Each weekend includes one evening session.

We will review theories of child development from the early work of Freud to current developments in Self psychology, Family Systems Theory and Neuroscience. An overview of Jungian and post Jungian theories will be given.

We will review the effect of parenting ‘styles’ and the failures in parenting on a child’s behaviour patterns and problems of infancy, early childhood and adolescence.

Sandplay therapy

Using a combination of experiential exercises and theory we will examine therapeutic methods of working with children with particular reference to sandplay and art therapy. The role of the mentor, child counsellor and clinical supervisor will be examined.

The course will include a series of case studies and experiential exercises.

To obtain the certificate students will be required to carry out a series of infant and child observations, complete seven book reviews and a personal process diary.

Infant observations-from pre-birth to one year. One hour per week for a minimum of 30 weeks.

Child observations – age range 3-5years. One hour per week for a minimum of 30 weeks.

Written work – a write up of the infant and child observations A personal process diary.


During the first weekend we will review the work of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, R.W.D. Fairbairn and D.W. Winnicott, on infant and child development.

Sandplay therapy

The development of sandplay as a method for working with children and the contribution of Margaret Lowenfeld, Dora Kalff and Carl Jung will be examined.


We will review the work of Margaret Mahler with an introduction to the developmental theories of Edith Jacobson, Heinz Kohut and Otto Kernberg.

We will examine the development of children’s drawing and the application of art therapy to children and adolescence.


During this weekend we will review family systems theory and its implications. Introduction to neuroscience with particular reference to the implications on brain development of continual anxiety and fear in children.

Problems of infancy and childhood will be considered, particularly oppositional and conduct difficulties; anxiety conditions and social phobia; post traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive problems, depression and eating disorders.

WEEKEND 4 - Child abuse and self harming behaviours.

Sandplay therapy

The therapeutic process and healing. The work of mentoring. The role of the counsellor and psychotherapist. Empathy, presence and a safe space. Transference and counter-transference issues. The role of supervision. Developing a case presentation. Assessment tools.


Carl Jung and Erich Neumann on infant and child development. The structure of the psyche and the human life cycle. The transitions from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Problems of adolescence. Working with adolescents. Initiation rituals and rights of passage.

Each weekend will include experiential practices and case examples.


This three day weekend consists of experiential practices in sandplay and artwork and cognitive therapeutic techniques.

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