Course Title: PG Cert/PG Dip/MA in Working with Children, Young People and Families: A psychoanalytic observational approach (M7)
This course is accredited by the University of Essex, the Tavistock Clinic and BTPP leading to the POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA/MA IN PSYCHOANALYTIC INFANT OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES
The course is delivered by BTPP in association with the Tavistock Clinic and the University of Essex.
The Infant Observation component, always excites and can feel overwhelming for participants. How better to learn about the development of the individual than to observe from the early beginnings. Infant Observation involves observing a baby from as near to new-born as possible, in an "ordinary" family, for an hour a week. The particular approach is to try to see the world from the baby's point of view as he/she struggles to make sense of their own bodies, interact with and grow in relation to the important people in their young lives, their hunger, their joy and the rest of life's rich pattern!
The experience is shared (in an anonymised form) in a small group who follow the group's baby's development through the two years. It is emotionally riveting stuff and those who have completed it say they have learned as much about themselves as about other people through doing the observation.
Work Discussion is exactly that - a discussion of the student's ongoing work, in an anonymised form, amongst the professionals who make up the group. A great deal of unexpected learning happens - e.g. psychiatrists hear of bedtime and its attendant problems in an adolescent children's home, social workers and CAMHS staff hear about school or YOTS workers' work with similar kids to the ones they are trying to understand and help; a rich and wide-ranging picture of childhood emerges.
The seminar leaders and groups are there not to instruct other professionals in how to do their jobs. Rather, like in the infant observation seminar, the aim is to think about and explore both child/family and workers' experience of the interaction so that we can struggle together with what might help or get in the way of co-operative work being done
The module is taught as a mixture of lectures and reading seminars, and aims to enable students to explore the development of key psychoanalytic concepts through the study of a range of texts from different periods. The course begins with an overview and exploration of the concept of the unconscious and the idea of an internal world. While this might seem intimidating initially, really the texts are delivered in an accessible manner using audio-visual multi-media to get students thinking about the inner lives shared by humankind, but which is rarely spoken or thought about.
Child Development Research
This module aims to give students an introduction to research in early child development, investigating the picture of early development coming out of the research findings from a variety of theoretical perspectives and research traditions. The seminars take the form of group discussions in which students are invited to think about the meaning of what they have read with regard to its context, theoretical assumptions and clinical implications.