About this course

This course explores the foundations of infant mental health, through the parent-infant relationship during the perinatal period.  We consider and discuss how parental childhood and perinatal experiences, mental health and identity inform the parent or carer’s relationship with the child aged 0-2.  In particular, we focus on the impact of this on the infant’s mental health and development, applying a cultural, attachment-trauma-informed approach.  We emphasise ways in which we can keep the baby’s experience and communications at the centre of our minds, as well as considering the parent’s or carer’s experience and the family around the child. 


Through this lens of the parent-infant relationship and the interface between parent and infant mental health, we aim to develop knowledge, understanding and ways of working with perinatal families.  We will also consider how as services, clinicians and practitioners, we can adapt our practice so as not to exclude families.  

The course is holistic in approach and draws on the latest research and clinical practice in attachment theory, neuroscience, psychoanalysis and mentalisation.  Tutors will include clinical case studies and video clips of parents/carers and infants, to illustrate an applied approach of the theory and research findings to working with families during the perinatal period.

The course can be booked as four full days or individual days can be booked separately. Please refer to the timetable for more information about each of the days. If you are booking an individual day, please specify the Day number you wish to be booked onto during the booking process.

Who is this course suitable for?

This conference is suitable for any mental health clinician or early years practitioner who is working with families with children aged 0 – 2.  This includes professionals working in the following teams and services:

  • Perinatal
  • Infant mental health
  • Parent-infant
  • Birth
  • Parenting
  • Early years
Aims of course
  • To enhance knowledge and understanding of the interface between parental and infant mental health
  • To expand thinking about work with families in the perinatal period and applying theory and evidence to practice
  • To develop specific parent-infant skills like infant observation and managing safeguarding risks to infants
  • To promote an inclusive approach to practice for all families, with a specific focus on LGBTQ families and on cross-cultural practice
System requirements for online training

The online platform Zoom will be used to deliver this training. Prior to booking on, please ensure you meet the system requirements so you're able to join this training.

Before the training, please test your equipment is working by going to and follow the instructions.

The online platform Blackboard Learn will be used to deliver any self-guided learning and will provide access to handouts and materials.  Most laptops/ PCs/ MACs/ IPADs and android devices work with Blackboard.  Blackboard is best accessed through Google Chrome.

The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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