About us

About usDedicated to children's emotional wellbeing, we are a national charity with a worldwide reputation. As a centre of practice, we help young people with mental health problems. Our innovative clinical services provide treatment for children and support for their parents. As a centre of learning, we train professionals who work with children and carry out pioneering research into effective ways to help young people suffering emotional distress. Our ability to develop new treatments from both practice and research makes us unique.

To learn more about our work please see our Impact Report.


Senior Leadership Team

" Welcome to the website of the Anna Freud Centre.  The Anna Freud Centre is a leading provider  of mental health treatment for children and families and also undertakes innovative research on childhood mental health and provides high-quality training for mental health professionals.

The need for our work has never been greater. The UNICEF 2007 Report Card on Child Well-Being in Rich Countries places UK and US children at the bottom of the ranking table, highlighting the emotional poverty of children in the UK as well as the US. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020 mental disorders will become one of the five most common causes of serious ill-health among children.

At the Anna Freud Centre, we integrate developmental and social science research with social neuroscience and emphasize the importance of social relationships in children’s healthy development.  We are committed to the values of an evidence-based approach in the treatments we provide and develop.

Our efforts are rooted in a tradition of excellence at this Centre. The Anna Freud Centre was the first to offer a comprehensive child psychotherapy service and training, and for this it acquired deserved international recognition and acclaim.

While continuing the tradition of intensive psychotherapeutic work with children, the Centre's current work is multimodal embracing a range of evidence-based approaches to child mental health services and is community-, family- and systems-based.

The Centre's leadership believe that the widespread and complex problems of children and young people require imaginative approaches to prevention and intervention. This involves evaluating what works and in what circumstances, and providing a range of options to suit different needs. It also involves working to identify the common features of good practice across treatment modalities, and enhancing these at all levels of mental health practice.

To this end, the Centre carries out innovative treatments and cutting-edge research, engages in national and international leadership concerning child mental health and research policy, and offers advice to legal and childcare professionals concerning issues of diagnosis and management of complex cases. Our research, theoretical expertise and treatment development work are made widely available through training and are also disseminated and enriched by collaborations nationally and internationally with universities and other centers of excellence in children's mental health services.

The Centre is part of a vibrant international network of academic excellence in social development and cognitive neuroscience and the integration of these within the general field of developmental psychopathology.  A vital part of the Centre's work is cutting-edge research on attachment and the development of social and emotional relatedness from both social neuroscience and developmental psychology perspectives. Through clarifying the neuropsychological, emotional and social processes that underpin psychopathology, our aim is to refine treatments addressing these basic developmental processes.

Finally, the Anna Freud Centre has strong connections with the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center.   Through this bridge, we offer joint degrees in developmental neuroscience and psychopathology, joint research and joint training programs.  The “Bridge” program is rooted in the Centre's extensive collaborations with University College London which is our partner in Master's and Doctoral degrees.  Additional university alliances include our links to the Child and Family Program at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor Medical College.  These academic centers are linked to form a consortium of scientific prevention and treatment research that serve as a model of interdisciplinary and international collaboration in child mental health."

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