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margot-sunderlandSchedule: 10am to 4.00pm (Registration and breakfast refreshments at 9.30am)
Included: Tea & Coffee, Buffet lunch, CPD Certificate (6 hours) and free Parking

These courses are popular, so to avoid disappointment please book early.

A day with Dr Margo Sunderland

The psychology and neuroscience of children and teenagers. From vital knowledge to practical intervention for the helping professional

This easily accessible audio-visual presentation is a must for practitioners working therapeutically with children or teenagers. Dr. Sunderland will present cutting edge psychological and brain science research on the long-term impact of relationship experiences, for better or worse, on the child’s developing brain. She will address how healing relationships with adults can have positive impact on brain biochemistry, brain structure and brain and body stress response systems From these important fundamental principles, which address theory of mind, theory of development and theory of change, Dr Sunderland will then explore practical strategies, tools and techniques on how to engage children and teenagers in transformative therapeutic conversations. Such conversations enable children and teenagers to process their feelings rather then ‘behave’ their feelings. Dr Sunderland will also consider how to be, what to say and what to do when faced with the most challenging of behaviours in children and young people e.g. explosive tantrums, depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, lying, stealing, rage, hate and cruelty to others. Moving case studies will be referred to throughout. Dr Sunderland will also offer up to date knowledge and understanding of attachment and attachment difficulties. Most importantly she will focus on the long-term impact of loss and trauma on brain, body and mind. She will then explore how to enable children and teenagers to process, grieve and find coherent narratives for what has happened to them so that they can move on and thrive. As part of this, Dr Sunderland will address how a practitioner can regulate themselves enough to offer this therapeutic support with troubled children and teenagers and what they can do to avoid experiencing secondary trauma.

Benefits of attending

  • Learn about fascinating brain science and psychological research studies key for theories of change, theories of mind and of mental health and ill – health
  • Gain a whole wealth of creative tools and techniques to connect with even the most defended of children and teenagers
  • Hear moving case examples where therapeutic conversation has turned a child’s life around
  • Learn about the three stages of empathy and how to use these effectively
  • Learn how to have the emotional space in your mind to think and feel into the child’s/teenager’s life experiences.
  • Learn how to find the child’s meaning of the event instead of imposing your own.
  • Learn how to enable the child to “experience our experience of [their] experience of the event.’
  • (Hughes 2007: 84)
  • Learn how your empathic listening can enable the child to access their true feelings beneath the surface.
  • Know how to respond to a child’s anger, anxiety or feelings of loss: what to say and how to say it.
  • Learn about the importance of being moved by the child, “so that the child ‘is touched’ by your ‘being touched’. Hughes (2007:93).

Dr Margot Sunderland is Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London, Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University, Senior Associate Member of the Royal College of Medicine, and Child Psychotherapist with over thirty years experience of working with children and families. She is the author of over twenty books in the field of child mental health, which collectively have been translated into eighteen languages and published in twenty-four countries. Her internationally acclaimed book, “The Science of Parenting” (Dorling Kindersley), won First Prize in the British Medical Association Medical Book awards 2007 Popular Medicine section. (Paperback version entitled “What Every Parent Needs to Know”). The book, endorsed by one of the world’s leading affective neuroscientists, Professor Jaak Panksepp, is the result of ten years research on the long-term effects of adult-child interaction on the developing brain. It has also been voted one of the top brain books of our time by The Dana Foundation. Dr Sunderland was also a member of the Early Years Commission, Centre for Social Justice, Westminster and co- author of the cross party advisory report “The Next Generation” (early years intervention). Currently she lectures all over the world on the psychology and neuroscience of child and teenage mental health, offering practical strategies and interventions, always underpinned by the latest research. Dr Sunderland is also Chief Executive and Founding Director of The Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education, The Institute is a Higher and Independent Education College and academic partner of London Metropolitan University. The Institute has been running for twenty- five years and currently has over 350 students. Dr Sunderland has written the syllabi for five Masters Degree programmes (London Metropolitan University and University of Exeter awards). Two of the Masters Degree programmes are unique in the field of child mental health, namely MA Integrative Child Psychotherapy and MA Education: Emotional Literacy for Children. She is also founder of the “Helping Where it Hurts’ programme which offers free arts therapy to troubled children in Islington Primary schools. She directed the Gulbenkian funded research study, which in liaison with University of Cambridge School of Education, measured outcomes for this intervention. Dr Sunderland makes TV and radio appearances as a child and parenting expert. Overall, she is concerned to ensure that parents, teachers and mental health professionals alike, are offered the most up-to-date psychological and brain science research on how children and young people can be enabled to thrive. She is passionate about social change for a kinder, warmer world.


Bookings are closed for this event.