About this course

This 1-year course is a psychodynamic infant observation course, which is a foundation for anybody wishing to understand infant development and infant-parent interactions better.  Infant observation is a necessary skill and practice for anyone working regularly with parents and babies and anyone who is considering training in parent infant therapies.


Participants learn how to apply an “observational stance” which is akin to a psychodynamic stance.  The observation of an infant can stimulate primitive responses and raw emotional states that will be processed and thought about in the discussion seminar. This facilitates learning experientially about psychoanalytic theories of infantile states, id, drives, projections, containment and the model of transference/counter-transference that the clinical work of psychoanalysis is founded on. Professionals already working in the field with young children can learn close observation skills, which are extremely valuable in enhancing practice and advancing therapeutic interventions.

A baby aged 0-1 and their primary caregiver are observed for 1 hour monthly over 12 months, in the home.  The student must find a suitable family in the community, preferably prior to the course beginning.  A write up of the visits is then the basis for the monthly 90-minute group seminars, to discuss and hear one another's observations.  Further, a 3,000 word infant observation paper is required to be submitted at the end of the course to assess your learning and its application to parent-infant work.    

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is for professionals who are already working in infant and perinatal or CAMHS teams with babies aged 0-1 and their families, who wish to develop their observational skills and practice.  It is also relevant for those who want to go on to undertake training in parent infant therapies, particularly our Specialist Parent Infant Mental Health training.

Aims of the course
  • Experience of observing infant development in a non-clinical family to support the understanding of developmental stages, defenses and primary attachment relationships.  
  • To have a basis for discussion of concepts such as ‘good enough’ parenting, including the concepts of maternal ambivalence, primary maternal preoccupation (Winnicott) and the motherhood constellation (Stern).
  • To further an experiential learning of fundamental psychoanalytic concepts, in regard to the unconscious and inner world of babies and caregivers, such as identification, projection, containment and the transference/counter-transference phenomena.
  • To develop an in depth understanding of infantile states and of the importance of infant-primary caregiver interactions.
  • Development of self-reflective capacities in using the observational stance.
Course work
  • Some pre course reading will be assigned.  
  • Delegates are also expected to write-up their observation sessions to share in group discussion seminars.  
  • Submission of a 3,000 word infant observation paper.
Additional time information

The course will taught in a blended way - a mix of online live and face-to-face.

It will be held on Thursdays over 13 weeks, which are spread over a 1-year period and which exclude school holiday times.

The course includes one teaching seminar and 12 discussion seminars.  Each seminar is 90 minutes.

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.

28th April 2022 - 30th March 2023
  • Online – live and self-directed learning (Joining instructions will be sent to the email address you booked on with at least one working day before the event)
  • The course will taught in a blended way - a mix of online live and face-to-face - see additional time information below
  • 12 months
  • 9:00-10:30 (UK time)



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