Practitioner Development Groups

The Online Practitioner Development Groups aim to provide a supportive environment where you can build on your skills in employing a mentalizing stance and using a variety of mentalizing techniques appropriate to the child, young person or family you are working with. These groups aim to be an extension of your basic training in MBT-A, MBT-C or MBT-F and will provide you with a focused opportunity to develop your skills in applying a mentalizing model in your current practice. You will need to be prepared to present case material from your current practice where you are using the MBT CYP model you trained in. 

It is anticipated that after completing the 10 group sessions and presenting in at least 6 of these, participants will be ready to move on to the second and final stage of becoming a MBT CYP practitioner. Here you will need to submit one tape of a session along with a brief written submission to be reviewed by a second approved supervisor.

Further details can be found on the training booking pages for MBT-A, MBT-C and MBT-F on the website.

Course requirements
  • Have an existing mental health qualification, for example; child psychotherapy, psychology, psychotherapy, arts therapies, family therapy, counselling, psychiatry, mental health nursing, social work and have experience of working therapeutically with children and families.
  • Have completed your basic training in MBT-A, MBT-C or MBT-F.
  • Be able to attend the 10 group sessions.
  • You will need to have identified and / or be working with at least two cases where you are using the MBT CYP model you trained in.
  • You will need permission to share material, this will be through video, audio or written session notes, or transcripts. At least one case needs to be video/audio recorded and consultation/supervision offered based on those recordings.

If you are not yet able to meet the above requirements it is likely that the Online Practitioner Development Group is not for you at this time and you might wish to seek individual supervision to support you in developing your mentalizing practice. You can find a supervisor by following this link

Format and delivery

These groups will take place online for a total of 10 sessions. There may be breaks or holidays throughout the 10 sessions and specific dates and times for the groups will be advertised in advance. It is important that you make these dates and times as you will not be able to transfer or make up for any missed sessions. 

  • Each group will have three participants along with an Anna Freud Centre approved supervisor
  • Each session will last for 90 minutes
  • Sessions will be divided into two 30 minute presentation slots with a further 30 minutes for discussion and follow up either before or after presentations

The groups will use the Thinking Together supervisory or consultation model of practice, a collaborative approach which aims to stimulate your mentalizing and support you in moving out of moments where your mentalizing is stuck. Please see The Thinking Together model for further information.

Groups will also use the relevant MBT- A/MBT-C/MBT-F Fidelity or Adherence Scale as a tool for reflection, helping group members to think together about the core principles and techniques of the MBT CYP model being used. This will also help you, as an individual practitioner, identify your areas of strength and areas for growth, ensuring you get the most out of the sessions. 

The focus in these groups is not on what the clinician or therapist did “right or wrong”, but rather a process of reflecting on the work with each child, young person or family and for group members and supervisors to do the following: 1) make the implicit explicit, in terms of what the clinician did or did not do, and 2) attend to and explore the thoughts, feelings and intentions that were underlying your behaviour as a clinician, and those that may have been underlying the behaviour of the child, young person or family members in the session.

It is a given that we are all prone to slip into non-mentalizing modes when working with those who are emotionally dysregulated and struggling in their mentalizing. Therefore, a function of these groups is to restore and facilitate the clinician’s own mentalizing. By practicing restoring one's mentalizing in the context of a consultation or supervisory process, we become better able to restore our mentalizing when we are in the room with patients and to help them to develop or restore their mentalizing capacities.

At the end of the ten sessions you will receive a certificate confirming your attendance.

If your supervisor is in agreement with your moving forward to the final stage of becoming a registered practitioner, they will sign and date your application for practitioner status. If your supervisor feels you would benefit from further practice, they will send you a brief email detailing the areas you need to focus on and you will need to arrange for some further individual sessions.


The fee for the Online Practitioner Development Group is £1000.

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. 

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

  • 10 sessions from 26th January 2023 to 20th or 27th April 2023

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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