Course Overview

Raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children.

Diploma in Child and Parenting Psychology will help parents understand how to raise happy and healthy, well-adjusted children who are resistant to mental health difficulties. It is for parents, teachers and others interested in the development of children and adolescents.

Achieving You will learn how best to raise a child to have positive mental health, good social and emotional intelligence and how best to meet the needs of those children experiencing difficulties in these areas.

Course Background

Mental health problems are the largest single source of ill health in our young people. International figures from the (WHO) World Health Organisation indicate that 1 in 5 (20%) of adolescents experience psychological problems and 1 in 10 (10%) will have a mental illness with some impairment, and 1 in 20 (3-5%) have a major psychiatric disorder.

Irish young people experience mental health disorders with no less frequency than their international cousins.

A study by Fitzpatrick, Lynch, Mills & Daly (2003) showed that up to 4.5 % of school-going adolescents in Ireland experience clinical depression. Fitzpatrick and her colleagues studied 12-15 year olds’ in Dublin finding that 15.6% had a mental health disorder (Depression 4.5%; Suicidal thoughts 1.9%; Anxiety Disorder 3.7%; ADHD 3.7%; CD/ODD 2.4%; Tics 1.1%; ED 0.2%).

About 5% of adolescents are suffering from major depression at any given time and 30% of adolescents also develop a substance abuse problem. 75 % of all mental illness begins before 25 years of age (Kendall & Kessler 2002), and research indicates that only 29% of those affected contact a professional service of any type (Sawyer et al, 2000). Given the poor prognosis for adolescents and adults with untreated psychiatric symptoms, these low rates of access and treatment are particularly concerning (Hickie et al 2001) (Weissman et al 1999).

Course Modules

There are 10 lessons in Diploma in Child and Parenting Psychology:

1. Raising a healthy child– understanding the importance of:

  • Attachment
  • Emotional communication
  • Child development
  • Normal developmental trends
  • Adolescent development
  • The role of the parent in discipline
  • Corrective discipline
  • Harsh parenting vs. permissive parenting-impact on children

2. Childhood Depression also how changes when reaching adolescence. Signs and symptoms and treatments.

  • Introduction
  • Types of depression in childhood
  • Diagnosis of depression in children
  • Causes of childhood depression
  • Assessing risk of suicide
  • Parenting a child/teen with depression

3. Anxiety disorders – separation, generalised, etc. School phobias, social phobias, etc. Signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction
  • Scope and nature of anxiety disorders
  • Different types of anxiety disorders
  • Childhood anxiety disorders
  • Adolescent anxiety disorders
  • Other anxiety-related problems
  • Parenting a child/teen with anxiety problems

4. Tic disorders – Tourette’s, etc. Signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction to tic disorders
  • Types of tics
  • Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (Tourette’s disorder)
  • Transient tic disorder
  • Chronic tic disorder
  • Tic disorder (nos)
  • Parenting and educating the child/teen with a tic disorder

5. Brain disorders (injury & disease) signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction
  • Differences to adults
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Congenital malformations
  • Genetic disorders
  • Tumours
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Environmental toxins

6. Other disorders – motor disorders, elimination disorders, feeding & eating disorders; (there is less literature on these but they could be broken down into more than one lesson if necessary) signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction
  • Elimination disorders
  • Encopresis
  • Enuresis
  • Feeding and eating disorders of childhood
  • Reactive attachment disorder
  • Selective mutism
  • Stereotypic movement disorder
  • Parenting issues in early childhood disorders

7. Environmental problems – abuse and neglect, relationship problems signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Factitious disorder by proxy
  • The effects of abuse
  • Attachment issues
  • Lifestyle
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parenting a child/teen with environmental disorders

8. Problems of adolescence – anorexia, bulimia, substance use, family conflict signs/symptoms/treatment

  • Introduction
  • The adolescent brain and its development
  • Significant disorders of adolescence
  • Gender identity disorders
  • Parenting and disciplining your teen

9. Holistic and alternative approaches to treatment – this should be a general approach to dealing with children & adolescents i.e. Not directed at specific conditions

  • Drug treatments
  • Food and mental health
  • Alternative therapies – homeopathy, art therapy, music therapy, counselling/psychotherapy, craniosacral/biodynamic osteopathy, kinesiology,
  • aromatherapy, sensory integration, behavioural optometry, hearing and mental health, movement therapies.
  • When and where to look at the literature
  • Responsible parenting in alternative treatment

10. Understanding your child’s social and emotional needs

  • The social brain
  • The importance of the visual brain
  • Trajectory of social development
  • The emotional brain
  • The importance of emotional development
  • Social/emotional cognition
  • Parental role in social/emotional development

Course Award

City Colleges Diploma


A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding the Diploma.

The assignment/project must be handed in on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.


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live online
Live online training with real-time instructor-student interaction.
  • Live & fully online
  • Archived for review
28th September 2022
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT
Study in a classroom environment one evening a week.
  • City centre location
  • Fully interactive
  • Limited class sizes
28th September 2022
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT

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Diploma in Counselling Psychology

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