I375 – Infant Mental Health Practice: Parent/Child Relationships

2 Credit Hours

This yearlong course focuses on developing relationships
with families and on how these relationships can support
growth and change in both child and parent. Emphasis is
placed on sensitive listening, understanding and holding
difficult emotional states, and providing emotional support,
concrete assistance and developmental guidance specific
to the individual child. Participants will learn about the
early identification of risk, screening for social/emotional/
behavior problems and how to assess the parent/child relationship,
including the parents’ and the child’s capacities
for relatedness. Major emphasis is placed on the practice of
parent/infant psychotherapy, including understanding and responding to the parents’ history, allowing relationship
conflicts to be expressed and explored, and supporting parents
in observing, nurturing and engaging with their child.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about different
approaches to parent/infant psychotherapy and to receive
training in interaction guidance, a method that uses a videotape
intervention approach. Students will develop in-depth
intervention skills as well as learn to recognize the limits of
their practice, based on their disciplinary training, and how
to collaborate with other care systems including adult mental
health services. Topics covered will include parental psychiatric
illness, chemical dependency, child maltreatment and
trauma, failure to thrive, domestic violence and infants and
toddlers in foster care.

Programs that require this course: