The Greenane Centre, Greenane. Tipperary Town, E34 CX13

Specialist Diploma in Developmental Trauma

Delivered Online Via Zoom

Awarded 130 CPD Points by The Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Specialist Diploma in Developmental Trauma

This innovative, comprehensive, reflective and evidence informed  Specialist Diploma in Developmental Trauma is appropriate for a wide range of professionals who wish to develop a specialism in Developmental Trauma. The Specialist Diploma will have a focus on neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiological and attachment theory ensuring a clear theoretical framework underpinned by research and the principals of Trauma and Attachment  Informed Care.

This  programme will have a strong focus on reflective practice and mentalisation, through a  framework of  knowledge attainment, experiential learning, reflection, introspection, internalisation and externalisation and its application to  safe and informed professional practice.

Participants who complete this Specialist Diploma will gain a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of developmental trauma  along with skills and tools to effectively mentalise and engage in developmental trauma informed support in a safe and ethical manner.

This programme will be of particular interest to:

Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Play and Art Therapists who wish to enhance their core therapeutic training through undertaking a specialism in Developmental Trauma Informed Care.  Therapists who undertake this training will enhance their core training enabling the expansion of  their clinical practice through the integration of Developmental Trauma Informed Therapy. In addition, therapists who undertake this training will develop the tools and skills to engage in Developmental Trauma Informed Support Work with parents,  carers and professional who care for and support children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories.

Social Workers and Family Support Workers who wish to acquire a specialism in developmental trauma and expertise in supporting and educating parents/carers of children/adolescents with developmental trauma histories to parent and provide care through a Developmental Trauma Informed Lens, based on the principals of empathic attunement, informed understanding, co-regulation, structure, consistency and mentalisation.

This Specialist Diploma would also be highly valuable for Residential Care Professionals who provide care and support to children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories. Residential care professionals who complete this programme will develop the tools and skills to enable them to provide care through a Developmental Trauma Informed Lens, based on the principals of empathic attunement, informed understanding, co-regulation, structure, consistency and mentalisation.


Places Strictly Limited to 20 Participants.

Specialist Diploma in Developmental Trauma

Programme Modules



Facilitator: Liz Quish

Introduction to Course Philosophy, Principals, and Assessments


Developmental Psychology

Facilitator: Dr. Alvina Grosu

Introducing and critiquing the major theories of developmental psychology that underpin our understanding and appreciation of development during childhood and adolescence. Key theories which have been influential in developmental child and adolescent psychology will be described and evaluated. This module will also explore the complex biological, psychological and cultural factors that influence a child’s and adolescents developmental process. Participants will learn the theoretical foundation for key constructs, theories and developmental processes in perceptual, social, emotional, cognitive and language development.



Facilitator: Dr. Alvina Grosu

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory will be presented and the implications of separation, loss and abuse on a child’s and adolescents attachment formation. Ainsworth’s classifications and the process of the development of secure and insecure attachments will be outlined with an in-depth exploration of the effects of secure and insecure attachment on a child’s and adolescents social, emotional and behavioural development. Parental/Carers attachment styles, intergenerational trauma and the implications of parental attachment styles on parenting a child with developmental trauma will be conceptualised and explored. The focus of this module will centre on enabling participants to explore the ways in which an attachment lens can inform practitioners understanding of carer/child interactions with a view to formulating more effective interventions in order to assist parents/ carers/ staff in creating a containing , safe and nurturing environment.


Parenting Theories and Approaches

Facilitator: Dr. Alvina Grosu

The module will explore different parenting styles and models of parenting and the strengths and weaknesses of these models in parenting / caring for children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories. Participants will explore and examine key theories and principles underpinning parental support and will foster an appreciation of best practice approaches within parental support work through the development of a collaborative parent coaching relationship which supports parents/carers/staff in developing their capacity, resilience and understanding so they can attune to a child’s/adolescents developmental needs. This module will pay particular attention to parenting and providing care in a Developmental Trauma and Attachment Informed manner.


Adverse Childhood Experiences & Developmental Trauma

Facilitator: Karen Stewart

An analysis of The ACE Study, Trauma, Toxic Stress and the impact on children and adolescents health and wellbeing. Participants will reflect on the impact of developmental trauma across developmental domains – Physical, Psychological, Neurological, Cognitive, Emotional and Social. Trauma-based behaviour will be examined in terms of its adaptive and protective functions enabling participants to apply this understanding to inform assessment and interventions and support parents/ carers/ staff in understanding a child’s /adolescents behaviours through a trauma informed lens.


Trauma and The Body

Facilitator: Patricia Allen Garrett

You will explore the principles and main tenants of Stephen Porge’s Polyvagal Theory along with the contributions of Bessel van der Kolk and Babette Rothschild. Participants develop a deep understanding of the need for an embodied approach to trauma developing participants confident in their ability to educate and support parents/ carers/ staff to tune into and reshape their nervous systems. Participants will explore and analyse how the autonomic nervous system operates as an internal surveillance system and its impact on habitual responses to trauma and will develop a range of tools and strategies to help parents/ carers/staff to engage the regulating capacities of their autonomic nervous system in order to create an environment of holding and safety for children and adolescents becoming more adept in the skills of co-regulation and creating reciprocal relationships. Participants will develop the ability to assess patterns in parent/ carers / staff autonomic states and explore their role as co-regulator through employing the right degree of neural challenge and a range of safe exercises to help shape the autonomic nervous system toward safety and connection.



Facilitator: Joanna Fortune

This module will present and explore the concept of Mentalisation and its link to reflective functioning and its application to working with and supporting parents/ carers/ staff in their parenting/care of children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories. Participants will gain a sound appreciation of Mentalization and how to apply its principles to managing behavioural challenges in children and adolescents with the goal of increasing the connection between parents/carers/staff and the children/adolescents they care for.Participants will develop skills in adopting a mentalising stance with parents/carers that holds caregiver and child /adolescent in mind and embeds assessment and therapeutic interventions in an empathic, emotionally validating, supportive relationship


Neurosequential & PACE Model – Regulation Strategies and Tools

Facilitator: Liz Quish

Focusing on developing a framework for assisting parents / carers / staff in providing children/adolescents with the nurturing replacement experiences they require to regulate, through incorporating the core principles of Bruce Perry’s Neuro-sequential model, Dan Hughes PACE Parenting Model and Dan Siegel’s Rupture and Repair process. Participants will explore how positive reinforcement supports children’s and adolescent growth and development, and how negative reinforcement can be harmful to children and adolescents who have been exposed to developmental trauma. Participants will develop tools and strategies to enable them to provide psychoeducation to parents/carers/ staff in order to educate, support and guide parents/carers/staff to support a child/adolescent through the different stages of an escalation/outburst, including proactive strategies for preventing further escalation during the triggering phase, guidance around managing the outburst and key strategies for supporting the child’s /adolescents recovery and reconnection to the parent/carer post-escalation.


Compassion Fatigue  

Facilitator: Dr. Christine Tizzard

Parenting and proving care for children who have experienced developmental trauma can be very demanding for parents/carers/staff with research noting many are at risk of experiencing compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma, which can result in blocked care and placement breakdown. This module will explore the dynamics of compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma and how such presentation can manifest and present in parents/carers/ staff. Participants will develop a sound knowledge and appreciation of the main indicators of compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma and contributory risk factors. Participants will explore a range of strategies to support parents/carers with such presentations.


Programme Closing

Facilitator: Liz Quish

Group Process, Exploration of Knowledge and Implications for Professional Practice.

Learning Outcomes

Develop a sound knowledge of Developmental Trauma and the capacity to apply this knowledge to professional practice through introspection, internalisation and externalisation.

Develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of child/adolescent development and developmental trauma through developing a heightened trauma and attachment informed lens.

Understand the neurobiology of the traumatised brain and resulting behaviours.

Develop the ability to support parents/carers/staff to understand and re-frame challenging behaviour so they can understand and response to the child’s/ adolescent’s needs through the lens of Developmental Trauma.

Support parents/carers and residential staff in developing, increasing and maintaining a reflective and emotionally regulated stance through the process of Mentalisation.

Educate and coach parents/carers/staff in utilising therapeutic parenting/care techniques with children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories.

Provide parents/carers and staff with therapeutic support in order to avoid feeling disempowered and lessen the impact of blocked care and compassion fatigue.

Programme Structure & Fees

Entry Requirement

This CPD Diploma is open to practitioners who have successfully completed a Degree or Diploma in a relevant discipline


To be confirmed

Teaching Methods

This Programme will be facilitated online via Zoom.


Reflective Learning Journals
3000 Word Academic Essay
1500 Word Book Review

Programme Fee & Payment Schedule

To be confirmed