About this course

This evidence-based course has been developed by experts from the UK Trauma Council and is delivered by the Clinical Co-Lead of the Traumatic Bereavement resource portfolio.

Traumatic Bereavement

The way that a child or young person experiences or understands the death - the meaning they make of it - can result in it being experienced as traumatic.

The trauma gets in the way of the typical process of grief and blocks the child or young person's ability to process the loss.  This can result in difficulties that can severe and long lasting.

Traumatic bereavement may be easily missed or misunderstood, meaning that children’s difficulties are not recognised, even by experienced practitioners. It is vital that these children are identified and given appropriate help and support. 

The global pandemic has resulted in more than 100,000 additional deaths in the UK. Many of these will have been sudden and unexpected. Children and young people may not have been able to visit people who were ill in hospital and may not have had a chance to say goodbye. This, combined with restrictions on normal grieving rituals such as funerals, and less social support, means that there is likely to be many more traumatically bereaved children and young people.

Course overview

This course is for practitioners and clinicians working therapeutically with bereaved children and young people in a variety of settings. Please see section 1.2 (pages 6-7) of the Traumatic Bereavement Clinical Guide (linked here) for a list of competencies we suggest those attending the course would meet.

The course will provide an introduction to traumatic bereavement and practical approaches to identification, measurement and formulation-driven support.  It will explore how to apply these approaches with children and young people in a therapeutic setting.

The number of delegates is intentionally limited to ensure that there is time and space for discussions and scope to tailor the content to the specific needs of the group.

Who is this course for?

This course has been designed specifically for practitioners and clinicians working therapeutically with bereaved children and young people.  All delegates should be already receiving supervision as part of their professional practice.

Aim of the training

The aim of the course is to train practitioners and clinicians working therapeutically with bereaved children and young people to identify traumatic bereavement and offer formulation-driven therapeutic support. All delegates should be already receiving supervision as part of their professional practice.

The course outcomes are to:

  • Understand what traumatic bereavement is and how to identify children and young people at risk
  • Be able to develop a formulation to help understand the specific needs of an individual child or young person experiencing a traumatic bereavement
  • Be able to select and administer appropriate measures and use them to help identifying traumatic bereavement and monitor presenting difficulties
  • Be able to select appropriate therapeutic activities and adapt them to the individual needs of children and young people
  • Judge when difficulties are so severe or complex that they require specialist help and onward referral
Our expertise

This evidence-based course has been developed by experts from the UK Trauma Council (UKTC), drawing on the latest research and their own experience of working with traumatically bereaved children in bereavement services and education settings.  

The UKTC is a group of leading experts, drawn from a variety of disciplines across all four nations of the United Kingdom (UK). It is the first UK-wide platform bringing together expertise in research, practice, policy and lived experience in the field of childhood trauma. The UKTC is hosted and supported by the Anna Freud Centre.

The course will be delivered by Beck Ferrari, a UKTC expert in traumatic bereavement:

Beck has her own independent bereavement service working therapeutically with children and young people, and supporting education settings, and is the Clinical Co-Lead for the UKTC’s recent work on traumatic bereavement. Beck’s early career was as a teacher and SENCO.  She completed her MSc in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at Anna Freud Centre/University College London, specialising in Trauma-Focused CBT. Read Beck Ferrari’s full profile here

Course structure

The course follows the following outline.  Please see the timetable of the day for specific timings.  

Day 1: Identifying traumatic bereavement

  • What is traumatic bereavement? - how it differs from more typical grief and how it can be recognised.
  • Meaning making – exploring what this death means for this child or young person and how this meaning might disrupt their grief.
  • Formulation - using formulation collaboratively to help make sense of a young person’s difficulties.
  • Using measures - selecting and using measures to help understand a child or young people’s needs.

Day 2: Supporting a child or young person experiencing traumatic bereavement

  • Relaxing the body and mind activities –facilitating a relaxed and safe space to support the therapeutic process.
  • Choosing an activity- using formulation to help select appropriate activities.
  • Adapting support activities – how to adapt activities to be responsive to an individual child or young person’s needs, background and culture.
  • Referrals - when to consider referring on to specialist trauma support and collaborative working with other services.
  • Endings and rituals – how to plan with the child or young person for the end of support.

Between day 1 and day 2 delegates will be invited to complete a task relating to their work with a particular child or young person to bring back for discussion in day two.


Places on this course have been funded by Health Education England.

If you are based in London or South East England, and have received an invitation from The UK Trauma Council or The Anna Freud Centre, you are eligible to attend this training at no cost to yourself.

If you would like to book more than one place on this training course, for example for your eligible colleagues, please contact Rhys Owen at

System requirements

The training will be delivered by Zoom.

Before booking, please ensure you meet the system requirements.

Contact us

Please do not hesitate to contact us at the UK Trauma Council if you have any questions:

  • 2 half days

Download Timetable

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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