ITSIEY Specialist Module A: Parental Mental Illness


6 days (There will be a break between days 2 and 3 and day 4 and 5)


About this course

This module will explore in-depth the complex subject of parental mental illness. Seminars and practice based workshops which aim to embed understanding and help you apply these skills to your work setting. We will look at the adverse impact parental mental illness can have on a baby’s development, and ways for different professional roles to work together to provide a metaphorical safety net to help the most at risk parents and babies/toddlers. This specialist module promotes a systemic approach to understanding the complex interactions between mentally ill parents, their families, their babies, and the practitioners involved in their care. It will facilitate a way of understanding several different professional discourses: the diagnostic language of adult mental health, the legal language and framework of child protection procedures, and an attachment based understanding of the emergence of emotional psychopathology in a baby if appropriate help is not available.


1.Introduction: the spectrum of mental wellness to mental illness
2.Mood disorders and substance misuse
3.Child protection and personality disorders
4.Psychotic symptoms and the different mental illnesses that have psychotic symptoms
5.Forensic expertise and the involvement of the legal system
6.Integrating understanding about child protection and risk and the emotional impact on practitioners

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 six 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: Mentalization in Practice

Module 6: Planning for Evidence Based Practice in Early Years Services

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%