Trauma-focused training series brings national infant and early childhood mental health experts to Chicago

Photo: Julie Ribaudo (LMSW) presenting “What Children Tell Us: Creating Narratives that Help Make Meaning of their Stories” at Erikson on January 25 

Launched in September, 2018 by Dr. Marcy Safyer, Director of Erikson’s Center for Children and Families, a new seminar series is bringing national experts in the field of infant and early childhood mental health to Chicago for intensive professional development workshops that are enriching the clinical field.

The seven-workshop series continues through August, 2019, and the program will be an annual event at Erikson. Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including: the therapeutic use of play in early childhood, narration and the development of emotion regulation, attachment and caregiving models, trauma, and more. Although the series focuses on 0-5 year olds, the concepts are applicable for any clinician interested in enhancing their work with families and children of all ages. Completion of each six-hour workshop provides participants with Continuing education credits for Social Workers, LCPC’s and Early Intervention. Clinical Psychology credits are pending.

Since her arrival at Erikson in July, 2018, Dr. Safyer has worked to elevate Erikson’s role in the area of developmentally informed, trauma-focused, relationship-based, and culturally responsive infant/early childhood mental health. She has a passion for, and vast professional experience in strengthening the professional community to meet the needs of infants, young children, and their families. “Our goal is to help enhance the capacity of all practitioners whose work supports the relationships of young and developing families,” said Safyer.

The remaining seminars are:

• March 15 (along with free pre-event reception on March 14) – Understanding Disorganized Attachment and Caregiving; Judith Solomon PhD
• April 26 – Threat, Trauma and Mentalization in Parent-Infant Intervention; Arietta Slade, PhD
• June 21 – When We See Children the Way We Are- Not the Way They Are; Julie Larrieu, PhD
• August 2 – Hearing and Seeing What Young Children are Telling Us: An Overview of Child Sexual Abuse Dynamics, Assessment and Treatment; Michele Many, MSW

To learn more or to register for an event, visit