Psychopathology: Theory and Practice

Tamsin Cottis – Introduction to Child Psychopathology

This lecture will outline the structure of provision of current UK child mental health services. A number of the most frequently diagnosed child mental health disorders (e.g. ADHD, ASC, Conduct Disorder, Eating Disorders, Childhood Depression) will be identified and briefly described, drawing on the most up-to-date diagnostic criteria of DSM 5 and the ICD 10/11 (ICD 11 due to be adopted in May 2019).

Information will be critically considered with reference to ordinary child development and in the light of up to date research regarding the development of the brain in infancy and childhood. Close consideration will be given to what is known about how trauma and adverse childhood experiences may impact on a child’s emotional, relational, cognitive, behavioural and relational development. Bessell van der Kolk’s Model of Developmental Trauma Model (2005) will be considered.

As well as talking about medication-based treatments, we will explore how child psychotherapy, informed by Attachment Theory and Object Relations Theory, may be an effective response to childhood disorders which have their roots in traumatic experiences.

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Tamsin Cottis

Tamsin Cottis is a UKCP registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist. She is a co-founder and former Assistant Director of Respond, the UK’s leading provider of psychotherapy to children and adults with learning disabilities, including those with sexually harmful behaviour. More recently Consultant Clinical Supervisor at Respond and a teacher at the Bowlby Centre, she also works as a Child Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor in primary schools and in private practice. She has written widely for books and professional journals, particularly regarding psychotherapy and learning disability, and has presented a range of academic papers. Publications include Intellectual Disability, Trauma and Psychotherapy (Editor) 2009, Routledge.