About this course 

Mentalizing refers to the active efforts that we can make to understand what is going on in our own minds and in the minds of others. This course will introduce the theory of mentalizing and how to support our own mentalizing as professionals when we face the stressful and challenging situation of safeguarding children in the Early Years. The symbiotic and inevitable intersection of mentalization with culture will further be explored.

We will consider safeguarding and how harm manifests in children at different developmental phases between the ages of 0-5. This will include consideration of what often gets missed and how to keep the focus on the child.

Safeguarding practice will be explored within the cultural frame, whereby our cultural lens as individual professionals and as professionals working within the culture of a service/system inevitably inserts bias into the safeguarding process, in a way that inhibits mentalizing and is detrimental to families and children. Culture is defined broadly to encompass all aspects of the professional’s, the service’s and the family’s identity, location and practices.

This course comprises of taught evidence-based theory, interactive exercises to support experiential learning and tools and frameworks that can be applied to practice. No prior knowledge of mentalization is required.

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for all professionals working with children aged 0-5 and their families, including: early years professionals, perinatal mental health teams, CAMHS clinicians, child psychotherapists and psychologists, social workers, health visitors, GPs, family hubs professionals and nursery nurses.

Aims of course
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of mentalizing, specifically thinking about working with children in the early years and their families.
  • Enhance your reflectiveness as a professional, team and service, to support mentalizing across cultures, during stressful and risky safeguarding contexts.
  • Increase awareness of your cultural biases as a professional and as a team and how mentalizing can be supported within this frame.
Special ticket offer

For every three places booked, get one additional additional place free.

System requirements for live 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. 

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

The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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