ITSIEY Module 3: Assessing and Formulating Risk and Resilience in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

About this course

This module considers central issues in assessing and formulating risk and resilience factors in an infant’s relational and cultural context – with a particular focus on parental mental health, inter-parental violence, and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. The module addresses ‘risk’ in terms of the likely distortion or inhibition of the baby’s normal development, with the range of risk factors and their interaction at different points in the developmental trajectory being addressed. Risk will be taught in the context of resilience, the dynamic processes that influence an individual’s capacity to adapt and function successfully despite experiencing chronic stress and adversity.

Using their understanding of risk and resilience, students will develop skills in screening and assessing families’ presenting issues and pulling them together in a case formulation. They will also be taught about the existing evidence-based approaches for working effectively with perinatal and early years populations presenting with the risk factors discussed.

Self-reflection and management of the personal stress of working with complex populations, especially when tasked with risk assessment, is discussed in relation to the students’ working environments and caseloads.


Seminar 1: Observation of risk and resilience in the parent-infant relationship

Seminar 2: Trauma and the baby's experience

Seminar 3: Risk, factors and resilience

Seminar 4: Parental age and the parallel process of parent-infant development

Seminar 5: Parental mental health and family wellbeing in the early years

Seminar 6: Formulation and treatment planning skills in the context of risk and resilience

Seminar 7: Intimate partner violence and family functioning

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 National Centre for Children and Families (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.

Itsiey offers 4 modules in 2017:

Module 1: An introduction to perinatal and infant mental health (compulsory*)

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

Module 3: Assessing and Formulating Risk and Resilience in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

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

Module one is the core, required module for the ITSIEY programme and a requirement to participate in the subsequent modules 2 and 3.

In some cases if potential students feel confident that their existing experience and training would already prepare them to undertake modules 2 and 3 without Module 1 then we ask you to complete the APEL Form.

Special Offer

a 5% discount is available for students who book on more than one ITSIEY module.