Infant Observation Training (rolling programme)
"This course helped me to think deeply about infant development in the context of family relationships. The seminars were a wonderful opportunity to think psychodynamically, and the course leader created a supportive environment in which difficult feelings could be contained and thought about. I wish more people working therapeutically with children or adults would undertake this valuable training" - Rachel Little, Trainee 2021-2023
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..."
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.
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, delivered via Zoom on Thursday mornings between 9.30 and 11.
Please note: this is a rolling programme which accommodates a group of five trainees at any one time. A place is currently available to start in June 2024 - please email email@example.com to enquire and arrange a discussion with Gisele Mendonca, who leads on the infant observation training.
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 currently £2,900* in total for the seven terms, plus the application fee (£50) and interview fee (£75).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: please only apply once you have discussed this with Gisele Mendonca, who leads the infant observation training, to confirm a space is available.
OXPIP is committed to equal opportunities
*These costings are effective at the time of publication but are reviewed annually