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.

Who takes this course?

The course caters for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, Health and Education staff, Social Workers, Wellbeing practitioners and other professionals working directly 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

Adolescence: Journey to Selfhood
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’
  • Social media and cyber security 

Theoretical input and experiential learning 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 21.5* 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 begin our exploration of adolescence with a focus on working creatively with the arts.

There is an optional evening theatre trip to the (licenced) Candid Café (3 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ near to Angel tube station) hosted by Playback South Theatre (see the Company’s Facebook page and Jo Salas’ Ted Talk).

Playback is a unique form of instant, improvised community theatre, a synthesis of ‘stand up’, psychodrama and Nepalese ritualised theatre without scripts, scenery or props. Each performance is unique: a mediating ‘conductor’ gathers everyday life stories volunteered from the audience, which the actors and musician dramatise. This evening’s special performance is themed around stories of surviving adolescence and of raising teenagers.

Admission is £10 –payable on the door. The show starts at 8pm and finishes at 9.30pm. Course members joining may wish to eat together at the café beforehand.

Course tutor

Jon Blend (MA Dip Psych, Dip Child, CQSW) is a gestalt therapist, an Integrative child & adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP & ECP reg.), clinical supervisor, trainer and Lifemusic practitioner. He is a guest trainer with the Violet Oaklander Foundation and a co-founding member of EIATSCYP: UK (European inter-disciplinary child therapy training standards). Jon has recently taught counsellors, psychologists, teachers and wellbeing practitioners in Poland, Croatia, Georgia, Chepstow, Bath, London, Manchester and York. He has over 30 years’ experience of working with young people and his writings include a chapter on adolescence in Relational Child, Relational Brain, (2011), Harris and Lee (eds). He also performs with Playback South Theatre.

Read Jon’s published article, “The Drama of Being an Adolescent”, here.

Further details available at:

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

5 – 8 December 2018

4 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