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Last few Short Course places available

Limited places available on Introduction to Perinatal Mental Illness, Risk, Care and Treatment until 09:00 on Monday 20 September 2021.

Access begins the day after booking. If you have any questions, please get in touch at

Understanding and Nurturing Troubled Children


Course overview

This 20 hour online course will provide an accessible introduction to how and why children develop as they do – using cutting-edge developmental and neurobiological science and tried-and-tested clinical ideas to unpack the most significant influences on the developing child, and explore key developmental stages.

Once you’ve taken this course, you’ll be able to apply your learning directly to the work you do with children and families – drawing on a deeper understanding of the factors that can affect how children behave, think and feel, in order to provide them with the support they need.

Wondering what the course will be like? Download a summary of student & reviewer feedback (PDF).



Course aims

This course will allow you to:

  • Explore new science about the brain and nervous system, as well as key child development theories, such as attachment theory
  • Make sense of children’s behaviours and mental states by taking into account a child’s family background, culture, biological inheritance and current contexts
  • Better understand the effects of adverse experiences, such as trauma, neglect, and abuse, and how positive experiences can build resilience and hope
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of good relationships for emotional well-being, health, psychological growth and recovery from emotional difficulties
  • Apply new knowledge and skills to your own work, through exploring case studies, discussing your learning with peers, and reflecting on your own experiences.

Course topics

  • The adaptive infant, and how early experiences can have a profound effect on children’s brains bodies and psyches
  • How attachment theory helps us make sense of children’s lives, and how this links with healthy development and resilient processes.
  • What is helpful to know about the developing brain and autonomic nervous system, and how we can use this new knowledge in our work
  • How new understandings of trauma, neglect and how children cope with challenging experiences can help make sense of the lives of children and young people who are struggling.

Who is this course for?

We welcome anyone to this course who has a keen interest in the subject area.

In particular, this course is for you if you are working with children and families and wish to learn more about cutting-edge research findings and how these can be used in your direct work.

You may be working in:

  • A school
  • Social services
  • Healthcare
  • The voluntary sector
  • Or you may be considering work with children in the future.

Know someone who’d enjoy this course? Download a course flyer (PDF) to share with friends and colleagues.


Course requirements/assessment

There are no specific requirements for the course, although we suggest you are working with, or have an interest in working with children, or want to learn more about the effects of difficult early experiences on children’s minds and behaviours.

There’s a multiple choice question assessment at the end of the course as well as participation in an online seminar.


Course Timings

This course runs once per month, and you can pick your preferred start date at the beginning of the registration process. You’ll have access to the course and its materials for a total of eight weeks after you’ve registered and paid.


The course delivers 20 hours of learning, the majority of which you can undertake at a time and pace that suits you.


Course facilitators

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music (PHD) is Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and an Adult Psychotherapist in private practice. He has a particular interest in exploring the interface between developmental findings and clinical work. Formerly Associate Clinical Director of the Tavistock and Portman’s Child and Family Department, he has managed…

CPD Certified

CPD certified

This course has been independently evaluated for Continuing Professional Development purposes by The CPD Certification Service. This means that the learning activity meets global CPD standards and benchmarks, and the learning value has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality.



I found the course so useful and interesting – if I could, I would enroll and start again tomorrow. I will keep an eye out for any similar courses from the digital academy, it is such a convenient way to learn.
Huibrie Putt
School-based Social Worker
As a trainee child therapist working with children in schools I found this online training a stimulating programme - blending research and academic theory in an engaging and practical way. In particular, I have a deeper understanding of how insecure and disorganised attachment patterns present themselves in the therapeutic relationship and how I might work more effectively with these unconscious processes.
Short Course Student
This is a well-paced, thorough introduction to the subject. It’s easy to navigate and go at your own pace. The interactive and video elements, along with case studies, really help bring the topics to life.
Short Course Student
I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and feel that it has provided me with the knowledge I was missing when working with young people and their families.
Short Course Student
The course is refreshing and allowed professional curiosity to flourish. Many questions were answered both professional as well as personal.
Short Course Student
I really enjoyed learning about the effects of stress on the foetus and the mitigating effects of the mother’s ‘coping hormones’ on baby’s burgeoning neuronal networks.
Katina Offord
Psychologist and specialist learning support teacher

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