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Ghosts in the Nursery

Understand the impact of a parent's unresolved issues from their past on the parent-infant relationship

Time & Date:
Friday 8th July 2022
09.30-15.00 (note time change!)

via Zoom


Read our Online Training Guidelines here


Many of the parents we work with will be haunted by unresolved issues from their past (known as ‘ghosts in the nursery’). These issues will unconsciously influence the way they think about and behave towards their children. Some parents, based on their early experiences, might well have developed defences to shut off from their vulnerability and feelings of love, which makes it very difficult for them to bond with their baby or young child. As practitioners, an awareness of a parent’s ghosts, even if we are not trained to work directly with these issues, can equip us to understand more fully and respond to parents in an attuned way. With complex families, our understanding is likely to increase our capacity to form a meaningful, therapeutic alliance with parents who are otherwise hard-to-reach.



This is a one-day training aimed at early years professionals, social workers, and mental health workers. The training will give an understanding of psychoanalytic/psychodynamic concepts and how these apply in our work settings with our clients. What does the client bring from their history to their relationship with their child and what do we as professionals bring from our own history?

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.


Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • be able to draw on Selma Fraiberg’s paper ‘Ghosts in the Nursery’ to think about the unconscious aspects of parent infant relationships, particularly projective processes
  • recognise how the transmission of intergenerational trauma can be reduced through helping parents shift from identification with the aggressors of childhood to identification with the vulnerability in their baby
  • understand how unresolved issues from participants’ own pasts can get into their work


"I found the pre-reading very useful as it meant I had a sound introduction into what was going to be expanded upon in the training. I also found the video footage of mother baby interactions and use of real case examples to be very informative." - Course Participant



£195 per person

Please note, as of 1st January 2022 our costings have been revised. 


Places are limited - book via Eventbrite via the link above (where you can either make the payment or request an invoice).


Confidentiality Clause

When you complete your booking for this training, you will be asked to sign our confidentiality clause.

Click here for more information.

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

To register your interest in this training and be notified for the date of this training next year, please  or call us on 01865 778034.

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

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