2-18 Britannia Row, Islington, London, N1 8PA | Tel: 020 7354 2913 | email@example.com |
(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.
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
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