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.
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 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
PIP is a free service for residents of Camden. If the clinical team has capacity, we are sometimes able to accept families from outside the borough. In this case, fees are charged on a sliding scale.
We accept referrals from professionals and self-referrals. For further information please contact Amie Jackson, Clinical Support Officer:
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.
Please see our list of recommended links for further information and guidance for parents.
- Podcast on Sleep difficulties
- Baby Buddy app for parents and parents-to-be
- Preparing for Parenthood
- Brain Building Basics
- Discipline and Limit Setting
- How caregivers can boost young brains
- How to pick a preschool
- IHV Top tips for parents
- Mental health during and after pregnancy
- Perinatal mental health
- Hungry Little Minds
- Other Parent-Infant Projects in the UK
- Big Little Moments
- Wonder Words
- Baby Communication Week
- The 1001 Critical Days
Parent-Infant Psychotherapy News
In June 2019, the first comprehensive survey of specialised parent-infant relationship teams across the UK was published. The Rare Jewels report contains helpful information about the importance of babies’ emotional wellbeing and the need for specialised parent-infant teams, the areas that already have them, and twelve recommendations for local and national policy makers and commissioners.