The application deadline for the September 2014 intake is 2nd June 2014
This part time programme provides training for individuals in outcomes-based interventions to promote psychological wellbeing in children and young people. The course is aimed at professionals already working in the field of children's services, including social care, education and health, who hope to gain skills they can practice in the work place.
Students develop competence in the use of cognitive behaviour therapy and are able to devise interventions with children and young people experiencing a range of difficulties in social and emotional aspects of their development. The programme encourages an outcomes-based approach in ascertaining the interventions most appropriate to promote psychological wellbeing.
The course takes a highly respectful stance to other types of therapy with children and will emphasise when other methods may be more effective for particular types of problems. We also aim to develop participants’ skills in evaluating the impact of their own work in order to be able to reflect on and modify practice in future.
The need to train more front line professionals in evidence-based approaches to enhancing children’s mental health and psychological well-being is a high level policy priority of both the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Education (DfE). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been identified as an important evidence-based intervention and due to the relative lack of CBT training courses for working with children, is a priority area for increased training provision.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder all recommend CBT as one of the treatments supported by evidence. In addition, government policy has recommended that there should be growth in delivery of CBT to a range of service users, and this has generated interest in delivery of cognitive behavioural interventions within children’s services amongst both front line practitioners and their managers.
It is recognized that CBT needs extension, development and adaptation for its application in work with children and young people. Standard 9 of the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services has articulated a vision and identified markers of good practice relating to training, supervision and evaluation of practice and outcomes that will direct the future development of services.
The postgraduate courses in CBT for Children and Young People were developed following widespread consultation within UCL and with key stakeholder groups.
Core values of the course
- Outcomes evaluation should be at the centre of practice
The course aims to provide an outcomes-based context for the use of CBT to work with children, as well as ensuring that participants have the knowledge and ability to develop their work in the light of the emerging evidence-base in the future. Although the course is predominantly focused on training students in CBT, the course positively recognizes the effectiveness of other models of intervention for childhood difficulties.
- Applying theory and knowledge to practice
A core feature of the course is to provide opportunities for application of theoretical knowledge and evidence to individual case work. All aspects of the course aim to be relevant to actual practice with children, young people and their families and schools. To achieve this, students are expected to bring video examples of their work to every teaching session and to consider how knowledge, evidence and theory relate to their work with an individual child’s difficulties.
- The need for a developmental perspective
All work with children should be embedded in a developmental perspective. This means that the cognitive, emotional and social developmental level of the child is central to our overall understanding of the problem and not secondary to it.
- Children are part of families
Children are dependent on their relationships with parents/carers, teachers and other adults and this dependency is also central to understanding psychological needs and change.
- Children are involved in learning and go to school
Children are required to go to school and their capacity to engage positively in this part of their lives is also highly related to their overall psychological well-being. The importance of education and schooling within emotional development is significant and also needs to be attended to and understood. We believe that this is a unique component of the UCL/Anna Freud Centre course.
- The need to consider the interface of CBT with other effective interventions
Systemic and psychodynamic models of practice with children are considered to have enormous value in helping troubled and distressed children and young people. The course does not train students in these methods of working but sets out to recognise the achievements of these approaches and to consider the implications of the effectiveness of these interventions for CBT practice.
In brief, the philosophy of the course is to explore, examine and learn how effective psychological interventions can be applied to the problems of childhood rather than consider how childhood can be fitted into the delivery of professionally favoured psychological interventions.
Core aims of the course
The course aims to provide participants with opportunities to develop competence, knowledge and theoretical understanding in the use of CBT, whilst also gaining a real understanding of both the strengths and limitations of this approach, including where there is evidence that other models are likely to be more effective than CBT.
The course is very focused on how CBT might best be adapted in working with children, young people, their parents/carers and staff who work with them in schools. Crucially, participants are encouraged to take an outcomes-based approach in ascertaining the interventions most appropriate to promote psychological wellbeing.
We also aim to develop participants’ skills in evaluating the impact of their own work in order to be able to reflect on and modify practice in future. The course also considers other modes of intervention where these are considered to enhance the overall CBT approach, notably systemic practice and mentalisation based models of practice.
- A framework that supports integration of new learning with practice in course participants’ work settings
- Regular tuition of course participants’ work with children, families and schools by experienced practitioners, to ensure proper support and practice
- A forum for developing and sharing creative and flexible practice using CBT with children and young people
- An experience that is both intellectually stimulating and practically useful for work with children and young people in the context of a range of children’s services.
Participants benefit from ongoing flexibility regarding length of study, with three possible qualification outcomes, allowing them to balance professional and academic needs.
Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context
Assessment and Engagement for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context
Basic Skills (Developing Understanding)
Basic Skills (Methods of Change)
Introduction to Disorder Specific Approaches
Disorder Specific Approaches
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Context
Research Dissertation(see above)
There are no optional modules.
Attendance at the Anna Freud Centre for the taught elements of the course involves 12/13 scheduled days per year (4 per term). The course takes place on Tuesdays. In addition to attending on the timetabled dates, participants will need to commit additional time for private reading, undertaking direct delivery of interventions with individual children, and writing up case-work and assignments.
Assessment for Certificate and Diploma
Student performance is assessed through a combination of written and oral assessments. Additionally, formative evaluation and feedback will be used, particularly the process of self-evaluation. This aims to encourage habitual self-evaluation and reflection on practice which is an essential basis both for immediate learning and for continuing professional development.
Each module has a written component made up of either a case report, case
formulation, or essay.
Each module has an oral assessment. A digital video recording of a child,
adolescent or parent will be required for some modules. Others will be
assessed by vivas of students presenting case formulations or reports.
Assessment for MSc
All MSc students undertake an independant research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation.
The staff on this programme bring with them a wealth of experience of working with children and young people within a range of settings and agencies.
Joint Course Directors:
Peter Fuggle (Clinical Director, Islington CAMHS)
Peter completed his clinical psychology training in 1984 and subsequently completed his PhD in 1990. Since 1984, he has always worked in clinical psychology services for children including posts working with disability, paediatrics and in child mental health services. In 1995, Peter took up his current leadership post in Islington CAMHS and has subsequently combined clinical practice with wider service development and management roles. He was responsible for initiating the introduction of CAMHS work in schools in Islington and for exploring innovative ways of delivering services for hard to reach young people and their families. At present, he provides consultation to a joint agency project which is targeted at young people at risk of entering local authority care. As with Sandra, he has a strong commitment to developing systems that support the routine evaluation of clinical outcomes. With respect to CBT for children, Peter is particularly interested in the relationship of CBT to other therapeutic models and has recently been delivering a series of workshops for clinical psychologists on integrated practice.
Sandra Dunsmuir (Co-Director, Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology, UCL)
Sandra completed her educational psychology training at UCL in 1986 and her PhD in 2000. She has had extensive experience working as an educational psychologist in four different local authorities in the south-east of England. Sandra has been involved with the training of educational psychologists at UCL since 1990, first as an Academic and Professional Tutor and since 2006, as Co-Director of the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology.
Sandra’s interest in the delivery of effective interventions to improve the psychological well-being of children and young people led to her seeking professional development in the use of CBT and related approaches. She has embedded this within her practice and continues to work on a regular basis with children, their families and teachers in delivering a range of interventions in school and community settings. The evaluation of outcomes is a central aspect of this process and she has been collaborating with colleagues at the University of Manchester in developing research and practice protocols for this purpose. Sandra has also developed a major course module on CBT with children and adolescents for the initial training doctorate for educational psychologists at UCL, in conjunction with Vicki Curry. Supervision is seen as a crucial and integral part of professional training and Sandra, Vicki and colleagues are defining processes, evolving procedures and adapting tools to support and evaluate this.
Vicki Curry (Clinical Psychologist, Islington PCT)
Since completing her clinical psychology training at UCL in 1996, Vicki has worked for Islington PCT with children, young people and families in a variety of settings. She currently works in an Adolescent Outreach Team. Prior to that, Vicki worked as a clinical psychologist in an inpatient adolescent unit with young people aged 13-18 and their families, and also in a variety of community settings, including a Tier 3 Child and Family Consultation Service and a social services Leaving Care Team, an inner city secondary school, and on a project offering an intensive community-based intervention to families of adolescents who have offended or are at risk of offending, and have violent and/or aggressive behaviour.
Vicki did a One-year Diploma in Cognitive Therapy in Oxford in 1999, and although she uses a variety of models in her work, has formed a particular interest in applying cognitive behaviour therapy in child and family settings. As part of her current job she has responsibility for co-ordinating and developing the use of CBT in the child and adolescent mental health service of Islington PCT. Vicki has been involved in providing training and supervision in CBT with children for professionals from a range of agencies, including clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists. She has been centrally involved in the development of this aspect of the curriculum within the Educational Psychology Group at UCL.
Who can apply
Current students are in a variety of jobs, both full and part time, and both paid and voluntary. The types of work include; educational psychology, clinical psychology, primary care mental health, counselling, social work, behaviour support in schools, and various others. The job must allow the student access to children that they can practice CBT with, and must provide the student with supervision; the supervisor must be an experienced child practitioner, with experience of therapeutic work with children and knowledge of the CBT model.
Deadline for Applications
The application must include two references, one from a line manager, confirming the statements and evidence supplied by the applicant.
Can you go straight into the Masters without completing the Certificate or Diploma?
No, you must complete the Certificate year to build up credits in order to progress to the Diploma, and then the Masters.
How many places are available on the course?
There are only 16 places available.
What is the time commitment?
Students are required to attend teaching on 12 or 13 scheduled days per year, these days will all be Tuesdays within term time. However, considerable additional time will be needed for reading, writing assignments and delivering interventions to children.
What are the course requirements?
A prospective student is expected to hold a 2:1 degree or a professional qualification in a related subject, to have experience of work with children, and to have a work context that will enable the student to undertake supervised CBT casework.
What kind of jobs are current students in?
Current students are in a variety of jobs, both full and part time, and both paid and voluntary. The types of work include; educational psychology, clinical psychology, primary care mental health, counselling, social work, behaviour support in schools, and various others. The job must allow the student access to children that they can practice CBT with; Students must see at least 2 cases in Certificate year, and another 3 in Diploma.
Who can act as a supervisor?
An external supervisor must be an experienced child practitioner, with experience of therapeutic work with children and knowledge of the CBT model. They do not need to be “CBT experts”. Students will also need supervising with non-CBT elements of working with children e.g. child protection.
Are most students funded by their employer?
There is a mixture. Some students are funded by their employers, others are self funded. Students will need support and consent from their employers even if they are not being funded by their workplace.
When does the course start and how much are the fees?
The course begins in September 2012, with the interview date scheduled for the 19th of June, 2012. If you wish to apply we would encourage that you apply as soon as possible, however the official deadline for applications is the 1st of June, 2012. The fees for 2012-13 will be £3,350 per year.
What do students go on to do?
CBT with children is one of a number of evidence based interventions for common childhood problems and disorders. The demand for professionals with skills in this area in known to be high and is likely to grow. The (Certificate/Diploma/Masters) qualification in CBT with children will be much valued by employers looking to develop this type of intervention within their service.
Is this course appropriate for people working with children who have specific disorders such as autism?
It would be appropriate to work with some autism cases on the course, but you would also need access to other young people so that you can practice your CBT work with a variety of presenting problems.
Click the link below to visit the Anna Freud Centre website and to hear what current and past students think of the course: