Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Formação e Oficinas de Psicoterapia Integrativa


Applying Child Development Theory and Research in Psychotherapy with Adult Clients:
Developmentally-based, Relationally-focused Integrative Psychotherapy

Richard G. Erskine, PhD.
Sponsored by

Live event in London: 9 & 10 May 2024, Thursday & Friday
Times on both days:
10:00am to 4:00pm, London UK
London, UK


Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NQ

CPD hours:10/ CE credits:10

All live attendance tickets now include complimentary access to a video recorded version for 1 year

Note: no online streaming is available for this event. Lunch is provided to delegates attending in person.

Healing the neglects and traumas of childhood requires a psychotherapist who is attuned to each client’s levels of emotional and cognitive development.

To achieve this, psychotherapists and counsellors need to be able to apply Child Development concepts and research findings in their therapeutic practice; in order to identify and work with challenges like:

  • Early childhood memory that is embodied in physiological sensations, entrenched in affect, or unconsciously enacted in relationships . Such memories are not available to conscious thought because they are prelinguistic, presymbolic, procedural, and implicit. However, these neurological imprints give rise to unconscious relational patterns that effect our clients in their adult lives.
  • Physiological, emotional and behavioral signs of infant and parent relational disruptions are evident in the first few months of a child’s life and throughout adolescence. We may see subtle versions of these same self-stabilizing dynamics in adult clients when they tighten their bodies, agitate, avoid eye contact, or deflect from their feelings. Such behaviours may signal unresolved relational disruptions in early childhood, that continue to create disruptions and conflicts later in adulthood .
  • Generating methods that are attuned to an infant’s, young child’s, or school-age child’s particular rhythm, their affect and cognitive level of functioning, and the unique relational-needs at the level of development where an adult client may be fixated. We need to be therapeutically responsive to the withdrawn and silent client, the client who is either hypo- or hyperactive, as well as the client who is resistive or belligerent . Each of these behavioural manifestations may reflect the neglects and traumas that leave a person stuck at an earlier level of development.

This 2-day workshop at London will focus on various methods of psychotherapy that are influenced by the theories and research in Child Development. We will explore various child development hypotheses and concepts that are based on the writings of John Bowlby, Eric Erickson, Selma Fraiberg, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, Daniel Stern, and Donald Winnicott as well as a number of current child development researchers. Specifically, we will look at:

  • creating developmental images and hypotheses
  • assessing and responding to unconscious attachment patterns
  • converting body sensations and affect to language
  • enabling the formation of vocabulary and concepts
  • constructing life narratives through inference
  • using phenomenological and historical inquiry, and
  • facilitating an emotionally safe therapeutic age regression

To prepare for this workshop participants are requested to read the following:

  • Moursund, J.P. and Erskine, R.G. (2003). Integrative Psychotherapy: The Art and Science of Relationship. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning.
  • Erskine, R. G. (2015). Relational Patterns, Therapeutic Presence: Concepts and Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy. London: Karnac Books.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the creation of developmental images and hypotheses
  • Assess and respond to unconscious attachment patterns
  • Explain how to convert body sensations and affect to language
  • Discuss how to enable the formation of vocabulary and concepts
  • Discuss constructing life narratives through inference
  • Use phenomenological and historical inquiry
  • Explain how to create an emotionally safe therapeutic age regression

O Instituto para Psicoterapia Integrativa é autorizado pela Associação Americana de Psicologia a oferecer educação continuada para psicólogos, pelo Conselho Nacional de Conselheiros Certificados para aqueles que fazem aconselhamento, e pelo Conselho Americano de Examinadores Pastorais para aconselhamento pastoral. O Instituto para Psicoterapia Integrativa assume a responsabilidade por este programa e seu conteúdo.