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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn ways of counselling children with internalising or externalising problems. 

This is a must-do course for all those interested in counselling children.

  • Learn about approaches to counselling children.
  • Study and understand different childhood disorders and how they might have evolved.
  • Complete a Problem Based Learning Project where you will put into practice what you have learned in the course.

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Add Child Counselling to your Counselling Skills.

Set yourself apart from other counsellors by focussing on children. Discover the key differences and things to look out for when interviewing children, and apply your understanding to different types of childhood problems.

Choose this course to:

  • Learn approaches to counselling and how to interact positively with children during counselling.
  • Understand the types of problems that children experience and how they may have evolved.
  • Learn about the internalisation and externalisation of problems.
  • The course includes a Problem Based Learning Project which enables the student to apply their learning.

Counselling Children

In order to counsel children effectively a therapist needs to understand the types of problems that can affect children and how they might have evolved. Like disorders of adulthood, childhood disorders can, and usually do, have more than one cause. Also, like adults, these causes may be of genetic or environmental origin. With children though, we must also consider developmental causes since childhood is a time when children are continually developing: intellectually, socially, emotionally and, of course, physically.


Course Duration: 100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Lessons: The course comprises 9 lessons as detailed, below.

  1. Introduction to Types & Causes of Childhood Problems

  2. Assessment of Childhood Problems (including ethical/legal considerations)

  3. Counselling for Internalising Problems & Disorders I: Anxiety

  4. Counselling for Internalising Problems & Disorders II: Depression

  5. Counselling for Externalising Problems & Disorders III: Eating Disorders

  6. Counselling for Externalising Problems & Disorders IV: Conduct Disorders

  7. Counselling for Other Problems & Disorders 

  8. Other Counselling Approaches 

  9. Problem based learning


Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common disorders in children. Anxiety is typified by unreasonable fear and is accompanied by physiological responses such has rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and butterflies in the stomach.

It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children in the UK have an anxiety disorder, this is around 5 – 19% of all children and 2-5% of children under 12.

Kids Matter in Australia state that around one in seven school age children have a mental health problem including anxiety and depression, but only one in four get the help they need.

Most types of anxiety disorder can be experienced by both children and adults but there are two which have onset in childhood only. These are called separation anxiety disorder and reactive attachment disorder. A further disorder called sibling rivalry disorder is described in the ICD. In the DSM, sibling relationship problems are recorded under 'Other conditions which may be the focus of clinical attention'.

It should be noted though that anxiety is also quite normal in children. Normal anxiety typically evolves as the child develops. In early infancy, children are fearful of strangers and have a strong attachment to their mothers and caregivers. In early childhood, children are often fearful of animals, the dark, and monsters. In adolescence, children are often fearful about social situations and their self-adequacy. Anxiety disorders in childhood follow the same developmental courses as normal anxiety but symptoms are more exaggerated and they last longer. Age at onset can be variable, but onset for separation anxiety is ordinarily in early childhood and onset for social anxiety disorder is in adolescence.

Children may experience anxiety or be worried at times, that is perfectly normal, but if it starts to affect their well-being, they may need support to overcome and deal with their anxiety. Children can feel anxious about many different things and this can be part of normal development.

From six months to three years approximately, children can experience separation anxiety. This is when the child worries when they are not with their parent or usual caregiver. They will be clingy and cry when they are separated from their parents or primary care giver. This is normal and the child will tend to grow out of this naturally around the age of three. However, in older children it can be a sign that they are feeling insecure about something.

Pre-school children may also experience phobias or have specific fears, such as there is someone under the bed, monsters in the cupboard, insects, dogs, cats, thunder, the dark and so on. These fears usually go away on their own.

Children may also experience other anxieties as they go through childhood, starting new schools, exams, tests, new social situations and so on. However, in some cases, children (and adults) do not always recognise what causes their anxiety. They may not recognise the triggers to their anxiety, which can make it worse.

Anxiety can become a problem when it starts to affect the child’s daily life, when it becomes more regular and long term. It is perfectly normal for a child to feel nervous going to school on the day of an exam, but not to feel so anxious every day that they can’t go to school.


At ACS we provide you with more than just a set of course notes.

Your 'learning package' includes:

  • Course notes.
  • Self-assessment quizzes.
  • Assignment feedback.
  • You can interact one on one with a professional tutor with decades of experience - just email, phone or log on to chat to connect with them.


  • Study when you want to - our courses are self-paced so you choose when to study, with unlimited access to tutorial support.
  • Study where you want to - online or eLearning study method choices mean you choose where you study.

Benefits of Studying This Course

This course is designed to be of value to therapists so as to build on existing knowledge of childhood problems and learn ways of approaching treatment for them. Students are encouraged to think about treating children in age appropriate ways. Study this course to broaden your knowledge of counselling approaches for children.

The course is primarily aimed at people in the following fields:

  • Youth work
  • Child and adolescent counselling
  • School counselling
  • Child psychology
  • Caring roles
  • Health care roles


Please get in touch with our specialist tutors - 

Phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 (International +44 (0) 1384 442752) or connect with our tutors - submit your questions to our specialist Psychology And Counselling tutors.

Our tutors and course advisers will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you make the right course choice.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.

Check out our eBooks

Cucumbers Pumpkins Marrows and other CucurbitsThe Cucumbers Pumpkins Marrows and other Cucurbits ebook will provide you with a guide in everything that you will need to know about these very useful plants. Learn more about the different and sometimes unusual varieties that are available of these plants. This is the complete guide to this plant family as each section will provide you with the ideal growing conditions, culture, planting, pest and disease problems, harvest, varieties and some great ways to eat the fruit.
Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How Children ThinkAnyone who has ever tried to make a child do anything (clean up their mess, desist from throwing mud, stop drawing on the walls) knows that children think differently to adults. This book attempts to provide the skills and knowledge to develop a greater understanding of children.