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Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools (Practitioner status)

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Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health-Informed Schools (Practitioner status)


Training in Cardiff: Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Practitioner Award: 10 days  (Non-University route.)

Training in London: Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Practitioner Award: 10 days  (Non-University route.)
Practitioner Award: 12 days (University of East London award. Additional £350 University registration fee)

More Information and How to Apply: 
Please contact:
www.artspsychotherapy. org 
t: 020 7704 2534

Download a pdf flyer about Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health-Informed Schools here: Diploma_in_TIS.pdf

The next London-based training commences in January 2019.

About the Course

Understanding and adequately responding to what happens when people are exposed to overwhelming experiences is a basic requirement of a healthy society.
(Dr Pam Stavropoulos Consultant in Clinical Research, ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse, May 2012)

The aim of the course is to enable people working in schools to alleviate the suffering and support the learning of troubled pupils. Funding cuts in CAMHS and increasing pressure on social services has impacted significantly on schools, leaving teachers to deal directly with increasing numbers of mentally unwell children without having the skills to do so, and often without having the support of a mental health agency to take referrals. This is leaving thousands of children and teenagers with blighted lives. Indeed research shows that, on average, children wait 10 years to get help with mental health difficulties and only a quarter of children with a diagnosable problem receive any intervention at all, despite most of their parents seeking professional advice. Yet it has been proved that early intervention is key. (Report: Missed Opportunities: Children and Young People's Mental Health. Centre for Mental Health, London 2016).

Aims and Objectives

The course aims to train school staff to be mental health literate, and trauma informed practitioners, who are able to: 

Direct work with children and teenagers

  • Relate to vulnerable children in ways that alleviate their suffering, support their learning and make them feel cared for and appreciated
  • Know how to respond to children who are in distress/ stress states in ways that help them to emotionally regulate, feel psychologically safe and develop the capacity to handle stress well over time
  • Relate with children in ways that enhance their self-esteem, confidence and develop their capacity for help-seeking
  • Know how to listen and empathise when children want to talk about painful issues, and help them reflect and resolve
  • Develop an in depth understanding of what it is like for a child to live with each of the most common adverse childhood experiences (ACE study, Felitti and Anda 2014), then find the right words and prosody to voice their empathy
  • Provide children who feel ‘mad’ or ‘bad’ with the relevant psychological and neuroscientific understandings to alleviate negative self-referencing and develop coherent narrative for what has happened to them
  • Employ strategies for early intervention (early indicators of mental health difficulties), know limits of competence and refer on to other agencies when these are available

Work with school staff

  • Enable staff to think psychologically with pupils, (reflecting rather than reacting) and make empathic responses, instead of just asking questions or giving lectures on how to behave
  • Support staff to relate to vulnerable children in ways that engender trust and enable them to feel psychologically safe and cared for in the school environment
  • Enable staff to engage with vulnerable children so they have ‘felt experience’ of the delights and riches of being in relationship
  • Educate staff to understand when challenging behaviour is a trauma trigger and how to calm children when such triggers lead to explosive outbursts
  • Support staff to understand the brain science and psychology of trauma and mental health problems and how these can impact on learning, body, mind, brain and the ability to trust and relate.
  • Work to increase the protective factors in the school culture to prevent adverse childhood experiences from becoming mental and physical health problems
  • Educate staff about what vulnerable children need, so they don’t suffer
  • misdiagnosis and trauma in the school environment
  • Support staff to prevent them develop secondary trauma and leave the profession

Teaching staff

Senior Child Psychotherapists, Senior Educational Psychologist, Child Psychiatrist, Headteachers from Trauma informed schools. ChildLine counsellor,  Senior Practitioners from residential therapeutic/day settings, Early Years Specialists,  Authors of Emotional and Behavioural Interventions for traumatised children

Admissions Criteria

All candidates must have the following:

Some experience working in schools or for schools

Be able to demonstrate the following capacities and abilities:

  • Developed capacity for warmth, compassion and empathy
  • Self-awareness and the ability to be open and emotionally undefended
  • Emotional robustness
  • A good ability to play
  • A good level of contact with others
  • An accepting, compassionate, as opposed to judgmental, attitude towards others
  • The ability to stay stable under stress
  • A positive rather than frightened of inhibited relationship to use of art media and imaginative ways of exploring feelings.