Understanding Childhood: Social and Clinical Perspectives

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Understanding Childhood: Social and Clinical Perspectives

Friday 3 May 2019

Doors 6.30pm Event: 7-9pm


V&A Museum of Childhood,

Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA



Standard rate from 13 April: £23


Talk and panel event with the former children’s commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green and Psychotherapist Graham Music on the themes of their recent publications. Joining the speakers for the panel will be ACP Member and Child Psychotherapist, Rachel Melville-Thomas and Anne Alvarez.


Adverse early experiences such as stress, trauma and abuse impact both the brain and body and nervous system. Systemic and social issues, such as poverty and inequality compound the effects on mental and physical health further, leaving children to suffer often long-term consequences on their development and mental and physical health.


The panel will discuss how good quality attuned relationships in childhood and adulthood make all the difference to future mental and physical health outcomes and how local groups are rising to the challenge and building communities for children.


The event will also debate the importance of childhood for the child, the family and wider society, and will focus on ACE Studies and uncovering some of the bunkers and silos that are everywhere to the disadvantage of children, the implications this has on all those who work with, or care for children, and what policy makers needs to consider for building a healthier society.


About the Publications

Al Aynsley-Green - The British Betrayal of Childhood

With provocative insight and based on an illustrious 40-year career in public office, Sir Al Aynsley-Green demands to know why outcomes for the UK’s children for health, education, social care, youth justice and poverty remain among the worst in the developed world. He draws global comparisons and offers astute observations of the realities of being a young person in Britain today, to show how government policies have been shamefully failing children on a grand scale.

Prioritising the need to support and inspire all children, including those with disability or disadvantage, and to design services around their needs, Sir Al puts forward a brave and timely alternative for the UK. By building local communities, shifting national attitudes, and confronting barriers between sectors, he presents a fresh and realistic road map that can enable new generations of children to be as healthy, educated, creative and resilient as they can be, equipped with the confidence and skills they need to lead happy and successful lives.

Graham Music - Nurturing Children 

Drawing on decades of experience, internationally respected clinician and trainer Graham Music tackles major issues affecting troubled children, including trauma, neglect, depression and violence. Using psychoanalysis alongside modern developmental thinking from neurobiology, attachment and trauma theory and mindfulness, Music creates his own distinctive blend of approaches to help even the most traumatised of children.

A mix of personal accounts and therapeutic riches, Nurturing Children will appeal to anyone helping children, young people and families to lead fuller lives.


About the Speakers

Sir Al Aynsley-Green trained in medicine at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, as a children’s physician in Oxford and as a paediatric endocrinologist in the Children’s Hospital, University of Zurich, Switzerland. He was University Lecturer in Paediatrics and Fellow of Green College, University of Oxford, Spence Professor of Child Health and Head of the School of Clinical Medical Sciences in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Nuffield Professor and Director of Clinical Research at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Institute of Child Health, London.


Sir Aynsley-Green was the first National Clinical Director for Children in the Department of Health in Government, and then first statutory Children’s Commissioner for England, 2005-10 and was President, the British Medical Association for 2015-16.


He is now Visiting Professor of Advocacy for Children and Childhood, Nottingham Trent University and Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London. He is the founder of Aynsley-Green Consulting, engaging with governments and organisations worldwide on childhood and children’s services.


Sir Aynsley-Green was knighted for his services to children and young people in 2006 and has received many national and international markers of esteem and is the author of the acclaimed book ‘the British Betrayal of Childhood’ published by Routledge in 2019.

Graham Music has undertaken extensive trainings as both an adult and a child and adolescent psychotherapist. He works with adults and parents in private practice and with children and adolescents primarily in the NHS.

He has worked at the Tavistock Clinic in London for over a decade, an internationally renowned NHS Foundation Trust which provides clinical services and trains therapists and other professionals.  He teaches on the child psychotherapy and other psychological therapy courses at the Tavistock and supervises therapists there.

He also leads on training in child development, neuroscience and attachment theory, and has a particular interest in linking cutting-edge developmental findings with therapeutic practice. His clinical work in the NHS is primarily with issues of trauma and the effect of maltreatment on children as well as on the families and other adults in the lives of such children.

He has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years, and in a variety of voluntary and statutory sector settings. These include Open Door, a psychotherapy service for young people in North London, GP Practices including Stamford Hill Group Practice, and for NHS Child mental health services in Enfield and also in Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

A passion has been developing new services for children and young people, for example in over 35 schools in Camden and East London and setting up Hear and Now, a counselling service for young people in Redbridge working in community locations as part of the local NHS Mental Health Trust. Until recently he was an Associate Clinical Director at the Tavistock, responsible for a range of clinical services.

May 3rd, 2019 6:30 PM through  9:00 PM
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
London, E2 9PA
United Kingdom
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Event Fee(s)
Standard Rate £ 23.00