Child psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology that deals with the study of the child and his or her cognitive, motor, physical, emotional and social development , from both normality and abnormality.

Childhood is a period of change, so this speciality deals with different themes: education and learning, social development, the typical psychopathology of this period, etc.

The role of the child psychologist

Thus, applied child psychology comes in different forms, and the child psychologist can provide, for example, assistance to children with special needs, helping them with learning problems or physical or cognitive disabilities. Child psychologists also give children tools so that they can solve emotional problems thanks to therapy sessions, and can even develop training plans designed to reinforce children’s learning, allowing them to learn more effectively or creatively.

As you can see, child psychology addresses a wide range of issues, and professionals working in this branch of behavioral science work on a variety of topics. During their university training, child psychologists must take different subjects that aim to cover their theoretical and practical needs: child psychopathology, developmental psychology, learning disorders or educational psychology are some of the subjects taught in the Degree in Psychology.

Training in child psychology

Often, the subjects of study in this field of application are not treated in the same way as psychology applied to adults, which obliges future professionals in psychology, those who want to dedicate themselves to this area of behavioral science, to receive specialized training in this field .

If you are a psychologist and are interested in training in this specialty, below you can find a list of the best courses in child psychology:

1. Connect with your baby (Centro Vitaliza)

A course that teaches the most practical aspects of bonding with the baby from the first months of development. In addition, it also teaches how to create environments that have the right stimuli for the psychological skills of young children to evolve properly.

It takes place at the Centro Vitaliza, in Pamplona, and is an option that will be of particular interest to new parents, as well as to professionals in the social and health field who wish to study this area of child psychology in depth.

2. How to intervene in Childhood Dissociation (Vitaliza)

Childhood is the stage of life that is most important in the development of the personality and in establishing the “default” mode in which we adopt a style to adapt to our environment. Childhood dissociation occurs when patterns of adaptation to circumstances are created that perpetuate discomfort.

This course is an excellent way of training in a psychological phenomenon studied mainly in adults, but whose manifestations in the first years of life have their own characteristics that must be understood, and more so taking into account the vulnerability of minors.

This is a training program especially aimed at psychologists, social workers, educators and health professionals in general and that, from the hand of the expert Joyanna L. Silberg , allows to learn both the fundamentals of child dissociation and the ways in which one can intervene in these cases.

It takes place from 26th to 28th October 2018, in Pamplona, and has the option of doing the course remotely via Internet thanks to a streaming service.

  • To receive more information about the course, you can find the contact details of the Vitaliza centre by clicking this link.

3. Certificate in Attention Disorders (ADHD): Identification, Evaluation and Treatment (University of Valencia)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral syndrome that affects between 5% and 10% of the child population. Aware of this reality, the University of Valencia offers a training certificate on this subject for graduates in Psychology, Psychopedagogy and Education.

This course reviews the basics of ADHD both in theoretical knowledge and in its possible practical applications . Participants learn how to use instruments specifically designed for the assessment of ADHD and go deeper into the most effective intervention techniques. The training program lasts one month and has 4.16 ECTS credits.

4. University Expert in Child Neuropsychology (University of Málaga)

The University of Málaga offers one of the few courses in clinical neuropsychology for children in Spain. This training action was born with the desire to fill the important gap that exists in the curriculum of the Degree in Psychology with respect to this area.

Thanks to a great group of Spanish university and clinical experts, students review the advances in the areas of assessment and intervention and deepen their theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to carry out a good professional work. Some of the topics covered in this training are: severe disabilities caused by brain damage, learning disabilities, attention disorders, language and reading-writing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.

The training program lasts one academic year, has 15 ECTS credits and throughout the academic period offers students a thorough review of the field of clinical neuropsychology.

5. Advanced course on school bullying (European Institute Campus Stellae. IESC)

Bullying is a type of abuse that has been talked about a lot in recent years, and refers to the harassment or intimidation of a victim by an abuser (or abusers), within the school environment. This situation brings with it serious psychological consequences for the latter, which is why the figure of the child psychologist is extremely useful and important in the prevention, evaluation and intervention of this phenomenon.

Training for psychologists to specialize and acquire the necessary skills to combat this problem is scarce, especially if we refer to the practical field. With the “Cursor superior de acosos escolar” of the IESC, students have the possibility of doing extra-curricular practices in prestigious organizations. Not only that, but they can choose from several destination countries to make the most of this educational experience.

The European Institute Campus Stellae has signed training agreements with companies and institutions around the world, such as UN Women Italian Committee, Federal Executive Commission of the PSOE and the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FUNDESO).

6. Course of Expert in Evaluation and Intervention in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology (Universitat Jaume I)

Statistics show that a the prevalence of psychological problems during childhood and adolescence is between 10 and 20% . A situation that has consequences at a personal, family and social level, and hinders the development of the child. This has led to an increase in the demand for psychological therapy related to child and adolescent mental health problems.

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are critical to improving the prognosis and quality of life for children and young people, both now and in the future. Therefore, the University Jaume I of Castellón offers a training program that allows clinical psychologists to improve their clinical and personal skills needed to address the psychological reality of children and youth. The duration of this course is 6 months and it has 19 ECTS credits.

  • Related article: “Child Psychology: A Practical Guide for Parents”