About this course

This year-long course is a specialist course for professionals and clinicians working regularly with parents and infants during the perinatal period (conception to 24 months).  It is multi-disciplinary in nature, with a strong focus on psychodynamic principles, and draws on theory, clinical practice and latest research across a range of modalities and approaches and is intended to support professionals to work therapeutically with infants and their parents or carers.


In-depth, we explore infant development and mental health from the relational standpoint of the infant parent relationship, through the lenses of psychoanalysis, attachment theory, neuroscience and developmental psychology.  We will look at how that relationship can be adversely impacted due to parental mental health difficulties, relational trauma, birth trauma and domestic abuse, and think about how we can work with these families in an infant-centred and non-stigmatising way.  We will also highlight protective factors within the infant parent relationship and how these can be drawn upon within our work.  Further, the course will consider how we can work inclusively with families from different cultural backgrounds, families who have experienced racialised trauma, LGBT, single parent and adoptive families, and fathers.   

As well as understanding key theories underpinning this field, you will be provided with practical skills and approaches to working with infants up to 2 and their parents or carers.  This includes a focus on referral pathways, engaging families, clinical assessment and the use of routine outcome measures.  We also provide multi-modal clinical intervention skills, based on psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapy, observation, mentalization-based treatment, and video-feedback therapies.  This will enable course delegates to draw upon a range of approaches to working with families, depending on the context and the family’s needs. 

We strongly encourage all applicants to have completed an infant observation training course prior to, or during the training, but this is not an essential entry requirement.  If we have significant interest, we will hold an infant observation course for those who haven’t yet completed this component of training.  Details of this course can be found here.

Who is this course suitable for?

This training course is suitable for professionals and clinicians working with families with children aged 0 – 2, particularly those in perinatal or infant mental health teams or in CAMHS.  This includes professionals such as: 

  • Specialist health visitors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists 
  • Mental health nurses
  • Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Nursery nurses
  • Social workers

Applicants may be working at level 1 as mapped on the AIMH IMH Competency framework and aiming to reach level 2, or may be wanting to consolidate skills in level 2 aiming for level 3.

Course requirements
  • A professional qualification (i.e. clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, social worker, health visitor)
  • At least 1-year post-qualification experience working with parents and children under two
  • Current employment where parent-infant work is accessible and supported
Aims of the course
  • To enhance knowledge and understanding of infant mental health and development 
  • To develop the skills to include the baby as the subject of the therapeutic intervention and to apply an infant-parent relational approach to working practice with perinatal families 
  • To develop multi-modal parent-infant intervention skills  
  • To promote an inclusive approach to practice for all families 
Course work


  • Weekly reading of circa 2-4 hours per week


  • 3x 1-hour course review meetings (once per term)

 Clinical caseload:

  • At least one parent-infant dyad
  • At least one case that involves a partner and triadic work (directly or indirectly)
  • At least one case where parental mental illness is present


  • 1x clinical case presentation due mid-term 3
Additional time information

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

N.B: If there are people who live far from London, we can see whether it might be an option to deliver training predominantly online with a termly F2F meeting. 

It will be held weekly on Thursdays over 24 weeks, excluding school holiday periods.

Each Thursday you will attend:

  • 1.5 hour clinical case discussion group (maximum 6 people)
  • 2 hour lecture (maximum 50 people)
  • 1 hour working discussion group (maximum 6 people) 
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, online recorded and face-to-face - see additional time information below
  • 12 months
  • 9:00-17:00 (UK time)



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