About this event

At the heart of these webinars is a profound question: we know that demands on mental health services are rising; we know that this increase can never be met by professionals alone. So what is it that we need to change in the way we lead our lives for our mental health needs to be met. To put it another way, how do we think differently about mental health? This ground-breaking series brings together some of the most eminent thinkers in child and family mental health in the world.

Childhood trauma, in the form of maltreatment and neglect, is one of the strongest predictors of later mental health problems across childhood, adolescence and adulthood. However, the neurobiological mechanisms by which childhood adversity 'gets under the skin' remain poorly understood. 

The concept of Latent Vulnerability is one way to think about how maltreatment exposure can calibrate brain systems, including the threat, reward and memory systems. In a threatening and unpredictable early environment these systems adapt, with potential benefits for the child in the short term. However, such changes may embed vulnerability over the longer term, increasing the risk that mental health problems will emerge when a child negotiates new challenges and stressors later in development. 

In this context it is important to think about the brain as a socially embedded organ. Mental health and wellbeing are intrinsically relational phenomena, and it is not helpful or accurate to think of them as ‘located’ within the child or their brain. Rather, as researchers and clinicians, we must delineate the complex relationship between the brain, childhood trauma, the social world, and mental health. The concepts of stress generation and social thinning will be introduced as two socially mediated mechanisms that can help link early adverse experience with later mental health outcomes.  

Collectively, findings from the neuroscience literature point to the importance not only of understanding mechanisms, but also of increasing our focus on preventative models of help following childhood trauma.

BSL interpretation will be available for those joining the seminar on a PC or laptop.


The format of our Transformation Seminars are:

17:20 - 17:30   Registration (log-in to online seminar)

17:30 - 18:15   Transformation Lecture

18:15 - 18:45   Q&A


System requirements for online training

The online platform Zoom will be used to deliver this training. Prior to booking on, please ensure you meet the system requirements so you're able to join this training. Details of how to join the event on Zoom will be shared closer to the event.

Before the training, please test your equipment is working by going to and follow the instructions.

  • 1.25 hours

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