Student Interview: Sukwinder Jandu
Schools Outreach Counselling Manager, Sukwinder Jandu, completed our CPD64 course in 2022, and has since supported colleagues to undertake the training too – creating a team culture characterised by learning, curiosity and connection.
Sukwinder Jandu has worked with Greenwich Children’s Services for over twenty-five years, and currently works as Schools Outreach Counselling Manager, overseeing a team of qualified counsellors and trainees, who operate across fifteen primary and secondary schools in the borough.
Sukwinder has seen the need for counselling grow since the service was established in 2012, and recognised the value of further training for herself and her team. She enrolled on our Developing a diverse child and adolescent workforce (CPD64) course in 2022, and has since supported a number of her colleagues to undertake the training too. “We’re always learning, aren’t we?” reflects Sukwinder, “and I don’t think anyone can say, I know enough”.
Sukwinder was able to access funding for the course via the Tavistock and Portman’s Training Skills Escalator – a programme funded by NHS England, which aims to increase access to academic learning in the field of child psychotherapy. Professionals who do not have an undergraduate degree, and who work with children, young people and families in London, are eligible to apply for a free place on CPD64 – immediately impacting their work, while also deepening their understanding of child and adolescent development from a psychoanalytic perspective.
Specifically, the course explores children’s emotional development from birth to adolescence, and Sukwinder could quickly “join the dots” between the course material and the work done by the Outreach Counselling service: “What it really highlights is attachment, and the importance of recognising, or being open to, the time it sometimes takes for children to share”, she explains. “It’s also about acknowledging the feelings children are holding back, and how they are then acted out in other ways, and how we might create a safe space for children to talk about these feelings”.
During the ten-week training, participants are also supported in undertaking a young child observation – a method first developed in the Tavistock Clinic in 1948 and still considered an essential element of pre-clinical training in psychotherapy today. For Sukwinder, this was a particularly insightful experience: “Not to engage with the child, but just to observe them, in a person-centred way, and really see how their behaviour or relationships are being played out – that was interesting.”
As a manager, Sukwinder has found the training helpful in ensuring that her whole team has a strong baseline of knowledge and understanding when it comes to working with children and young people, including those counsellors who originally trained to work with adults. Sukwinder is clear about the connections that exist between childhood experiences and wellbeing in adulthood – outlining her team’s capacity to “start at the beginning and help children to build coping strategies”, while also adapting their communication strategies to support all children.
The training has also helped to set the tone for the team’s approach to continuous professional development: “It gives you the very basic foundation of just being open, being curious – thinking: how does this relate to my work, what can I do, what am I learning here, what is the child communicating here?”, Sukwinder explains.
When asked whether Sukwinder would recommend the training to other support workers in London, her response is emphatic: “Absolutely – you will get back what you put in. There’s so much information to take away, and every little bit of information connects to the bigger picture.”
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If you’re feeling inspired by Sukwinder’s story and would like to explore our Developing a diverse child and adolescent workforce (CPD64) training, we are here to help.