Working with Children and Young People (Certificate course)

Facilitators: Mica Douglas TSTA(P), Debbie Jelpke PTSTA(P)

This three-module, six-day course is designed for practitioners and trainees who are working with children and young people, or would like to, and who are interested in developing their counselling and psychotherapy knowledge and skills. The course will give an overview of how to work therapeutically with children and young people, recognising mental health problems, ethics and professional practice and some of the issues in working in this specialised area.

The programme will begin in March 2018 and will comprise six modules totalling six days. Participants may either enrol for the full course or (subject to availability of places) attend individual one-day modules. Module titles and dates are below:


When the course has been successfully completed and the assignment passed, eligible participants will be awarded a Certificate in Working with Children and Young People. Participants eligible for certification are those who:

  1. Have a recognized psychotherapy or counselling qualification or similar medical qualification;
  2. Are in advanced training for a recognised qualification as in (a) above, having completed at least two years in an appropriately accredited training centre, and are conducting an active practice of psychotherapy or counselling.

If you are in doubt about your eligibility for certification, please contact The Course Registrar and we will pass your enquiry on to the trainers. Candidates without these eligibility requirements may attend any of the modules appropriate to their interest but will not be eligible for certification. However, the modules attended may be accredited towards certification, should candidates subsequently achieve eligibility as in (a) or (b) above. Candidates may need to update their studies depending on time lapsed between attending the course and becoming eligible for the certificate.

The award will be for 36 hours of training that will count towards Continuing Professional Development and can be included as hours of training towards BACP accreditation or UKCP Registration for those candidates who have already completed, or are in the process of completing, counselling or psychotherapy training.

In addition to attendance on the workshops, participants will need to submit a 3,000 word case study or child observation that demonstrates safe and ethical practice and use of theory to demonstrate understanding of the therapeutic process with a child or young person. Marking of the written work incurs an additional and separate fee to the costs of the training course.


 This course is run in accordance with current UKCP proficiency markers for working with children and young people. Participants will be expected to conform to UKCP requirements for therapists working with children and young people, for example, receiving regular supervision for their work with children and young people from an appropriately qualified and experienced senior practitioner.

For qualified professionals in transactional analysis psychotherapy, this course meets the criteria set by UKCP for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The course is also likely to provide CPD hours for qualified professionals in other modalities (please consult your own professional organisation’s CPD criteria). A certificate of attendance will be provided on request.

For TA trainees, attendance on this course can be logged as Advanced TA Training towards the hours totals set by EATA for the CTA examination. Berne Institute students enrolled on the MSc/PGD course will be awarded appropriate Level 7 credits on passing the assignment.

Module 1  An Introduction to Working with Children and Young People – 14th March 2018
We will look at beginning to work with children and young people and what you can do in a first session in terms of assessment of children and young people and how to engage with different ages and stages.  We will explore the differences between working with adults and children, including three-cornered contracts, children’s rights, settings and the environment. We will also look at some of the key qualities in working with children and young people and how to contract with this client group.

Module 2:  Child Development & Attachment – 15th March 2018
This module will look at theories of child development and attachment drawn from psychoanalytic, object relations and TA models. Ordinary development at various ages and stages will be contrasted with more diverse and neuro-atypical developments in some children.

Module 3:  Ethical issues in working with children and young people – 9th May 2018

What are the essentials of best practice that people working with children and young people need to know?  We will look at issues of confidentiality, child protection, ethics, boundaries including touch and multi-agency working while safeguarding the therapeutic relationship.

 Module 4:  Creative Interventions – 10th May 2018

This module will provide practical knowledge of working with the unconscious in creative ways. Participants will learn how to use sand trays, artwork and play in a meaningful therapeutic way with children and young people. When to be directive and when to be non-directive and what to do when children or young people are resistant.

Module 5 :  Mental Health – 6th June 2018

Exploring common mental health issues in working with children and young people, this module will look at what presentations can be worked with and when therapists should consider referring on. Some of the issues covered will be self-harm and anxiety.

Module 6:  Solution-Focused Brief Therapy – 7th June 2018

This module will be an introduction to Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and look at how the theory can be employed with children and young people and families. We will compare solution-focused theory to decontamination work and critically assess the differences.

Venue & Timings

The course will be held at The Berne Institute, Berne House, 29 Derby Road, Kegworth DE74 2EN, 01509 673649, email via website  Each training day will begin at 10am and end at 5pm, with breaks for refreshment and lunch.


 Full Course Fee The Berne Institute Members: £645, Non-Members: £695.

This fee covers attendance at all six one-day modules of the course. The marking fee or the written assignment is not included (please see below). The fee may be paid in full, or in installments by Bank Standing Order. The full fee is due once you have committed to the full course.

Individual Module Fee Subject to availability of places. The Berne Institute Members: £145, Non-Members: £195.

Assignment Marking Fee £50. This fee covers marking the written assignment, with informative comment, feedback and guidance. Please note the marking fee is paid direct to the makers at the time of marking, not to The Berne Institute.

Deposit (non-refundable) £100 for full course, £35 per individual module.

Payment by Installments If you book for the full course and would like to pay in monthly installments, we can provide you with a Bank Standing Order Mandate. Please ask at time of booking. Please note that the Standing Order needs to have been confirmed by your bank by the beginning of the course, so please allow sufficient time for this to be processed.

The Facilitators
Mica Douglas TSTA(P), CTA(P), MSc in Psychotherapy, MA in Social Work has a background in social work and training and is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and supervisor. Mica used to manage a therapeutic team for the NSPCC working with children who had been significantly harmed, most of whom were foster children. Whilst in that job she became interested in working with foster parents and has many years’ experience in facilitating the complex relationships between foster parents and looked after children. Mica is now Head of Therapeutic Services and Professional Development for By the Bridge and runs the Certificate in Therapeutic Fostering – a year-long course for foster parents and social workers accredited by Greenwich University. She has a private practice seeing children, young people and adults. Mica also teaches psychotherapy students at Metanoia Institute, London.
Mica wrote two chapters in: Tudor, K (ed) (2006) The Adult is Parent to the Child: Transactional Analysis with Children and Young People, Russell House Publishing

 Debbie Jelpke PTSTA (P), CTA (P), MSc in TA Psychotherapy, Bachelor of Pharmacy

Debbie has worked as a therapist in private practice for over 15 years. Feeling passionately that it may have made a significant difference to some adults if they had received help at a much earlier age, she worked voluntarily in a youth centre with adolescents for four years. To enhance her understanding of children and young people’s work she then did a two year conversion course in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. This was alongside working in a primary school as a therapist for 4-11 year olds for four years. Debbie now sees children and young people (and adults) in her private practice. She also works as a supervisor and trainer, and is a member of the staff at The Berne.