This highly engaging, part- experiential CPD course is ideal for anyone who works with adolescents in a therapeutic or pastoral capacity. It offers a valuable opportunity to gain fresh insights and share experience with fellow professionals. It is recommended for those applying for the UKCP Child Proficiency Marker.

Who takes this course?

The course caters for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, Health, Education staff, Social Workers and other professionals working with adolescents.  It draws on the approaches of Gestalt therapists Mark McConville and Violet Oaklander, Attachment and Family Systems theories, Lifemusic practice and Playback Theatre.

About the course

For many adolescents the journey to emergent adulthood can be a turbulent one; to make a successful transition requires relationships that offer a ‘good-enough’ mix of support and challenge. For some teenagers coping with personal and social change becomes extremely difficult when exacerbated by experiences of bullying, breakdown, loss or violence. Confronted with such pain young persons may withdraw or distract themselves engaging in anti-social or hazardous contact.  Working alongside adolescents who are developing awareness and choicefulness can be deeply rewarding as well as challenging.

The course explores the following:

  • Adolescent development: stages of maturation
  • Adolescent context- the relational Field: family, peers, community
  • Attachment, identity, arts media and questing
  • The role of anger in separation/’disembedding’
  • Cyber security: how social media informs contemporary youth culture 

Over the consecutive days, via a combination of theoretical input and experiential learning this course enables participants to:

  • Engage adolescents and families using role-play
  • Understand how teenagers may rework relationship boundaries
  • Explore how therapy can help adolescents own their abilities, develop life skills and access support.

Participants will learn:

  • To assess adolescents and make a treatment plan
  • To recognise thoughts and feelings that teenagers struggle with
  • How an arts -led approach develops understanding of relationships.

The course counts as 22.5* hours CPD; attendance certificates on completion.

*An additional 2.5 hours CPD will be added for those participants who attend the Playback Theatre on Wednesday evening

Playback Theatre Evening

On Wednesday we focus on working with drama and movement as we explore creatively the world of adolescence.

There is an optional evening theatre trip to the (licenced) Candid Café (EC1V 1NQ) courtesy of our hosts Playback South Theatre (see Facebook page).  Playback is a modern form of spontaneous theatre that dispenses with scripts, scenery or props. Each performance is unique: a mediating ‘conductor’ gathers personal stories volunteered from the audience, which the actors and musician instantly dramatize.

Course members joining us are encouraged to eat together at the café before the show starts. (Admission fee £10 –payable on the door.) The evening finishes at 9.30pm.

Course tutor

Jon Blend (MA Dip Child) is a gestalt therapist, an Integrative child & adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP reg.), clinical supervisor, trainer and Lifemusic practitioner. He is a member of the Violet Oaklander Foundation , The Relational School and a Board member of EIATSCYP: UK (inter-disciplinary child therapy training standards). Jon has recently taught n Poland, Croatia, Georgia, London, Bath, Manchester and Goole. He has thirty years’ experience of working with children, adolescents and families in various mental health settings. Jon’s chapter on adolescence appears in Relational Child, Relational Brain, (2011), Harris and Lee (eds). He also performs with Playback South Theatre.


We’re delighted to have assistance from these experienced and talented tutors once again.

Crissy Duff: Senior Child & Family counsellor
Thelma Sharma: Senior Playback actor/conductor

Following this course there is an opportunity to submit an extended essay focusing on a piece of current therapeutic work undertaken with an adolescent. Successful candidates receive a ‘Certificate in Reflective Practice’.

Course Fee

£592 self-funded
£699 sponsored
*20% discount to self-funding GC Members
*10% discount to other students, subject to approval

Next dates

Autumn 2018 TBC

3.5 days scheduled as:

11am to 6pm on Wednesday with optional Playback Theatre up to 9.30pm (additional £10 fee payable on the door)

11am to 6pm on Thursday

11am to 6pm on Friday

11am to 4.30pm on Saturday


Questions on courses, timings or fees? Ready to book your place? Want to know more about room hire or finding a counsellor? We have the answers you’re looking for.

Add your name plus a contact email address or telephone number to the contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Alternatively, you can call us (8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday) on the number below.

CALL US ON 020 7383 5610