Class of 2015

Some of our recent 2015 Graduates share their thoughts on completing a postgraduate degree at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families


    Serena, DNP            Mattia, DNP                   An, DPCP                   Kalia, DPCP              Stephen, DPCP            Diba, PDP                   Maria-Paz PDP 

Where are you now? What are you doing? 

“Currently pursuing a biomedical PhD in neuroscience in the US with the mentor the MSc. program matched me with at Yale.”  Serena, DNP

“I am doing a PhD at UCL, London in Psychology/Neuroscience with Prof Eamon McCrory and Essi Viding.” Mattia, DNP    

“I am currently at UCL doing the doctorate in clinical psychology programme, doing the clinical training . I am also working remotely for a start-up company in China, which is related to mental health and child wellbeing in China.” An, DPCP

“At the moment I work as a research assistant at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, at the Developmental Neuroscience Unit. My specific role involves work for the NeuroScience in Psychiatry Network, a collaboration between UCL and the University of Cambridge aiming to investigate development from adolescence into adulthood.” Kalia, DPCP  

“I work as a Young People’s Worker at Axis @ The Hive. This is a new service for 16-24 year olds in Camden that provides a holistic approach to emotional and social wellbeing, which has been co-created by young people.” Stephen, DPCP

“Having just graduated, I currently volunteer at the Early Years Parenting Unit of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families as a Child-Care Assistant. I am also volunteering at Farsophone organisation, a counselling service for Farsi speaking clients. I have the opportunity to help starting a new child services in this organisation. Lastly, I am currently working with the Family Research Centre at Cambridge University, expanding on my MSc dissertation.” Diba, PDP


What do you wish you had known prior to starting the course?

“I wish I had known how hard it was to find a pregnant woman willing to be observed all on my own. On the contrary, how easy it was to find one with friends helping. After going to several prenatal classes (yoga and similar) to introduce myself and with no success ask for a volunteer to be observed, I took an extreme measure: posted on Facebook a message asking all my friends and acquaintances recommend someone. In 5 days I got 2 mothers willing to help me. For mothers (and anyone I think) it is much easier to help if someone they trust referrers you.” Maria-Paz, PDP 

“I remember that I was expecting some more explicit/hand-on and formal training in some neuroimaging analysis methodology as part of the Neuro Methods courses (beside what we had to learn, often in a self-thought fashion, in the second year as part of our thesis project). For example, I was expecting some training in using SPM, matlab/programming, given the neuroscience aspect of the course.” Mattia, DNP

What did you take away from your experience as a postgraduate of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families?

“Although hard to pinpoint, the observation modules were the highlight of the course for me. During these observation modules (Parent-Infant and Toddler) I got to develop a deeper understanding of myself, my emotions and sources of my actions. These modules were not only an outstanding experience of observing real life development, but also a chance to learn from the thought processes of the seminar leaders who are Psychoanalysts.” Diba, PDP 

“The Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice course approach understanding and working with young people with mental health difficulties from multiple perspectives. This was a great asset of the course, which was strengthened by a range of high quality lecturers and guest speakers.” Stephen, DPCP

“Critical literature review techniques, understanding of multiple perspectives and integrating clinical with research practice, deeper understanding of child psychopathology and developmental origins of psychiatric disease.” Serena, DNP

“The best experience of the master was the parent-infant observation. The seminar after each observation is where the theory comes to life, where the parent-infant observation becomes a psychoanalytic experience. The seminars helped me sharpen my observation skills, but mostly nurtured my psychoanalytic thinking. Basic concepts such as transference and counter-transference where deeply understood and became a tool for the observation.” Maria-Paz, PDP

“As a cosy group, we had a very supporting studying and working environment at the Centre and the emphasis on self-reflection at DPCP course is very helpful for me to carry on doing the clinical training now and in the future.” An, DPCP

Where to next?   

“My future objective is to complete the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) in the UK. I believe that the DPCP course has prepared me very well for embarking on my future career aspirations.” Kalia, DPCP

“I will go back to South-America and will pursue training as a child psychotherapist. As well, I would want to run a parent-toddler group.” Maria-Paz, PDP            

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