Ming-I Sun - Infant Mental Health Specialist and MSc PDP graduate

What do you do now? Can you tell us briefly about your work?
I am an infant mental health specialist. I provide counselling/ consultation services to parents and their young children. I also supervise six early intervention teams in greater Taipei city. I also receive invitations to give talks on attachment related topics for parents or professionals in the early intervention field.

Can you remember what you wanted to do when you started your MSc? What did you have in mind?
I was interested in learning infants’ psychological development and wondering how I can help with the attachment between parents and infants.

Did anything change during the course of the year/training?
I had a very difficult mother-infant pair to observe because I ended up observing them at NICU, which I think, now looking back, I could have used more support from the training.

What do you think was the greatest thing you took from your course at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families into your subsequent training/work?
Definitely the observation and the seminar, I got a chance to wonder about how theories could be observed in reality and a chance to feel how I feel when observing, which is definitely the most important foundation before serving people.

What did you first feel when the course/training finished? What were your plans?
Exhausted because it was quite a demanding course. I planned to find jobs related to parent-infant work.

What were the 2 or 3 most important bits of advice you could give to someone wanting to go down a similar route?
I think if you are interested in helping children, this is definitely a course that you do not want to miss. Infant Mental Health is the best prevention for future family issues. Coming to take this course help me to grow as a professional who knows how to “hold” the parents to enhance their reflective functioning so that they can bond with their children better.
And what was your journey post MSc in terms of getting experience?
I went back to Michigan to serve as an infant mental health clinician for a couple of years and then got my clinical license, I also learned floortime therapy. So the field of infant mental health has become the passion of my career. I moved back to Taiwan about 6 years ago, then I help organized the Taipei Psychotherapy Center and developed an infant mental health group, where we advocate services to serve parents and infants.

Why did you choose this path?
I was interested in early childhood and attachment. After taking this training, I had realized that serving young infants and parents could provide the best prevention for later mental health issues. I saw the value of prevention.

Once you got to where you are now, what would you say had changed in you?
I feel more passionate about promoting Infant Mental Health services because it is still very new to Taiwan society and there is much more that needs to be done.

Why would you recommend this career?
It is an intriguing journey, you not only learn about knowledge, you learn about yourself.