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Duration: A two-year course leading to Diploma in Integrative Child Psychotherapy. Tuesdays with some additional days, plus one additional term to complete assessments (see ‘Course Structure’ section below for more information). 

When: Starts late September 2024

Costs: Please view all of our training courses and fees



This course is only open to candidates who have successfully completed and qualified from a long term recognised counselling or psychotherapy course/s (over 600 hours accrued in all) and who can evidence:

  1. At least three years of personal psychotherapy (not counselling) during the course - signed by a psychotherapist who is BACP/UKCP/BAP/HCPC accredited (the latter with private practice qualification).
  2. A substantial number of clinical hours (signed clinical log by supervisor who must be BACP/UKCP/ BAP registered).
  3. Must be BACP registered (not just student member) or UKCP registered and/or have qualified from a BACP or UKCP accredited course. You will need to supply proof of registration and/or proof that the course you qualified from was a UKCP or BACP accredited course.
  4. Submission of a 1500 word paper on an anonymised case study including verbatim transcript passages on interventions you made with reflective process, referring to underpinning theoretical frameworks and use of, or awareness of, counter-transference.


Why the Post-Qualifiying Diploma?

This training is in response to the increase in the number of health professionals who have completed an adult training but wish to work with children and young people. In differentiating between Adult and Child training the Institute has long held the belief that those working clinically with children and young people require specific knowledge, skills and techniques. The recognition that professionals need to evidence specific training and qualifications has led to the UKCP creating a register specific to Child Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Therefore, the Post-Qualifiying Diploma will be valued by counsellors or psychotherapists who want to gain:

  • A wealth of clinical skills for working with children
  • A sound working knowledge of principles in child therapeutic practice, child law and child protection, essential for working safely and ethically with children
  • An in-depth knowledge of child psychiatry, diagnostic categories, and medication used with children
  • An understanding of the impact of the neuroscientific and psychological perspectives of child development
  • A prestigious qualification showing a high level of competence in psychotherapeutic work with children


Philosophy of the course

We adopt a holistic and integrative approach to psychotherapy. Our teaching-style aims to provoke questions rather than provide ready answers; to give students the confidence to re-engage with study; to explore and experience the healing powers of the creative imagination; to think deeply and read widely. Our tutors are all recognised experts in their field of child psychotherapy and/or child mental health. They are united in a nurturing and concerned outlook that makes the individual needs of students and their eventual clients their priority. We prepare students in a supportive way to work in potentially difficult and emotionally challenging situations and we share with them our belief that the Arts and active use of creative imagination to enable us to grow and make sense of the world in profound ways.


Course curriculum

The course offers cutting edge, inspiring theory and practice by many eminent practitioners who have published widely in the psychological treatment of children. Many key texts in the field have been written by our staff team. The course is based on an integrative approach which draws on neuroscientific and psychotherapeutic theory, including attachment theory, object relations theory and, in particular, the work of Freud, Winnicott, Kohut, Bowlby, Perls and Berne. It offers a wealth of clinical techniques to develop a meaningful dialogue with a child in ways which promote emotional health. The use of creative media, sandplay, art, puppetry, clay, storytelling are central to the training.

The course acknowledges that:

  • external reality can impinge on a child’s emergent self in such a way as to blight future development
  • trauma, abuse, neglect and persistent misattunement can have lasting adverse effects on the actual hardwiring and psychobiochemical balances in a child’s brain



Course structure

All the modules have both theoretical and practical components. Some, however, are more theoretically based with an in-built practical application, whereas others are largely experiential with theoretical underpinnings. In several cases the modules will be taught alongside each other rather than consecutively. This is to ensure that there is a rich transfer of theory and practice from one subject area to another. It will also enable trainees to explore and appreciate the inter-relationship between the different modules. 

Year 1:
Formal teaching: 30 teaching days over the academic year. 
First year of two-year Infant Observation module.

Year 2:
Formal teaching: 30 teaching days over the academic year. 
Second year of two-year Infant Observation module.

Term 7:
Completion of Infant Observation seminars - 3 seminars (nb if an infant is not found by the end of Autumn Term, Year 1, then more seminars may be required until the infant is 2 years old).



Aims of the course

The values underpinning the course are based on the recognition of:

  • The child’s individual human rights, including the right to self-determination, within the reasonable constraints of their need for safety, protection and care, in keeping with the law relating to child protection and the rights of parents and carers.
  • The right support and conditions, and the capacity for the child to access impeded developmental impulses and re-establish the potential for psychological well-being.
  • The importance of considering the experience of children and young people in the context of the overall matrix of their lives and the centrality of family, social, cultural, religious/spiritual and political systems which frame their reality.
  • The need to value the validity of a child’s experience and the creativity and resilience of infants and children in responding to the circumstances of their lives as best they can within their developmental capabilities and emotional resources, even where this manifests in ways that present challenge and difficulty in the adult world, and to recognise that the child alone is not the problem.
  • The particular dependency and vulnerability of the infant, child and young person, emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.
  • The particular nature of the child’s experience that characterises the several developmental stages and tasks involved in growing up into a mature relationship in the world.
  • The need to support children in developing the skills and resources they need to deal realistically with the circumstances of their lives, as well as to emerge more fully with their own potentialities and to build trust.
  • The multidisciplinary nature of work with children, and the vital importance of inter- and intra-professional dialogue and exploration.


Learning outcomes

  • The ability to carry out effective therapeutic treatment with children /young people safely, ethically and within limits of competence
  • The ability to enhance a child’s/young person’s social and emotional intelligence
  • The ability to empower children/young people to enjoy a wider range of affect states and relational options, and a far more positive relationship with themselves
  • The ability to deeply meet children/ young people in both pain and in joy
  • The ability to connect with highly defended and challenging children and young people
  • The ability to enable children/young people to speak about experience which previously they have been unable to put into words
  • The ability to enable children/young people to move from overwhelming, disturbing or painful feelings to heightened cognition and understanding
  • An in-depth knowledge of emotional and social development, human interaction and therapeutic change


Modules include:

  • Principles in child therapeutic practice
  • Essential technique in child therapeutic counselling
  • Image, metaphor and inner world through clinical work with children
  • Child Psychiatry
  • The legal, ethical and child protection concerns for the therapist working with children/young people
  • Parent/child work and family systems
  • Essential neurobiology for the child therapist
  • Infant observation


Supervision requirement and child client hours

Trainees must be in supervision with an IATE approved Primary Supervisor for the duration of the course at a ratio of 1:6. In order to register with UKCP, you will need to accrue an additional 250 child client hours, or 300 additional child client hours if you have been working exclusively with adults before commencing the course.


Personal therapy requirement

Trainees must be in once-weekly therapy for the duration of the course until they have received confirmation of passing all assessments.


Application procedures

Applicants must complete the application form. This must be accompanied by: A full CV; Two references, one academic and one personal; One passport-sized photograph. Your application will be read by Admissions to ensure that basic entry requirements have been met. External applicants need to attend a Taster Day. Internal applicants will be invited to an interview. Enhanced disclosures via the Criminal Records Bureau and appropriate references and recommendations attesting the suitability of candidates to work with children are essential components of the entry process. For more information please contact the Academic Officer: Georgina Bell This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Changes to the curriculum, teaching staff, assignments on our courses
IATE reserves the right to make adjustments to the above due to unforeseen circumstances. 
The quality of the training will not in any way be compromised in doing so.


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