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Professional Certificate in Adolescent Studies (online)

*Next Programme Begins September 2021*

This one-year certificate programme, which is an online training, offers participants a comprehensive overview of the dynamics of development in adolescence, providing students with an extensive range of relational skills, dialogic techniques and creative interventions to support young people as they navigate the adolescent years. This programme is suitable for professionals who are interested in developing their competency in supporting this age group, such as youth workers, social workers, guidance counsellors, school chaplains, occupational therapists, mental health nurses etc.

Please note this programme does not offer training in adolescent psychotherapy, nor is it suitable for psychotherapists who are interested in developing their therapeutic practice with younger clients.

The Programme Director is Bronagh Starrs. Bronagh is an adolescent development specialist and has considerable experience as a trainer in adolescent development and therapy throughout Ireland. She also teaches and presents internationally on the developmental implication of trauma on the adolescent journey.

Programme Structure

The programme is structured over one academic year with three modules running concurrently.

Module 1 – Adolescent & emerging adult development

This module will involve an exploration of the stages of adolescent development and the typical adult-world responses to these stages. Students will also understand the developmental impact of trauma in adolescence and how this influences both intrapsychic and interpersonal experience for the young person. Assessment skills will be developed and applied to professional settings.

Module 2 – Meaning-making in adolescence

Students will explore the areas of shame and creative adjustment, and their influence on the adolescent’s emerging capacity to self-reflect and construct a meaningful sense of self. A range of skills will be presented which will develop and extend each student’s repertoire of interventions to support the adolescent’s expanding life-space. Adolescent meaning-making will also be understood through the lens of neuroscience, as students develop appreciation of the implications of trauma on the adolescent’s emerging sense of self.

Module 3 – Relational skills with adolescents

Students will learn the art of establishing a developmentally attuned professional relationship, identifying appropriate relational competencies and interventions which support the adolescent’s experience. A focus of this module will be the acquisition of skills to neutralize shame and reframe adversity in a manner which empowers the young person. A range of creative techniques such as Sandspace will be presented and students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical understanding to professional situations.

Time Commitment

The programme comprises a total of 72 CPD hours. Lectures and workshops will take place over six two-day training sessions throughout a one-year period commencing in September and ending in April. The daily training schedule will be 10.00am – 4.00pm.


Participants who complete the programme are awarded the Dublin Counselling & Therapy Centre Professional Certificate in Adolescent Studies


The next intake for this programme will be in September 2021. Course brochure can be downloaded here:   PCAS Course Brochure 2021-2022

Application form can be downloaded here:   Application Form PCAS 2021-22

Please email any further enquiries to info@dctc.ie

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