FdA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations


How can you support the people who need your service most effectively?

This is an online version of our FDA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations. This course is taught through distance learning meaning the entire two years of the course is taught online with no face-to-face, in-person teaching. You will graduate with the same qualification as our campus based FDA, the only difference being you will attend all teaching virtually and not on campus.

Interested in the course but want to study on campus? Click here.

How can you support the people who need your service most effectively?

How can you work more collaboratively with your colleagues?

What counts as therapeutic support for children, young people, or older adults?

Our Foundation Degree, comprising of one afternoon of teaching a week, offers a theoretical understanding and the practical tools for emotionally grounded therapeutic work with children, adolescents, and adults, whatever your role.

Using a psychodynamic framework, the course will help you develop a thorough understanding of the human processes within and around the people who use your service and the people who are trying to help them. We also equip you with an awareness of the wider dimension of organisational dynamics. Put together, these both will contribute to your development as an effective and perceptive practitioner.

You study:

  • Psychodynamic theory
  • Child and adult development
  • Issues of trauma and violence
  • The dynamics of therapeutic interventions in organisations

You also have the opportunity to develop your insight as a reflective thinker through reflective observation workshops.

After finishing this Foundation Degree, you have the opportunity to take a further one year course on campus to gain a BA Honours Degree. The course is accredited by APPCIOS (The Association of Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings).

Our expert staff

What sets our teaching team apart is that each one blends clinical experience and expertise in their field with the academic rigour for which the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies has such a reputation. You will be taught by lecturers who have years of experience working directly with troubled individuals and groups in specialist settings. This means they can draw upon not only the enduring academic tradition and the latest research in the field of psychoanalytic studies but also upon years of clinical experience as teachers, psychotherapists, and therapeutic community practitioners.

Mr Chris Tanner, Fd.A Course Director, brings many years of experience in special education and therapeutic communities, having held a number of leaderships and directorships roles in such organisations. He also works as an organisational consultant working across diverse sectors in the UK. He is a Specialist Member of the Ministry of Justice Health, Education and Social Care Tribunal. He has postgraduate qualifications in special education, psychoanalytic studies, and organisational consultancy.

Mrs Sue Kegerreis is both an adult and child and adolescent psychotherapist. Sue has published numerous journal papers and chapters including her book Psychodynamic Counselling with Children and Adolescents: An Introduction in 2010. Sue has a long career developing and teaching courses applying psychodynamic approaches to both clinical and non-clinical settings, and she is also a consultant offering clinical supervision.

Dr Bethany Morgan Brett’s specialist areas are in ageing, adult development, the life course, intergenerational relationships and qualitative research. Her PhD thesis on “Negotiating Midlife; The Subjective Experience of Ageing” took a psychosocial approach to exploring midlife and the fear of death. She is the co-author of ‘Teach Yourself Qualitative Interviewing’ (to be published by SAGE in 2020), and is currently completing a book on caring for older parents and the death of parents in later life (for publication in 2021 by Policy Press).

Dr Chris Nicholson has some 15 years experience working in residential childcare and therapeutic communities. His PhD thesis concerned the effects of war trauma upon the literary works of Robert Graves. He is the primary author and editor of Children and Adolescents in Trauma: Creative Therapeutic Approaches published in 2010. Chris sits on the Advisory Board for Children and Young People at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Therapeutic Communities section. He speaks at both national and international conferences and teaches here as well as in Greece.

Mrs Arianna Pulsoni is a child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Arianna has worked in NHS and in schools. She is the lead on the wellbeing and counselling service in an international school. She has also worked with mother and baby refugees and she is doing a research on intergenerational family difficulties and parent work at the Tavistock Clinic. Arianna also works as a clinical supervisor and specialist consultant.

Dr Rodrigo Sanchez Escandon has worked for a variety of therapeutic organisations and children’s homes in Mexico City and Nairobi. He has also worked with homeless people for a number of years. In the UK he has worked as a therapist and clinical manager in the NHS. He is a registered psychoanalyst (IPA,BPC, BPF) with over 10 years of experience in private practice.

Our Student Administrator, Alison Evans, who will help you with many of the arrangements and technical aspects of the course, has a fantastic reputation among our students as being particularly helpful and approachable.

Specialist facilities

You will experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests:

  • You will have access to the Albert Sloman Library, which houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
  • The Department has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
  • Free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.

Your future

In undertaking this course you’ll study a range of psychoanalytic concepts – applying them to individuals, relationships and organisations, which will provide you with a unique perspective of why we are the way we are, on understanding others and knowing how to relate to them, which will make you suited for further clinical training, postgraduate study in different fields, or employment.

With around 80% of our students moving on to postgraduate study or employment, this course prepares you to move successfully into your own career path.

Key areas of employment for people with these skills include marketing, advertising, human resources, management, the media, care work, teaching or health care. Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of careers, including:

  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Clinical psychology
  • NHS Mental Health work
  • Management Consultancy
  • Country Director (Afghanistan) with the Danish Refugee Council
  • Therapeutic Consultancy

We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

* Non-specialist higher education institutions with a survey population of at least 500.

Why we’re great

  • You’ll be taught by lecturers who bring both academic and practical knowledge from years of working with children.
  • This course is taught through distance learning, so you can fit study around your work.
  • Our students learn in small groups with expert practitioners and academics.


Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Please note that in both years, you choose between two modules – Theory, Practice and Responsibility (Child and Adolescent) and Theory, Practice and Responsibility (Adult) – depending on your preferred route.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

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