About this course
We are currently refining the structure of this training in an online format and so the times and dates may change slightly. Participants will be notified of any changes with sufficient notice.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) offers a 2 year specialist training in psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapy (PPIP).
Developed in response to a need for early intervention into parents’ difficulties and babies’ needs during the first year of life, PPIP integrates psychoanalytic thinking with attachment theory, and developmental neuroscience. This therapeutic modality aims to explore parents’ unconscious ideas and anxieties around their baby and being a parent, promote the parent-infant relationship, and ‘give voice’ to the baby during therapy.
This training may be of interest to psychologists and therapists who want to work as perinatal specialists, part of a multidisciplinary team in the NHS, or Local Authorities, or privately with parents and their baby. It may also interest those working with child or adult patients and who wish to further their experience of early development of object relations and the representational world.
Graduates of the training will be eligible for membership of the BCP through the newly established professional association for psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapists – the PPIP Society.
The model is introduced in the book by Baradon, T., with Biseo, M., Broughton, C., James, J., Joyce, A., (2016). The practice of psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapy: Claiming the baby, 2nd edition, London, Routledge and numerous PIP publications, and has been evaluated in a variety of contexts.
- Who is the training suitable for
Psychotherapists, clinical and counselling psychologists are eligible to apply.
Pre-requisites for the training
- Professional registration
Applicants must also have current professional clinical registration with a recognised professional body such as HCPC, UKCP, BCP, ACP,
- Personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Applicants must have had a minimum of two years of personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy with an analyst/psychoanalytic psychotherapist registered with BPC psychoanalytic section or be willing to commence 2-3 x weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy before and for the duration of the training with an analyst as above.
- Work experience
Applicants must have at least four years of experience of working therapeutically. Experience of working with children and infants is desirable
- Applicants must have completed an Infant observation or undertake one in preparation for training
- What does the training include
- Training cases – to be seen either at the trainee’s place of employment or at the AFNCCF
- Weekly supervision group
- Monthly participation in PIP clinical meetings
- Contextual discussion group
- Quarterly review meetings at the Centre
- Written work
- Personal therapy
In addition, those without a psychoanalytic background will be required to attend the Introduction to psychoanalytic ideas and their application to work with adults, children and infants or the Introductory lectures delivered by the Institute of Psychoanalysis.
All seminars take place at the AFNCC on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Zoom linking for trainee from outside London can be considered.
School holiday dates are adopted.
- Application - £50
- Interview - £100
- Clinical interview - £75 per session
- Fees - £7,500
- Marking papers - £75
Please note we are not accepting applications at this time.
- Please check your eligibility to apply (Prerequisites for training, above)
- Submit an application form, and attach CV, copy of your professional registration and qualifications (training certificates)
- The application fee should be paid via Make a Payment when application form is submitted
- Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview with the Course Organiser and Chair of the Training Committee
- Applicants may be required to have a clinical interview (up to 3 consultations) with the training consultant
- A final offer of a place on the training will be offered at the discretion of the interviewers
- Applications are currently closed
If you have any queries, please email to PPIPsupport@annafreud.org
There is currently no confirmed intake date. There will be an informal free Q & A information event online in September to answer questions about the course.
- Training programme details
An introduction to perinatal and infant mental health (ITSIEY, 4 training days)
Principles and Practice of parent infant psychotherapy (PIP, 3.5 training days)
Emotional Abuse in infancy (ITSIEY, 4 training days)
Parent-Infant Relational Assessment Tool training (PIP, 0.5 day)
Introduction to psychoanalytic ideas and their application to work with adults, children and infants – (participation in this is only required of trainees who do not have a psychoanalytic background) (AFNCCF)
These trainings will take place at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
Students will be required to see 4 training cases under supervision:
- One case of at least four months duration
- Two cases of at least 5.5 months duration
- One case of at least nine months duration
The above cases need to include at least: One case involving a father, one family with parental mental health problems, at least 1 case which is filmed, 2 cases who end therapy in a planned manner.
Two routes are offered to see cases:
The first is an honorary placement as an associate in-training at the AFNCCF who will see cases referred to the Centre.
The second is to see cases at your place of employment, with the support of your employer, while attending the required courses and supervision at the AFNCCF.
The expectation is that successful applicants will start clinical work in February 2019.
Weekly supervision group
Trainees receive 2 hours weekly group supervision in person at the AFNCCF or via zoom. The group has two supervisors from different orientations within PPIP (changing 9 months into the training) and is exposed to the work of senior clinicians through team meetings.
Those that do not complete their cases within 18 months will have the opportunity to pay to continue their supervision.
Monthly participation in PIP clinical meetings
The clinical meetings are the forum for team to present cases for in depth discussion. These discussions aim to keep the model an iterative process of elaboration of technique and theory
Set reading is the basis but the list is extended to incorporate material that is pertinent to the associates at a particular time.
Contextual discussion group
This is a group discussion forum to assist in the transition to the role of parent-infant psychotherapist. The group aims to foster a space where personal, institutional and organisational challenges can be addressed.
Quarterly review meetings at the Centre
These 1-hour meetings with the Course Organiser will need to be attended in person. You will be notified of the date approximately 2 months before each meeting.
This will be an additional time commitment of 5 hours.
- Session notes
Trainees are required to keep updated session notes on each of their cases for supervision purposes.
- Reflective Learning Log (RLL)
Trainees are expected to maintain an ongoing log of their experience in relation to conceptual learning, clinical work and self-development. At the end of the training a summary of the RLL is submitted with the final paper.
- Final paper
The final paper will comprise of a case study and the theoretical framework that helped the trainee conceptualise and work therapeutically with the family and baby.
Trainees are required to be in therapy with a therapist registered with the BPC analytic section for the duration of their training. Intensity will depend on previous and current experience of therapy. This will be agreed with the applicant during the interview process.
- 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 Zoom.us/test and follow the instructions.
- 2 years - Applications are required for this training. Details below.
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I had been interested in parent-infant psychotherapy after seeing several patients in analysis through their journey into pregnancy and early parenthood. I noticed that along their fear, anxiety and psychic disturbance during this period, they also seemed to have a new motivation and a psychic mobility or openness that made for a new opportunity to work through long-standing difficulties. The PPIP training allowed me to explore this further and learn how to work with the whole family – with the rich interplay of conscious and unconscious, verbal and non-verbal interactions, and transference dynamics between mother, father, baby and therapist, as well as with the parents’ unconscious pull to repeat and the emerging new experiences with baby. There are many exceptional and unique aspects of this training. Two that stood out for me were the clinical use of videoing sessions and the on-going link between psychoanalytic parent-infant psychotherapy and contemporary research. The use of videoed sessions was a helpful tool to highlight important material to the parents. I also found it enlightening for my understanding of the family dynamics and my countertransference. The opportunity to go back and look at a session, allowed for a particular type of ‘third position’ in which I could closely observe each other’s gaze, body posture and movements, and tone of voice at each moment. I had the opportunity to hear Tessa Baradon’s research of a microanalysis of the different levels of communication in parent-infant psychotherapy which explores this in detail. I think that learning about this type of research and many others carried out at the centre and elsewhere formed an important part of the training. There is a creative and valuable integration of psychoanalytic theory with neuroscientific and developmental research in the training that was essential in our thinking and working with each family.Dr. Alejandra Perez, psychoanalyst
In my role as CAMHS Lead Art Therapist, I experienced a gap in both my training and my experience of working with infants and young children. Knowing that better understanding the importance of the developing relationships between mother and their babies informs our clinical work and with a strong sense that early interventions can help to prevent the development of mental health issues during latency and adolescence, I embarked on the psychoanalytic parent-infant psychotherapy training at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF ) to add to my core training as an art therapist. The training has enabled me to work confidently with referred parents and infants who struggle in their relationship and has equipped me with the essential skills of including the baby in the therapy. As the baby’s non-verbal and verbal communications are central to the work, the training has also brought about significant and important changes within my clinical work as an art therapist by understanding early attachment/ symbolic functioning. I therefore highly recommend this training for art therapists who are interested in exploring the importance of early childhood and its impact on psychological and emotional development, and for those would like to work within Perinatal and Early Years services.Jen Bromham, Art therapist
I found the level of teaching on the Parent Infant Psychotherapy course to be of the highest standard. I was inspired by the level of thinking and understanding of the newborn’s exquisite sensitivity and internal states and how s/he communicated this to the world, in particular the parent/s. Equally fascinating was the parent/s ability to respond and how this early relationship pattern had a profound and lasting impact. Hence, early intervention is so necessary. Not surprisingly, the course had unexpected gains regarding putting me in touch my own early experiences which has enhanced my work with infants and parents, and in my work as a couple psychotherapist.Sara Leon, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Couples Therapist
The design and implementation of the integrated parent-infant psychotherapy treatment within our Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) would not have been possible without the expertise, flexibility and integrated knowledges of the AFC PIP department. We now have all our psychologists trained in this modality and they have been able to build competencies in both micro-analytic and psychoanalytic conceptualisations of dyadic parent infant relating. This has meant that our psychologists have developed the skills and reflective capabilities to move between different points of entry into the parent-infant dyad. The rigour and breadth of the training has enabled them to make highly skilled formulations in very complex and often traumatised attachment contexts, and in the context of typical and atypical Axis 1 and 2 presentations. As a result of the AFC's commitment to flexible training e.g. the mixture of face to face and electronic dial-in meetings, the offers to provide infant observation at different times/days, the options around accreditation and the ability to use perinatal cases for training, we have been able to embed PIP training into a busy service with significant patient flow. Our PIP service continues to get good outcomes, and is very highly regarded by the users of our services, the wider MDT, and our NHS partners: our PIP offer has been and continues to be supported at all levels within our commissioning structures. (Alongside this, we have also trained all our staff in infant mental health using a range of the ITSIEY modules, thus raising the overall organisational commitment to keeping the baby in mind.)Dr Kate Alexander, Interim Joint Clinical Lead CHYPS, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health