‘Why won’t they behave? Why can’t they learn?’: University of Essex offers a series of free online courses on mental health in children

New Delhi, 12 May 2022: UK-based University of Essex today announced a series of free online courses on mental health in children to raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by children and young people today. The courses offer an insight into issues such as body image disorder, gender identity difficulties, self-harm, challenging behaviour, and interventions like psychodynamic counselling and the positive roles of schools. The courses will be of interest to those who work with children, as well as teachers and parents. The courses are led by PPS lecturers, all experts in their fields.


Chris Tanner, senior lecturer in University of Essex’s Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (PPS), said: “We’re delighted to be running this series of free courses. We’re committed to supporting all who work with vulnerable, or traumatised clients through learning about relational approaches, based on psychodynamic thinking.”


On Friday 13 May, Dr Chris Nicholson, Head of Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, will run a session on Understanding and working with self-harm. This talk will form an introduction to self-harm, what it is and what we know about it. After the presentation, Chris will run a workshop introducing the ‘self-harm spectrum’ through which participants can share experiences and ask questions. Chris has worked in children’s services for several years and, with colleagues, set up The Junction, the young people’s service for mental health charity Colchester MIND.


On Tuesday 14 June, Professor Sue Kegerreis, well-known for her work in psychodynamic counselling, will introduce some of the less obvious factors at work in children who are disruptive or difficult to manage in her talk “Why won’t they behave? Why can’t they learn?” This talk will introduce some of the less obvious factors at work in children who are disruptive or difficult to manage, or who are inhibited in or resistant to learning.


On Tuesday 21 June, Dr Chris Nicholson will run a session on Under Pressure: Therapeutic work in residential children’s homes? This talk looks at therapeutic work in residential children’s homes.


On Wednesday 6 July, there is a session to support staff who work with traumatised children. This talk is on supporting staff and how to unpack the stresses of working in this environment.


On Wednesday 29 June, there is also a session highlighting a school intervention, called Be Yourself, which looks at how using a virtual reality environment can be used for early assessment and prevention in children and adolescents with early signs of body image disorder and gender identity difficulties.


The online talks also provide a taster to the Foundation Degree/BA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations – a course which attracts professionals already working in the mental health sector.


Attendance to these courses is free and open to all, but please register your place in advance.


About University of Essex


Founded in 1964, University of Essex is one of the UK’s leading universities, which has grown from 122 students in the first year to 17,000+ now. The University maintains three campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton. Essex has three faculties which lead on delivering excellence in teaching and research: the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Science and Health, and Faculty of Social Sciences. It has close to 1,000 active researchers and 17,000 students from over 140 countries with an alumni strength in excess of 100,000. It was named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2018 and in the top 25 for research quality in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide2 2022.