Who We Help
The Parent Infant Project (PIP) offers a range of psychotherapeutic interventions for parents and their babies. The service helps families when not all is well in terms of how mother, father or the couple feel during pregnancy or after the baby is born.The therapy puts the relationship between parent and baby at its centre, acknowledging the need to understand and to make sense of the impact that the baby has on the parent and vice-versa. This approach is suitable for mothers and fathers who are:
- Finding being a parent hard to cope with
- Experiencing difficult feelings that have stirred up as a result of becoming a parent
- Worried about their relationship with their baby
- Concerned about their baby’s development
- An adoptive parent who would like support in developing their relationship with their new baby
Certain conditions are also known to place particular strains on the parent infant relationship – such as postnatal depression and other mental health issues, socio-economic stress, or domestic violence. The clinicians in the PIP service are sensitive to parents’ possible fears of being labelled, and of familial or cultural taboos.
The service allows individuals to get support and advice from experienced child and adult psychotherapists and analysts, with specialist knowledge and skills in early intervention and also offers support to practitioners who are seeking expert advice when working with babies and their parents.
In addition to the core service delivered at the Anna Freud Centre there are a number of unique projects which target the particular needs of certain groups. You can find out more on our Parent Infant Projects page.
How We Help
The parent-infant therapist will focus on building relationships and trust with both parent and baby with the aim of:
- Supporting the parent to understand their baby’s needs and responding sensitively to them
- Keeping the baby actively engaged emotionally with his/her parent
This approach is broadly a talking and engaging therapy in the sense that the therapist and parents and baby will get to know and trust each other, watching the baby and making sense of his/her communications, sharing their thoughts, trying out different ways of responding. The parent has an opportunity to discuss with the therapist what is going well or not going well in everyday life and perhaps also issues that come up from the past at a pace that the parent feels is comfortable and safe.
The therapy is open ended up to one year and endings are planned for when parents and therapist consider there is sufficient improvement.
How We Learn and Develop
To ensure that we continue to provide the highest quality of care and improve our service the AFC regularly collects information from parents who attend the service. This allows us to track the progress that parents and their child makes over the course of their treatment in order to evaluate what we do.
Children, young people and families are at the heart of everything we do. We believe it is essential to involve service users in the design of our services. We have a number of participation projects we involve parents in. Please click here for more information.
How We Train Others
The PIP team also run a number of training courses for professionals which includes six modular courses from the International Training School for Infancy and Early Years (ITSIEY), Using groups to strengthen Parent-Infant Relationships, PIRAT training and Principles and Practice of Psychoanalytic Parent-Infant Psychotherapy.
For a full list of the training courses offered at the Anna Freud Centre please click here.
How To Find Out More
We accept referrals from professionals and self-referrals. For further information please contact Katrina Lucero, Clinical Administrator:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7443 2229
The AFC is a charity and therefore relies on financial contributions from either the family or the local authority that they are a part of. Please note that some of the individual projects may have specific funding.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is strongly committed to ensuring and promoting the safety and wellbeing of all children, young people and vulnerable adults.