2-18 Britannia Row, Islington, London, N1 8PA   |   Tel: 020 7354 2913   |   info@childmentalhealthcentre.org  |

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THE USE AND MISUSE OF PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSES - How to feel competent in challenging misuse and educate about alternative frameworks (livestream event)

THE USE AND MISUSE OF PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSES - How to feel competent in challenging misuse and educate about alternative frameworks (livestream event)
Course Cost:
May 02, 2020 10:00 am until May 02, 2020 4:00 pm

CCMH, 2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA, UK

THE USE AND MISUSE OF PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSES - How to feel competent in challenging misuse and educate about alternative frameworks (livestream event)

Due to the current government guidelines and the necessary measures to tackle COVID-19, we have sadly closed our building and so we are currently unable to hold on-site conferences and training days until further notice.

A full timetable will be available shortly.

The day will comprise of 3 sessions with 2 breaks as follows:
10.00-11.30: Session One
11.30-12.00: Break
12.00-13.30: Session Two
13.30-14.00: Break
14.00-16.00: Session Three
Please purchase your place via the online booking link and we will send you full instructions on how to join the livestream. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: info@childmentalhealthcentre.org

About the conference

'Much of what is written and spoken about mental health problems implies they are illnesses. This can lead us all to believe that we no longer have to think about mental health problems, because illness is best left to doctors. They, and psychiatrists, are the illness experts.'

(The Causes of Mental Health Problems, Read and Sanders 2010:15)

This conference will discuss the help and hindrance of child and adolescent diagnoses. While some diagnoses are correct and helptul, the worry is that when children or teenagers are given a diagnosis, people stop thinking. With so much focus on presenting behaviour, often natural developmental stages are not taken into consideration. For example, many children diagnosed with ADHD are simply age 5 in a class mainly of 6 year olds so have less developed frontal lobe functions (Elder 2010). Other children are suffering from trauma, not ADHD as symptomatology can be very similar. Moreover, 75% of children evaluated for conditions such as ADHD and Oppositional-Defiance Disorder receive medication on the very first visit to the doctor. The unfortunate underlying message is: ‘You need a pill to manage your feelings’. As a result, many children wind up on medication when underlying unmourned grief or relational stress is the main contributing factor. These children need help from emotionally available adults, not from pills. Other children and teenagers may simply have different ways of being in the world, which cannot be explained by a diagnosis or neurodiversity. Moreover, most diagnoses for children and teenagers preceded the amazing advancements in brain science we have today and so are not neuroscientifically evidence-based.

Benefits from attending this conference

  • Understand the role of brain as well as mind in common childhood diagnoses
  • Learn the most up-to-date research (both brain science and psychology) relevant to common psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, Autistic spectrum, anxiety and depressive disorders, conduct and oppositional defiance disorders in making or questioning a diagnosis
  • Learn how to consider underlying causes as well as presenting behaviours
  • Understand the role of relational stress and relational poverty in children/teenagers who present as mentally unwell
  • Learn how to raise the awareness of professionals and parents to early signs of alarm and developmental delays before seeking out a diagnosis
  • Be empowered in making assessment and providing interventions for children who show concerning behaviour and ways of being in the world
  • Learn how to argue your case with ‘fixed position’ professionals


Paul Harris


Registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist. Senior Tutor, Masters Degree programme in Child Psychotherapy (Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education - Academic Partner (University of East London). Groupwork Practitioner (Institute of Group Analysis) for troubled adolescents and young adults who experience problems with addiction. Post-Adoption psychotherapeutic work for many years with extremely challenging children diagnosed with developmental trauma (family, parent-child and individual therapy). Senior Lecturer and specialist in treating children who have experienced complex trauma and their families in a variety of contexts for more than twenty years - including education, the community arts, health and social services. Founder of Ahimsa Associates at Cortijo Verde in Andalusia - an interspecies family and retreat centre dedicated to permaculture and the somatic arts. Qualified yoga therapist and Continuum Movement Practitioner. Principal Educator in Trauma Informed Practice.

Dr Margot Sunderland

margot sunderland

Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, London. Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University, Associate member of The Royal College of Medicine and Child Psychotherapist with over 30 years’ experience of working with children and teenagers. Author of over 20 books in the field of child mental health. What Every Parent Needs to Know (Dorling Kindersley) won First Prize in the British Medical Association Medical Book awards 2007 (Popular Medicine section). Originator of ‘Helping Where it Hurts’, a therapy programme for troubled children in North London schools.

For more details about Dr Margot Sunderland: www.margotsunderland.org



CCMH, 2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA, UK

Booking Options

To download a booking form please follow the link: booking form

1. Book and pay online

2. Credit/Debit card payments by telephone
Please telephone 020 7354 2913 to make a booking

3. Invoicing
Invoices are issued to third party organisations only, we cannot invoice individuals.
Invoices can be issued on receipt of a completed and signed booking form.
No tickets or confirmation will be issued until payment of invoices are received in full.
It is the responsibility of the delegate to ensure payment is made prior to attendance of the event.

One-day Livestream Events (via Zoom) cost £125
Conference Days cost £183 (all include a complementary buffet lunch)
Training Days
 cost £165 (lunch not included)
Half-day conferences cost £80 (lunch not included)
Courses: please see individual course information


For all other terms and conditions please refer to:

How to Book