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Infant Mental Health Studies

Infant Mental Health Studies

The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre/Institute,
Clinical Infant and Family Program;

In conjunction with

Toronto Psychoanalytic Society’s
Extension Program

Offer a Certificate in

Infant Mental Health Studies
A 3 Year Module Program


“Infant and early childhood mental health, sometimes referred to as social and emotional development, is the developing capacity of the child from birth to six years of age to form close and secure adult relationships, experience, manage and express a full range of emotions, and explore the environment and learn-all in the context of family, community and culture” (Definition from Zero to Three Infant Mental Health Task Force, 2012;

For several decades, these two organizations (Hincks-Dellcrest Centre/Institute and Toronto Psychoanalytic Society’s Extension Program) have been providing treatment, research and educational opportunities for mental health professionals interested in in-depth understanding and change for personal and relational problems. Recent Neuroscience and Infancy Research have shown us the importance of the primary relationship for the developing brain of the infant and young child. Research has consistently demonstrated that the first six years of a child’s life are crucially important to ensure ongoing emotional wellbeing and mental health.

We are delighted these two Centres of Excellence in the Theory and Practice of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy have joined together in partnership to offer this Certificate in Infant Mental Health Studies.


Introduction to Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (IPP). The first year is a weekly, 3 hour seminar, for 30 weeks. It is a clinical here and now experience where the participants have an opportunity to directly observe early development of the child and parental response and become aware of the child’s capacities, functioning, personality development, roots of psychopathology, and the parental strengths and characteristics which contribute to the possible psychopathology in the child. The treatment model is dynamic Infant-Parent Psychotherapy which emphasizes early development within the context of relationships, past and present, family and culture. Throughout the seminars, using a one-way mirror with live families, videotapes and group discussion, participants will think reflectively about the experience of the infant/child as we assess, formulate, and design a treatment plan. We focus on teaching observation skills, attachment theory, mentalization, and psychoanalytic principles, and we review infant mental health and child development literature, and various infant/ parent interventions. Each participant will write a brief paper at the end of the seminar about the most salient aspect of the experience to their learning. (Held at Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, Jarvis Site)


Part 1: Infant Observation. In a 30 week, 1-1/2 hour seminar, participants will share their observations of a mother and an infant. The requirement is for the participant to find a mother-infant dyad to observe before and after the birth with the expectation to write detailed observations of the mother and infant pair developing a relationship, and report to a discussion group. The written observations are narrative reflections; the primary focus is to think about the relationship between the infant and mother and their impact one upon the other, and the relationship’s impact upon the observer, and the observer’s impact upon the infant/mother relationship. In Infant Observation, there is no necessity of action to intervene or interpret; the aim is to think about the observation in a reflective way. The observer, group leader and group members play with words, ideas, concepts and fantasies. Each participant will write a brief paper at the end of the observation on the impact of infant observation on the mind of the observer. (Held at Toronto Psychoanalytic Society).

Part 2: Psychoanalytic Theories. 8 Weeks, 2-1/2 hour seminars, on the interrelationship of the Psychoanalytic Theories from Freud to the 21st Century. presented by Don Carveth. (Held at Toronto Psychoanalytic Society)

Professor Don Carveth will focus this course on Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory and its development beyond drive and ego psychologies and a somewhat patriarchal focus on the oedipal phase toward a greater appreciation of the mother-infant relationship, object relations, the self and society on the part of a range of later psychodynamic thinkers, such as Sándor Ferenczi, Ian Suttie, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, John Bowlby, Donald Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, Erich Fromm, Jaques Lacan, Heinz Kohut, Otto Kernberg, Stephen Mitchell and others. Their theoretical concepts will be linked to clinical work. Participant discussion and interaction is encouraged.

Participants will become aware of the importance of the contribution of Sigmund Freud, acquainted with the contribution of other psychoanalytical theorists, and aware of the importance of different models of psychoanalytic theory and their potential use with different types of patients.

Donald Carveth

Donald Carveth PhD., Registered Psychotherapist, Adult Psychoanalyst, Professor Emeritus, York University, Toronto, Canada.

Module III: following the completion of Modules I and II (special consideration available)

Part 1: Clinical Application. The third Module will focus on the clinical work of the participants’ case material, which will be presented on rotation, in a 30 week, 1-1/2 hour group experience, facilitated by clinical consultants, Elizabeth Tuters and Sally Doulis, and others, TBD, on Tuesday mornings 9:00 – 10:30 am. Each participant will write a brief paper on the understanding gained through the group experience and how this impacted their clinical work. (Held at Toronto Psychoanalytic Society)

Part 2: Clinical Application. Individual Supervision (40 hours)(with at least two supervisors). Purpose is to assess competencies. Case material presented for supervision is to be written and to include moment to moment interaction, process and reflective thought. A brief paper of the case will be expected which will include clinical thinking and theories utilized. Approved supervisors: Elizabeth Tuters, Sally Doulis, and Susan Yabsley (held privately). All are clinical members of Canadian Association of Psychoanalytic Child Therapists (CAPCT).

Fee Structure:

Module I:
Introduction to Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (HDI), $2,500

Module II:
Part 1 – Infant Observation(TPS), $690
Part 2 – Psychoanalytic Theories (TPS), $390

Module III:
Part 1 – Clinical Application (TPS), $690
Part 2 – Individual Supervision – to be arranged with individual supervisors with capped fee (TBD).


All three modules can be taken as standalone courses, or to build credits towards a Certificate in Infant Mental Health Studies, once competencies have been achieved.

Courses held at Toronto Psychoanalytic Society (TPS) are accredited for Continuing Education Credits.

Applicants must have a mental health qualification such as psychology, counseling, psychiatry, nursing, social work (regulated professions, in keeping with the CRPO) and be members of their respective College, and should have experience working therapeutically with people with mental health difficulties.

Module I: register at Hincks-Dellcrest Institute (HDI) –
Contact Mary Anne Van Rooyen, for information.

Module II – Part 1 and 2: Register Here

Module III: contact the TPS at to register.


Elizabeth Tuters, Sally Doulis, and Susan Yabsley

Elizabeth Tuters, MSW,RSW, FIPA, Child/Adolescent/Adult Psychoanalyst;Team Leader, Infant/ Family Program, Hincks Dellcrest Centre; Officer, Board of Directors Canadian Association Psychoanalytic Child Therapists; and Faculty, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society & Institute.

Sally Doulis, MSW, RSW, Dip.TCPP, Child/Adolescent/Adult Psychotherapist; Team Member, Infant/Family Program, Hincks Dellcrest Centre; Officer, Board Of Directors Canadian Association Psychoanalytic Child Therapists; and Guest, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society.

Susan Yabsley, PhD,CPsych; Head, Psychology Training & Coordinator of Infant/Preschool Program, Hincks-Dellcrest Centre; Member, Board of Directors, Ontario Association for Infant & Child Development(OAICD), an Affiliate of The World Association of Infant Mental Health(WAIMH); and Guest, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society.

Honorary Consultants

Michael Blugerman, MSW, RSW, President, Board Of Directors Canadian Association Psychoanalytic Child Therapists, Executive Director, Children’s Resources and Consultation Centre of Ontario; President, Ontario Assoc. Of Private Adoption Practitioners and Assoc. For Teaching and Training in the Attachment of Children; and Guest, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society.

Yvon Gauthier, M.D Infant/Child/Adolescent/ Adult Psychoanalyst, Professor Emeritus, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Bjorn Salomonsson, M.D. PhD, Infant/Child/Adolescent/Adult Psychoanalyst, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Elif Gocek, Psychologist, PhD, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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