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Infant Observation Training (rolling programme)


"This course helped me to think deeply about infant development in the context of family relationships. The seminars were a wonderful opportunity to think psychodynamically, and the course leader created a supportive environment in which difficult feelings could be contained and thought about. I wish more people working therapeutically with children or adults would undertake this valuable training" - Rachel Little, Trainee 2021-2023


About the course

Infant Observation began more than 50 years ago at the Tavistock Clinic as part of the first child psychotherapy training. Its inception and development is primarily associated with Esther Bick. Her pioneering ideas, grounded in observational experiences, have had a profound and enduring influence on psychoanalytic thinking about primitive emotional states in the baby.


Infant Observation takes place within the family. Unconscious communications are of fundamental importance. The observer's task is to seek to enter the baby's world and to observe minutely what is going on for the child within the family particularly in relation to the mother.


"Studying infant observation was the most incredible experience; informative and invaluable beyond words. I found the discipline of observing, the reflective space required and the attention to detail very powerful. It brings an extra dimension to my understanding of work with older children and adults. It is as if I have gained an additional "muscle" in my practice..."
Trainee, 2015


Who is the training suitable for?

The course is suitable for psychotherapists, health professionals and anyone who has an interest in gaining a greater understanding of a baby's early life and relationships and how they develop.



Trainees are required to find a parent and baby to observe. Guidance will be given for how to do this.


Time commitment

The observation of the baby will ideally last for seven terms, allowing for one term in which to find an appropriate parent-baby dyad, and two years to observe the baby. 


Time commitment is a minimum of two hours a week: one-hour observation and time writing up observation notes, plus time at the observation seminars. There will be ten seminars a term, delivered via Zoom on Thursday mornings between 9.30 and 11. 


Please note: this is a rolling programme which accommodates a group of five trainees at any one time. Please email to enquire and arrange a discussion with Gisele Mendonca, who leads on the infant observation training.



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.



The cost of the course is currently £3,300* in total for the seven terms, plus the application fee (£50) and interview fee (£75).
A 50% non-refundable deposit is due on acceptance of your place in order to secure it.
Details of additional costs are included in the handbook.



All information about this training is available in our handbook which is available to download below.



To apply, please download and complete the form below and email to Note: please only apply once you have discussed this with Gisele Mendonca, who leads the infant observation training, to confirm a space is available.


OXPIP is committed to equal opportunities

*These costings are effective at the time of publication but are reviewed annually



OXPIP Infant Observation Application Form


OXPIP Infant Observation Handbook (rolling programme)



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