This highly engaging and experiential course is an ideal for anyone who works with adolescents in a therapeutic or pastoral capacity – a valuable opportunity to gain fresh insight, share experience with your fellow professionals and to add to your CPD.

Who takes this course?

This course caters for psychotherapists, counsellors and other professionals working with adolescents in a therapeutic or pastoral capacity. The course draws on the approaches of Gestalt therapists Mark McConville and Violet Oaklander, Attachment and Family Systems theories and the work of Playback Theatre.

About the course

Adolescence can be a turbulent journey to emergent adulthood; a successful transition requires relationships that offer a good enough mix of support and challenge. For some teenagers, however, coping with personal and social changes encountered is made more difficult by experiences of bullying, family breakdown, and loss, even violence.  Confronted with such pain some may withdraw whilst others engage in anti-social or hazardous contact styles.

The course includes the following:

  • Developmental stages of maturation
  • The wider field: family, peers, community.
  • Attachments, identity and quests
  • The role of anger in proto-separation
  • How media/arts inform youth culture

Over four consecutive days, participants will learn:

  • How to assess adolescents
  • How to set up a treatment plan
  • To recognise feelings and thoughts that teenagers struggle to articulate
  • How an arts approach helps adolescents make sense of relationships

The course counts as 24 hours CPD; attendance certificates on completion.

Course features

This course combines experiential learning with direct teaching. We’ll use role-play to explore engaging adolescents and their families. You’ll explore approaches that enable teenagers to rework their relationship boundaries whilst supporting self-ownership. We will review our own teen experiences and consider how adolescents can be helped to discover their abilities, develop life skills and access support. You’ll receive a full reading list upon payment of deposit.

Theatre Evening: The Drama of Being An Adolescent

Wednesday’s central focus is on drama as a route into the world of adolescence. At 5pm we travel to the Candid Café (EC1V 1NQ) where our hosts are Playback South Theatre Company.

In a Playback performance personal stories are volunteered from members of the audience- via a mediating ‘conductor’; the actors and musician turn these into instant theatre. The group will eat together before joining a dedicated pre- performance warm -up session with the actors. The evening finishes around 9.45pm so there’s a later start at 11am the next day.

A separate admission fee of £15 is payable to PBS on the door. Counts for 5 hours CPD.

Course tutor

Jon Blend (MA Dip Child) is a Gestalt/Integrative adult, child & adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP reg.), clinical supervisor and international trainer. Jon has thirty years’ experience of working with children, adolescents and families in various mental health settings. He is guest tutor with the Violet Oaklander Foundation . Jon’s chapter on adolescent trauma appears in Relational Child, Relational Brain, (2011), Harris and Lee (eds). Jon is also a Life Musician and performs with Playback South Theatre Company.


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

Course Fee

£575 self-funded
£679 sponsored
*20% discount to self-funding GC Members
*10% discount to other students, subject to approval

Next dates

2 to 5 November 2016

3.5 days scheduled as:

11am to 9.45pm on Wednesday (including Playback Theatre performance)

11am to 5.30pm on Thursday

10am to 5.30pm on Friday

10am to 2pm 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