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Infant Observation Training 2021

About the course

Infant Observation began more than 50 years ago at the Tavistock Clinic as part of the first child psychotherapy training. Its inception and development is primarily associated with Esther Bick. Her pioneering ideas, grounded in observational experiences, have had a profound and enduring influence on psychoanalytic thinking about primitive emotional states in the baby.


Infant Observation takes place within the family. Unconscious communications are of fundamental importance. The observer's task is to seek to enter the baby's world and to observe minutely what is going on for the child within the family particularly in relation to the mother.


"Studying infant observation was the most incredible experience; informative and invaluable beyond words. I found the discipline of observing, the reflective space required and the attention to detail very powerful. It brings an extra dimension to my understanding of work with older children and adults. It is as if I have gained an additional "muscle" in my practice..."
Trainee, 2015


Who is the training suitable for?

The course is suitable for psychotherapists, health professionals and anyone who has an interest in gaining a greater understanding of a baby's early life and relationships and how they develop.



Trainees are required to find a parent and baby to observe. Guidance will be given for how to do this.


Time commitment

The observation of the baby will ideally last for seven terms, allowing for one term in which to find an appropriate parent-baby dyad, and two years to observe the baby. In light of the current situation with COVID-19, there may be a need for part of the observation to be carried out virtually. If this is the case, trainees will be given the relevant support in order to carry this out effectively.

Time commitment is a minimum of two hours a week: one-hour observation and time writing up observation notes, plus time at the observation seminars. There will be ten seminars a term, mostly delivered via Zoom. Any face-to-face will take place at our offices in Kidlington.

Dates of seminars for Terms 1 and 2 are available to download in Appendix 1. 



All OXPIP training is APPCIOS endorsed and contributes towards APPCIOS accreditation. APPCIOS (The Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings), is a member organisation of the British Psychoanalytic Council.



The cost of the course is £2,900 in total for the seven terms.
Details of additional costs are included in the handbook.



All information about this training is available in our handbook which is available to download below.



To apply, please download and complete the form below and email to Lizi, Operations Manager at Deadline for application is Friday 16th October 2020 and interviews will be held on Thursday 5th and 12th November.


OXPIP is committed to equal opportunities



OXPIP Application Form

OXPIP Infant Observation Handbook 2021

OXPIP Infant Observation Handbook Appendix 1

OXPIP Infant Observation Handbook Appendix 2


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