Related professional experience
Sarah Martinez’s experience reflects her dual passion: Early Intervention and ensuring that young children’s mental health needs are being met. An expert in infant mental health, Martinez understands that helping families support the social-emotional well-being of their children from a very young age has a lifelong impact, and she shares this knowledge through teaching, professional development training, and leadership roles.
As a faculty member, she not only teaches students pursuing master’s degrees and certificates, she also helps place them in internships that are suited to their passions and desired career paths. Her ability to engage students in active participation and dynamic conversation works well to meet the diverse educational needs of those looking to someday become knowledgeable practitioners working on behalf of infants and their families.
“I encourage students to share their internship experiences and apply the theories we discuss in class to the actual field work they are doing,” she says. “My role is to support them in applying the theoretical concepts that support what they want to accomplish as practitioners.”
Martinez also serves as a trainer with Erikson’s Fussy Baby Network®, a direct service program that helps families struggling with infant crying, eating, and sleeping issues. Working with home-visiting programs throughout Illinois and other states, she instructs home visitors in the intervention and communication method developed at Erikson known as FAN (Facilitating Attuned Interactions).
“We are training practitioners working with families to use the FAN method in their work with parents and young children,” she says. “The FAN supports practitioners in attuning to the needs of the parent in a way that supports that parent’s capacity and builds his or her confidence as a parent.”
In addition, Martinez is a past president of the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health. Her leadership in the field allows her to share cutting-edge best practices with Erikson students and connect them with opportunities for professional growth — even after they have completed the program.
“I love to work with graduates as internship supervisors,” she says. “They’ve learned best practices at Erikson and are out there engaged in the work.”