Course name

Understanding and Working with Adolescents: Turbulence, Trauma, Change and Challenge


This course is designed to provide ways of thinking about the adolescent phase of the life cycle in order to facilitate direct work with young people.

Psychoanalytic theory is used to throw light on the complex adjustments to physical and social changes which constitute the major tasks of adolescence. It focuses on gaining understanding of the dilemmas which confront all young people. These can create great strains for some individuals and result in developmental delays, problematic behaviours and sometimes serious mental illness.

Aims and Objectives
  1. To understand more about the mental processes which operate during adolescence. Understanding the emotional impact of working with young people.
  2. To increase understanding about the adolescent task of separation and individuation.
  3. To help develop skills in understanding the communication of adolescents.
  4. To develop skills in understanding the emotional impact of working with young people, and to use this to help formulate treatment programmes and appropriate support for them.
  5. For the participant to reflect on their own work with adolescents in terms of roles within an organisation and agency.
  6. To develop an understanding of psychodynamic theories and their application to work with young people.
  7. To develop skills in assessing, reviewing and evaluating work with young people and their families.
Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course participants will have developed an understanding of:

  • A psychodynamic model of adolescence.
  • Emotional and personality development at this stage.
  • Collaborative working with other professionals.
Programme structure
  • Divided into two, five week sections, each seminar is 3 hours long (see course outline below).
  • Seminars are a mixture of reading and work discussion seminars.
  • Participants are expected to set aside time for reading and preparation of work material for seminars and independent study.

Week 1: Setting Adolescence in context

Week 2: The Inner World and its Roots in Infancy

Week 3: Psychoanalytical Concepts and some Applications

Week 4: Oedipal issues relating to the Family Context: Difficulties in Growing Up

Week 5: Exploring Psychotherapeutic Approaches to work with Adolescents

Week 6: Looked after Children

Week 7: Disturbances of Adolescence: Depression and Self Harm

Week 8: Disturbances of Adolescence 2: Eating Disorder, Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse

Week 9: Delinquency in Adolescence

Week 10: Organisations and their Impact upon Adolescents, Workers and Carers

Course limit
  • 14 participants
  • Please note that spaces for all courses are limited to a certain number of participants to ensure an enhanced learning experience for everyone.

Please call us on 0141 331 2419 or email [email protected] if your organisation is interested in any of our short courses. The length and content can be tailored to suit the different requirements of each organisation.  

Course venue

All courses can be delivered at the Human Development Scotland training suite in central Glasgow or at a clients’ workplace.

How to book

Contact us on 0141 331 2419 or [email protected] 

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