Infant mental health conference – conception to five

Schools & CAMHS

Course information

Upcoming Date: TBC
Upcoming Time: TBC
Length: 1 Day
Cost: Free

About the course

infant mental health conference

SLaM has a great deal of expertise in the early years and in a first attempt to capture some of it we are hosting a one-day conference event in the Autumn.

Infant mental health problems occur within the context of parent-infant/carer-infant relationships. It refers to the developing capacity of the child from birth to form close relationships, manage and express emotions, and explore the environment and learn.

The day will be very clinically focused with a mix of research updates and experiential workshops.

The day will begin with a facilitated reflective space or Schwartz round exploring some of the challenges clinicians face when working with trauma in parents and their infants.  Professor Helen Minnis will deliver our keynote on the importance of infant mental health and attachment. There will be several short research presentations from leading experts in SLaM and KHP including on the impact of early deprivation, and the neuroscience of maltreatment.  In the afternoon, there will be four clinical workshops exploring working with trauma in the under-fives; using VIG with parents with mental health problems, psychotherapy to enhance the parent infant relationship, and family work in the community.

Over the course of the day delegates will have the opportunity to hear more about:

Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) developed by Alicia Lieberman and Patricia van Horn and based on Fraiberg’s ‘Ghosts in the Nursery’ (1975). An intervention for infants and young children who have experienced abuse, violence and other forms of trauma, causing them to lose trust in the safety of relationships. CPP aims to support and strengthen the caregiver-child relationship to repair the behavioural and mental health difficulties of the child and help them to return to a normal developmental trajectory.

Circle of Security parenting The programme enables parents and foster parents to understand the child’s emotional world by learning to read their children’s ‘cues’ and ‘miscues’.  Neglectful and traumatic experiences may mean that for some children it is safer to hide their needs (ie. miscue). CoS supports carers to know that children need to ‘go out’ to explore their environment and ‘come in’ for comfort when needed. The programme gradually encourages carers to reflect on their own experiences of being parented and to consider which of their children’s needs/feelings are more difficult for them to attend to.

Video Interaction Guidance VIG aims to promote enhanced sensitivity and capacity to mentalise in both client and practitioner. It is based on the parent and VIG practitioner reflecting together on strengths-based micro-moments of video, and is client-centred which means moving at the client’s pace with their goals in mind.

Parent Infant Psychotherapy Parents inevitably bring their own hopes, expectations and experiences to the relationship with their infants, and where those experiences are distorted by unprocessed abuse or neglect, this inevitably impacts on the infant.  The theoretical approach is psychodynamic, in that it works with both conscious and less conscious material, and the fantasised as well as the real infant

This event is sponsored by Maudsley charity who has funded the event so that you can attend this for free. If you book to attend the conference we kindly ask that you honour your ticket. If you need to cancel please let us know at the earliest opportunity so that we can offer the space to someone else and make full use of the funding being provided.

A group of people standing in a circle with their hands in the middle.

Learning Objectives

What you will learn from taking this course:

  • Have attended two workshops to get a detailed overview of evidence based interventions for infants
  • Have an update of recent policy in infant mental health
  • Have a update of current research in IMH in Slam

Course Information

Target audience

Clinical psychologist, Clinical support worker, Consultant – psychiatry, CT1-3 – non-psychiatry any, CT1-3 – psychiatry, Doctors, FY1, FY2, GP, GPVTS, Health visitor, Nurses, Nursing student, Psychology student, Psychotherapist, RGN, RMN, Social worker, ST4-7 – non-psychiatry any, ST4-7 – psychiatry, Teacher

Lunch options

Lunch & Refreshments Provided

Length & Time
Ortus Event and Learning Centre 82-96 Grove Ln Camberwell London SE5 8SN
1 day

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The fusion of Education and the Health Service is extremely exciting and now indeed essential; I am thrilled that St Mary’s is at the forefront of this. I am truly invigorated to disseminate many nuggets of wisdom and tangible strategies gained yesterday to my entire school community.
Assistant Headteacher - London
The knowledge and skills help children in many areas e.g. friendships, learning, attitude, dealing with problems at home and school. Skills will stay with them as they progress helping them to be reflective and emotionally resilient.
Teacher - London