Infant Mental Health Fellowship - Infant-Parent Training Institute - Center for Early Relationship Support® - Our Services - Jewish Family & Children's Service
Caring for Generations
More pages in this section

Infant-Parent Training Institute

Infant Mental Health Fellowship Certificate Program

The Fellowship is a part-time post-graduate program with course work and clinical experience offered over two years.

Our fellows and faculty are a diverse group of clinical professionals, representing a range of disciplines, backgrounds, and personal/professional situations. The Fellowship draws on this richness to develop an environment for learning from each other in the context of open dialogue and self-reflection. Fellows are encouraged to share their thoughts, questions, and responses in class as we build a base of knowledge and collaboration. Students who successfully complete all three components below meet the requirements for the Certificate in Infant Mental Health.
***Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are not offering our Fellowship Program in 2022-2023. Thank you for your understanding. 

Year One Curriculum

The Infant-Parent Development Seminar offers a multi-disciplinary approach to conceptualizing how infants and their caregivers grow and develop together within the earliest relationships. Through readings, discussion, video, and case material we explore theories of attachment, infant and parent development, and the impact of early experiences, including trauma, on development through the lifespan. The course focuses on integrating developmental and relational theory to understand the ways in which infants and their caregivers express their emotions, intentions, and conflicts. Early attachments and ways of relating can influence individuals throughout life. Understanding the impact of these early experiences helps to inform our ways of working therapeutically with others. 

The Integrative Seminar offers a range of opportunities for understanding the clinical application of infant mental health concepts. Drawing on readings, shared observations, and clinical cases, the course begins to build bridges between theoretical ideas about early development and the world of professional practice. The course builds capacities in two arenas: integrating conceptual material into practice and understanding ourselves as practitioners in the work. These dual goals of thinking about the material and thinking about oneself, provides the frame for the discussions, assignments, and exercises of the class.

Infant Observation

The Infant Observation course helps prepare professionals for working with infants, parents, and families. The course includes a two-hour small group seminar, weekly one-hour observations of an infant-parent dyad, written observations, and readings on aspects of infant observation, development, and infant-parent interaction. The course meets twice a month from September to June and must be taken prior to or during the first year of the Fellowship.

Year Two Curriculum

The Assessment and Intervention Seminar emphasizes Clinical Assessment and Intervention. Students will be introduced to a range of assessment tools appropriate for children birth to five, as well as tools and approaches that assess parent representations, risks, and strengths in the early caregiving environment and parent-child interactions and relationships. We will become familiar with a range of intervention strategies, approaches, and models including parent-infant and parent-child psychotherapy, Circle of Security, Minding the Baby, Nurse-Family Partnership, etc. We will consider the impact on the parent-child relationship of special circumstances, such as parental depression, trauma, prematurity, special needs, adoption, and foster care. Faculty and invited guests will share their work, present cases, and respond to student case presentations of their work.

Clinical Work/Consultation
Clinical work is a requirement in the second year of the Fellowship. Each Fellow carries two cases at a time to meet the requirement for clinical work. 

  • Some Fellows may meet the requirement for clinical work in their current professional setting. Cases are selected from the Fellow’s work that provide the opportunity to apply the concepts and intervention approaches studied in the Fellowship to clinical work with families and children. Cases are presented for consultation as described below.
  • Some Fellows may have the opportunity to do clinical work through the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support®. Arrangements are worked out on an individual basis with the CERS Clinical Director.

Clinical consultation is provided for all Fellows by IPTI Faculty; typically, Fellows are paired up for this consultation and meet for one hour, every other week, at a time to be arranged. Some students may request or require individual consultation; in these cases, consultation would be provided for an additional fee.

Program Information

  • The Fellowship meets on alternate Friday mornings, 9:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at our Waltham Headquarters. The Infant Observation course meets after this from 1:45 - 3:45 p.m. There are 20 sessions from September to early June.
  • Classes are small; maximum of twelve students.
  • Students are admitted to the Fellowship on a rolling basis; early applications are encouraged. There is a $50 application fee.
  • The tuition for the Fellowship is $3,300 in Year 1 and $3,300 in Year 2. All Fellows must take Infant Observation prior to enrolling in the Fellowship or during Year 1. Tuition for Infant Observation is $1,500.   
  • In an effort to advance equitable access to training in Infant Mental Health, our donors have earmarked scholarship funds for students from racial and ethnic minority groups. Please contact IPTI for more information. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is June 30, 2019. 
  • CEUs for some disciplines will be available.


For more information, contact us at or 781-693-5652.

Contact Us

781-647-JFCS (5327)
Email Us

Find Us

1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451

Join Our Email List
CJP Support