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Assessing Parent-Infant Relationships

This training looks at a baby's early development and how it is impacted by their parents' attachment histories and the parent-baby relationships. A particular focus will be on how a baby's brain development is 'experience dependent' and thus moulded by the people with whom they live.


Kidlington, Oxford


This two day training looks at a baby’s early development and how it is impacted by their parents’ attachment histories and the parent-baby relationships. A particular focus will be on how a baby’s brain development is ‘experience dependent’ and thus moulded by the people with whom they live. Video clips will be central to the training and will help participants to become better observers and to increase their understanding of the impact of parental mental health difficulties, and their risky, neglectful, or abusive behaviour on the developing child.


Participants’ confidence in assessing parent-infant relationships will be increased through developing their skills in identifying: 

  • non-verbal, embodied communication between infants and parents
  • the links between primitive emotional states and behaviour in clients and themselves 
  • main stressors on the parent-infant relationship
  • projective mechanisms in interactions
  • parents’ capacity to change
  • impact of their work on themselves


When working with parents and infants, we are constantly required (either formally or informally) to ask ourselves: What do I see going on here? What are the important aspects of this relationship that I need to focus on, both the strengths and the concerns?  What is the baby communicating?  Is the parent able to pick up on these communications and respond in a sensitive way?  If not, at what point do I need to raise a concern and escalate the threshold of need? 


Originally developed for commissioned social services teams in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, this training is recommended for all those working with young, vulnerable families.



This is a two-day training for those with previous training in attachment or it can be undertaken in conjunction with our one-day attachment training. This training helps participants draw on their existing knowledge of the complexity of parent-infant relationships, and to recognise and tune into their gut feelings to help inform them about what they are observing. 


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.


What previous participants say:

"I found all aspects of this course useful to my clinical work. They pulled together different ways of working with parents and infants and young children and provided a context and framework for this work.  I thought the facilitator was very experienced and knew her area of work extensively and that she was very generous in sharing her knowledge and modelled a thoughtful, sensitivity that was inspiring - something to aim for.  I would have no hesitation in recommending this course"


To register your interest in this training and be notified when a date is set, please email  or call us on 01865 778034.


All information taken for training will only be used to inform the course and to contact you with course details.   


Please note, as of 1st April 2020 our costings have been revised. 

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