ITSIEY Module 2: The Developing Infant, the Couple and the Family: Understanding Relationships within a Social and Cultural Context

About this course

The infant exists within, influences and is influenced by its family and broader social and cultural context. This module expands the systemic idea that the well-being of the infant and the mother-infant dyad cannot be considered in isolation from its social and cultural ecology.

Students will become familiar with current theory and research regarding the life cycle of the family and to the diversity of systems into which babies are born. Evidence regarding how to effectively support families in the transition to parenthood and beyond will be presented.


The course will explore how the practioners own experience links to their practice. Practical exercises will enable students to identify how to integrate a 'think family' approach into their daily practice.


  1. The Infant in Context: a Biopsychosocial Approach
  2. The Family Life Cycle: Change, Risk and Resilience
  3. Fathers, Siblings and Extended Family: How Infants Shape and are Shaped by their Family
  4. Infant Mental Health and the Multiplicity of Family Forms

Who is this training suitable for?

ITSIEY is suitable for allied mental health professionals working in the field of infant mental health e.g. nurses, therapists, psychologists, family therapist and psychiatrists. If you have any specific questions about the suitability of the module for your practice, please email

About International Training School for Infancy and Early Years (ITSIEY)

The Anna Freud Centre (UK), the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (UK) and Yale University Child Study Centre (USA) have formed a unique collaboration in establishing the International Training School in Infancy and Early Years (ITSIEY). ITSIEY opened its doors to students in January 2012 and take up from students across a range of disciplines has been good. The modules are running in the UK (London) and USA (New Haven) sites.

With five modular courses, ITSIEY offers tiered continuing professional development to all practitioners working with parents and young children

Module 1: Introduction to Infant and Early Years Mental Health (compulsory*)

Module 2:The Developing Infant, the Couple and the Family: Understanding Relationships within a Social and Cultural Context

Module 3: Understanding and Assessing Risk and Resilience

Module 4: Parent-Infant and Systemic Observation Skills: the Role of Observation in Clinical Practice

Module 5: Mentalizing in Practice; Working with Parents and Babies

Specialist Module A: Parental Mental Illness

Special Offer

Discounts are available for students who book on more than one ITSIEY module:

  • 2-3 modules - 5%
  • 4-5 modules - 10%
  • 6 modules - 15%