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CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER FOR SPECIFIC PAINFUL LIFE EXPERIENCES (including witnessing domestic violence, being a young carer, sexual/physical abuse, neglect, multiple moves, being bullied, traumatic loss)

Course Cost:
March 07, 2020 10:00 am until March 07, 2020 4:30 pm

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


 CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER FOR SPECIFIC PAINFUL LIFE EXPERIENCES (including witnessing domestic violence, being a young carer, sexual/physical abuse, neglect, multiple moves, being bullied, traumatic loss)

with award-winning author and expert Dr Margot Sunderland

'Helping children with feelings is about opening
up their capacity
to take in comfort.'

(Schore, 2005)

About the conference

Many of the following conversational topics will be covered:

  • The principles of ensuring it's a conversation not a row
  • Conversations about loss, transitions and major life changes
  • Conversations about sexuality and transgender issues
  • Conversations about messing up in a big way (teenagers)
  • Conversations about anger, rage and hating people and parents
  • Conversations about anxiety, fear, worry
  • Conversations about living with parents with a mental health problem
  • Conversations about lying/stealing
  • Conversations about hopelessness/depression and suicidal ideation
  • Conversations about destructive behaviour and self harm
  • Conversations about bullying and cyberbullying
  • Conversations about social media and use of technology
  • Conversations about parents fighting quarrelling or splitting up
  • Conversations about sexual abuse

When faced with a child’s or teenager’s pain and suffering it can be difficult to know how to respond. How do you avoid being patronising, crass, dismissive? How do you stop yourself giving an unhelpful lecture or moving into misplaced optimism, opening up a can of worms and generally making things worse?

This topic based day will give child professionals and parents alike a wealth of resources to empower them to respond in ways that really help, leaving the child/teenager feeling deeply understood and supported. Moreover, as a result of repeated meaningful conversations like this, children and teenagers can then develop the capacity to reflect on things themselves (rather than just react), and in so doing successfully work through whatever life throws at them. This way they can go on to thrive, rather than growing up with the blight of mental ill-health.

If we don’t help children through therapeutic conversations, we will continue to see the epidemic levels of mental ill-health and human misery in society today

Benefits from attending this conference 

  • Become more confident in addressing difficult subjects
  • Take away a wealth of skills for talking about the child’s or teenager’s experiences of trauma or loss
  • Feel far more skilled in what to say, how to attune and empathise so that the child or teenager feels understood and connected to
  • Help children and teenagers to reflect on their negative feelings rather than behave them and to communicate through words rather than destructive or negative acts
  • Learn how to have a therapeutic conversation with a child/teenager and parent/child in ways that develop the capacity for emotional regulation and mentalisation
  • Watch moving film showing how time with a reflective adult can bring about long-term positive change to a child’s/teenager’s brain and mind
  • Learn ways of talking about feelings with children and teenagers so that they can take on board the emotional complexities of a situation
  • Learn ways to connect with even the most defended child/teenager so that profound personal development takes place
  • Understand ways to not take things personally when the going gets tough but to stay reflective rather than reactive under stress

 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:

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