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

About this course

This is a largely skills-based module, which will be run in the style of a workshop. The module aims to enhance practitioner skills in observation of infants and toddlers in the work place, as well as within a family and social context. Students will be invited to undertake a brief toddler observation for discussion in a small group setting, to enhance their understanding of young children’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Students will explore how the insights gained through discussion of the observation material can be applied to practice in their work setting. Theory and practice based reading and video material is included in the workshop to offer a framework for thinking about the value of observation as a practice skill in early years’ work.


  1. Observation: Stance, Technique and Setting
  2. Infant Observation: Theory and Practice (including discussion of students’ own toddler observation material)
  3. Observation and its Application to Professional Practice
  4. Family Observation Workshop

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.

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: Mentalizing in 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%