The Infant-Parent Training Institute (IPTI) is one of the leading institutions in New England offering integrated clinical and theoretical training in infant mental health.


IPTI offers a range of courses that provide rich learning opportunities.

Small class sizes for clinical social workers, psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, and allied health professionals, including addiction treatment professionals, visiting nurses, Early Intervention providers, and maternal health/mental health providers provide ample opportunity for discussion and integrating state-of-the-art knowledge with practice.

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

Course Description

This course will provide a framework for working with families with concrete needs, and will include practical tips, as well as a deeper discussion of clinical issues that often arise. Topics will include the concept of “scarcity” and how it informs our work, pointers for working with clients who are experiencing multiple stressors, and tips for building your own resource library, resource intake tool and checklist. As part of this discussion, we will touch on a number of public benefits and resources that are generally available across the United States. We will conclude with an exploration of clinical issues, including setting reasonable expectations with clients, building trust, managing our own feelings, and issues of fairness and equity.

Recommended Reading

Scarcity: Why Having So Little Means So Much


Ellen Jawitz, JD and Wendy Hurwitz, LMHC, PMH-C

Ellen Jawitz, JD has served as the Family Resource Coordinator at the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support since 2013. In this role, she has helped hundreds of families access public benefits, including SNAP, TANF, Child Tax Credits, affordable childcare, rent assistance, shelter, and more. She regularly leads trainings, both for professionals and volunteers, on public benefits and working with clients who are experiencing poverty. Ellen is also a licensed attorney with many years of experience in appellate practice and criminal law. Prior to coming to JF&CS, she represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal, and she has argued more than 40 cases before the Massachusetts and Connecticut Appeals Courts. Ellen has devoted her career to helping underserved populations, and she finds great satisfaction in her current role assisting families who are trying to navigate complex systems.

Wendy Hurwitz, LMHC is the coordinator for the Fragile Beginnings program at the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support and has been a clinician at the Center since 2013. Wendy's special interest and expertise includes helping new parents to connect with their newborns while navigating a challenging start, including a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition, Wendy's professional focus includes providing therapeutic support to parents whose perinatal mental health complications are interfering with their relationships with their babies. Wendy has advanced training in Infant-Parent Mental Health and holds a certification in Perinatal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International. She is trained in Circle of Security-Parenting, an evidence-based parent education curriculum. Through these varied professional experiences, Wendy has extensive experience in the integration of concrete resource support with clinical work.

Who Should Apply

Social workers, clinicians, para-professionals, home visitors and others who work with vulnerable families.

Date and Time

3 Tuesdays
April 12th, 19th, and 26th, 2022
1:00pm - 2:30pm EST


Online via Zoom




We will be applying for 4.5 CEUs from the NASW-MA chapter.


Download the Beyond Emotional Support course application. For more information, email your questions to

Course Description

This yearlong course combines guest lectures and small group discussions to explore foundational topics in infant mental health and the ongoing impact of historical trauma and social, educational, and health disparities on a baby’s development, relational health and wellbeing. Concepts of vulnerability and resilience, stress, trauma, emotional regulation and attachment will frame discussions of such questions as: How does a reproductive justice framework help us better meet the needs of vulnerable families in the perinatal period? What are the strengths and limitations of attachment theory? The course includes examination of the complex intersectional effects of social and political power hierarchies, race, culture, and ethnicity on human development.

Each monthly meeting presents new opportunities for learning, group exploration, and discussion—all in an environment welcoming of diverse voices in the context of a shared commitment to ongoing growth and diversification in the field.

The series is appropriate for new practitioners as well as experienced professionals.

2022/2023 Dates

Applications for the 2022-23 course session are now closed.


9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. EST


MassAIMH IECMH Endorsement®
IPTI's Conversations and Controversies in Infant Mental Health course has been crosswalked with the Competency Guidelines® towards MassAIMH Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® and is available for use/reference within the state of MA.

Participants can count up to 13 training hours toward an application for Endorsement® (IMHE® and ECMH-E®) in the following areas:

  • Theoretical Foundations: Pregnancy and Early Parenthood– Infant/Very Young Child Development and Behavior– Infant/Family Centered Practice– Relationship based Therapeutic Practice– Family Relationships and Dynamics– Attachment, Separation, Trauma, Grief and Loss– Psychotherapeutic and Behavioral Theories of Change– Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood– Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Adults– Cultural Competence
  • Law, Regulation and Policy: Ethical Practice– Government, Law and Regulation
  • Systems Expertise: Service Delivery Systems– Community Resource
  • Working with Others: Building and Maintaining Relationships– Supporting Others– Mentoring- Collaborating– Resolving Conflict– Crisis Management– Empathy and Compassion– Consulting
  • Communicating: Listening– Speaking– Group Process
  • Thinking: Analyzing Information– Solving Problems– Exercising Sound Judgement– Maintaining Perspective
  • Reflection: Contemplation– Self Awareness– Curiosity– Professional/Personal Development– Emotional Response– Parallel Process

Please note that this training alone may not be enough to fully meet a particular knowledge or skill area. Endorsement® applicants may need to include coursework and/or additional inservice training to fully meet a knowledge or skill area.

To learn about MassAIMH IECMH Endorsement®, please visit:


$725 for the series.
In an effort to advance equitable access to training in Infant Mental Health, our donors have earmarked limited partial scholarship funds for students from racial and ethnic minority groups. Please contact IPTI for more information.


Zoom (Link will be sent once you register)


Download the Conversation and Controversies course application. For more information, email your questions to

Course Description

Substance use, misuse, and dependence impact the perinatal and early parenting period significantly. Rates of substance use disorders continue to rise in the population of women of child-bearing age. Mental health professionals, medical providers, and allied health professionals increasingly encounter mothers, fathers, infants, and alternate care providers who can benefit from attuned and responsive practices. This course will offer a review of the latest research on the links between attachment theory, neurobiology, and addiction; opportunities to learn about the various ways of supporting families; and a forum in which conversations about complex policies, practice choices, and ethical dilemmas can be rich opportunities for growth.


Danya Handelsman, BScPT, LICSW

Danya is a clinical social worker with a background in child development, pediatric physical therapy, and early intervention. She is a graduate of the Infant Mental Health Fellowship at the Infant-Parent Training Institute at Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS). She currently works as a clinician with Project NESST at the Center for Early Relationship Support at JF&CS, where she provides attachment-centered, trauma-informed, dyadic therapy for mothers with substance-use disorders and their infants, attachment-based group work and training.

Who Should Apply

Providers from various disciplines who work with parents and infants impacted by parental substance use. The course will provide a rich learning opportunity for clinical social workers, psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, allied health professionals, and paraprofessionals, including addiction treatment professionals, visiting nurses, Early Intervention providers, and maternal health/mental health providers.

Date and Time

8 Thursdays
March 24th-May 12th, 2022
2:00pm - 4:00pm EST


Online via Zoom




We will be applying for 16 CEUs from the NASW-MA chapter. LMHC CEUs through MaMHCA available upon request.


Download the Families Impacted by Addiction course application. For more information, email your questions to

A mother's mental health affects her own sense of self, the well-being of her children, her close relationships, and the functioning of the family. A mother of an infant or young child who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or other emotional difficulties faces multiple challenges in coping and parenting. This course will examine the profound emotional transformation of becoming a mother, the influence of culture on maternal mental health, and the impact of mental health on the parent-child relationship. Included in the class sessions are issues of trauma, intergenerational parenting patterns, research on maternal depression, and mothering under special circumstances. Use of video and opportunities for exploring case material will be provided.

Course Description

Reflective supervision is an essential component of programs providing direct services to young children and families. It has become the gold standard of supervision within early education and care settings. Decades of research and practice have demonstrated that reflective supervision increases the quality of care, improves job satisfaction, and increases staff retention in early childhood programs.

The reflective supervision framework creates a supervision environment that supports staff capacity-building and professional growth, leading to improvements in staff learning, decision-making, and job performance. Through a collaborative process, reflective supervisors provide staff with an opportunity to identify, explore, and reflect on their experiences in their work, increasing their capacity to problem-solve and act intentionally.

In this virtual course from the Infant-Parent Training Institute of Jewish Family & Children’s Service, supervisors will learn the process of Reflective Supervision with opportunities to practice new skills using real-life supervisory challenges from their workplaces. The course will utilize direct instruction, readings, and discussion.

Required Text

Reflective Supervision and Leadership for Infant and Early Childhood (2011), by M. C. Heffron and T. Murch, Zero to Three Publishing.

Who Should Apply

This section of the course is open to all supervising teachers and staff. Supervisors and their direct reports cannot enroll in the same section. There will be additional sections offered throughout the year.

Date and Time

8 Wednesdays
Beginning April 3, 2024
3:005:00 p.m.


Online via Zoom


$875 for the series


MassAIMH IECMH Endorsement®
IPTI's Reflective Supervision in Early Education and Care course has been crosswalked with the Competency Guidelines® towards MassAIMH Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® and is available for use/reference within the state of MA.

Participants can count up to 16 training hours toward an application for Endorsement® (IMHE® and ECMH-E®) in the following areas:

  • Working with Others: Building and Maintaining Relationships- Supporting Others- Collaborating- Resolving Conflict- Empathy and Compassion
  • Communicating: Listening- Speaking- Group Process
  • Thinking: Analyzing Information- Solving Problems- Exercising Sound Judgement- Maintaining Perspective- Planning and Organizing
  • Reflection: Contemplation- Self Awareness- Curiosity- Professional/Personal Development- Emotional Response- Parallel Process

Please note that this training alone may not be enough to fully meet a particular knowledge or skill area. Endorsement® applicants may need to include coursework and/or additional inservice training to fully meet a knowledge or skill area.

To learn about MassAIMH IECMH Endorsement®, please visit:


Fill out the Reflective Supervision course application

Current Offerings & Speaker Series

The Infant-Parent Training Institute is pleased to announce the following courses being offered in the 2022-2023 school year.

Spring 2023

Reflective Supervision in Early Education and Care: CEOs and Directors

Reflective supervision is an essential component of programs providing direct services to young children and families. It has become the gold standard of supervision within early education and care settings. Decades of research and practice have demonstrated that reflective supervision increases the quality of care, improves job satisfaction, and increases staff retention in early childhood programs.

In this virtual course from the Infant-Parent Training Institute of Jewish Family & Children’s Service, CEOs and directors will learn the process of Reflective Supervision with opportunities to practice new skills using real-life supervisory challenges from their workplaces. The course will utilize direct instruction, readings, and discussion.

Who Should Apply

CEOs and Directors in early education and care programs. Supervisors and their direct reports cannot enroll in the same section. There will be additional sections offered for people at different professional levels throughout the coming year.

Date and Time

8 Wednesdays
Beginning September 13, 2023
3:005:00 p.m.


Download the Reflective Supervision course application

Check back soon for more IPTI opportunities!

The Infant-Parent Training Institute offers professional development seminars, each spring, and fall.

These presentations are opportunities for experts in the field to share current research and knowledge on a variety of infant-parent mental health topics. The IPTI Speaker Series is open to the general public; advanced registration is required. CEUs for some disciplines are offered.

Please check back soon to see our upcoming Speaker Series.

Recent Presentations

From Research to the “Real World”: The journey of bringing Mothering from the Inside Out to parents in recovery from substance use disorders

IPTI Speaker Series Overview

Parenting can be stressful, recovery can be stressful, and parenting in recovery can be especially stressful. Many parents in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) are thus referred to participate in parenting interventions in conjunction with SUD treatment. However, existing parenting interventions that take a behavioral or coaching approach often have limited success for families managing SUD, suggesting the need for an alternative approach.

In this presentation, we describe an evidence-based approach, Mothering from the Inside Out (MIO), that focuses on supporting the emotional quality of the parent-child relationship. We will share: 1) theory and background underlying MIO; 2) results from three randomized controlled trials studying MIO; 3) remaining research questions; 4) the implementation of MIO in community settings through the FIRST Steps Together Program; and 5) important next steps in understanding how to effectively bring MIO to scale in Massachusetts and beyond.

About the Speakers

Amanda Lowell, PhD

Dr. Lowell is a licensed psychologist and an associate research scientist at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Central Florida before relocating to Connecticut in order to complete her training at Yale at the Child Study Center and in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Lowell specializes in the treatment and research of mothers in recovery from substance use disorders, as well as infants who were exposed prenatally to substances, and young children who have experienced trauma. She is trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security Parenting, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in addition to being a trainer for Mothering from the Inside Out (MIO). Her research uses an infant mental health framework to address the intergenerational transmission of addiction, adversity, and attachment. She is currently studying how addiction impacts mothers’ neural responses to infant cues, the implementation of MIO, and the impact of MIO on the maternal brain.

Lili Peacock-Chambers, MD, MS

Dr. Peacock-Chambers is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School Baystate Campus. She completed her medical degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and her residency at the Boston Combined Program at Boston Children's and Boston Medical Center. She then completed a fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center where she earned a degree in epidemiology. Her research, currently funded by the NIH, SAMHSA, and the Tufts CTSI, takes an interdisciplinary community-engaged approach to the development and implementation of parenting programs to support families affected by substance use disorders. 


Learning from Latinx immigrant parents: An evidence-based treatment to address trauma in young children and parents

IPTI Speaker Series Overview

Parenting young children can be a time filled with dreams and expectations. Yet for many, it also includes major challenges and stressors. What happens when early parenthood is accompanied by trauma, immigration to a new country, limited resources, and a lack of community connections?

This presentation will offer a window into a promising clinical approach to fostering resilience and ameliorating the consequences of parental and early childhood trauma among Latinx immigrant families.

We will share evidence of how Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas' adapted Child-Parent Psychotherapy approach is associated with positive outcomes for parents and children, and what the intervention means to participants. We will close with clinical examples and an opportunity for conversation.

About the Speakers

Ruth Paris, Ph.D., LICSW is an Associate Professor of Clinical Practice at Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) where she serves as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Department. At BUSSW, she teaches courses on clinical practice with families, trauma in early childhood and clinical research methods. Her program of research focuses on attachment-based interventions for vulnerable families with young children. With support from SAMHSA, DOD, NIH, HRSA and private foundations, she has developed and evaluated multiple interventions implemented in a variety of community settings focused on families facing adversities. These include mothers with substance use disorders and their children, immigrant/refugee mothers and young children with trauma histories, women with postpartum depression and their infants and post-deployment military families. One current project is the evaluation of Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas, a JF&CS program to address the needs of primarily immigrant young children and their families who have experienced trauma. Dr. Paris is a graduate of Smith College (MSW) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD).

Karen Garber, LICSW, CEIS IMH-E, is originally from Venezuela where she trained as a psychologist. For over 25 years, she has been an Early Childhood Mental Health provider and consultant, serving young children and their families in a variety of setting including Early Intervention, home based and outpatient programs. She currently works at the Center for Early Relationship Support at Jewish Family & Children’s Service of greater Boston, where she coordinates EC/CT, a SAMHSA funded project created to reduce the impact of early childhood trauma in the Waltham, MA, and surrounding communities. Recently, Karen has treated families impacted by a variety of adversities including substance use and provided early childhood mental Health consultation to local agencies that provide treatment for Latino families in recovery. Karen is interested in the impact of immigration, culture and trauma on attachment and parenting. Karen is a member of the Culture Consortium of the NCTSN and an active volunteer at Post Partum Support International and Healthy Waltham.


Expanding the Circle of Security: A research-based approach to helping strengthen the parent-child attachment and improve children’s behavior.

IPTI Speaker Series Overview

This IPTI Speaker Series presentation will explore the way in which Circle of Security informs our understanding of children's behavior. The COS-Parenting (COS-P) and COS-Classroom (COS-C) 8-week facilitated group models provide a paradigm shift for parents and early educators. Rather than interpreting challenging child behaviors as attention-seeking, the Circle paradigm sees them as attempts to establish connection. Informed by attachment theory, the Circle of Security video-enhanced curriculum helps caregivers understand that when a child’s underlying need is seen, valued, and met, behavior improves. This relational perspective offers parents and early educators a pathway to strengthening attachments and resilience in children and caretakers.

In this panel presentation we will hear the ways that Circle of Security groups and individualized interventions are used in child welfare systems, early education and care, family day care, parent-child psychotherapy as well as the integration of a socio-cultural lens in the work with immigrant families.

About the Speakers

Cyntia Barzelatto, Ed.M. is a bilingual psychologist with expertise in maternal and infant-parent mental health, trauma-informed interventions, and culturally sensitive practice. She currently works as a Parent-Child Clinician for Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas at the Center for Early Relationship Support® at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, serving Latino immigrant families with children ages birth to five.

Sami Bradley, LIMHP coordinates with Nebraska state and local partners to facilitate Circle of Security within the state-wide systems that support the social and emotional well-being of young children.

Monica Contreras, MSW, supervises and coaches COS-P group facilitators throughout Connecticut and nationally. Initially she joined the staff at Saint Francis Hospital Parenting Support Services in Hartford, CT as a bilingual Parent Educator. Previous experience includes child guidance and outpatient adult treatment.

Peggy H. Kaufman, M.Ed., LICSW, is a member of the Infant-Parent Training Institute’s faculty and the founding director of the Center for Early Relationship Support® of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. With a background in perinatal emotional health and the earliest relationships, Peggy has become a champion of Circle of Security.

Marina Rodriguez, M.Ed., upholds her mission to lift the voices of the community and to look for platforms that lend themselves to attachment and trauma responsive care including understanding the detriments that systematic racism has had on communities like her very own. Marina, participated in a Circle of Security group as a young parent and has since worked dedicatedly with family childcare educators, coaches and others to share the work of the program.

Natacha Shillingford, BS is the Director of the Epiphany School Early Learning Center in Dorchester, MA. With a degree in Social and Cultural Studies she has directed over 20 years of her professional work to the field of Early Education and Care. Trained in Circle of Security she is committed to bringing the language of Circle to her entire staff.


Examining Implicit Bias Embedded in our Developmental Science

IPTI Speaker Series Overview

This lecture will explore the dominant culture biases within the science and practice of infant mental health. We will reflectively examine our universal standard against the experience of BIPOC communities as caregivers and parents prepare their children for the inequities of systemic racism.

About the Speaker

Barbara Stroud, PhD is a renowned trainer, consultant, author, co-founding organizer of CalAIMH and an experienced graduate level faculty member. She holds endorsement as an Infant Family Early Child Mental Health Specialist/Reflective Practice Facilitator Mentor and is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow. In April of 2018 Dr. Stroud was honored with the Bruce D. Perry Spirit of the Child Award. Dr. Stroud is the author of ‘How to Measure a Relationship: A practical approach to dyadic interventions,’ ‘Intentional Living: finding the inner peace to create successful relationships’ and a contributing author to the text ‘Infant and early childhood mental health: Core concepts and clinical practice’ edited by Kristie Brandt, Bruce Perry, Steve Seligman, & Ed Tronick.

Dr. Stroud is particularly passionate about the unique needs of children of color in the mental health and foster care systems. She has an impressive history of working across infant and early childhood systems to integrate developmental models, culturally respectful services within a relationship-based framework. Dr. Stroud remains steadfast in her mission to ‘change the world – one relationship at a time’.


Racially Wounded: Nappy-Haired ‘Ghosts’ of Colorism in Parent/Infant/Therapist Relationships

Speaker Series Overview
This master class presents Dr. Marva Lewis’s work in articulating a cultural practice of hair combing interaction (HCI) as a therapeutic context to strengthen parent-infant attachment between parents and children of color. The HCI approach is now a manualized curriculum titled Talk, Touch and Listen While Combing Hair©. The training will include how to use HCI as a daily opportunity to connect with young children, how the parent’s early experiences with messages about body image and hair type may impact their behaviors during HCI, and how social workers may use HCI during therapeutic visits with birth parents and foster parents to develop a co-parenting model.

About the Speaker
Dr. Lewis earned a PhD in sociocultural psychology at Tulane University School of Social Work, with a clinical appointment in the Institute of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health. She developed community-based interventions to strengthen attachment and address intergenerational legacies of the historical trauma of slavery and acceptance or rejection of children based on skin color. Her book Therapeutic Cultural Routines to Build Family Relationships: Talk, Touch & Listen While Combing Hair© will be released in 2021. She serves on the National Zero to Three Advisory Board and is a consultant with Safe Baby Court Teams to promote racial equity in child welfare.


Using Basic Principles of Developmental Science to Guide Trauma-Informed Care of Young Children and Families

Speaker Series Overview
This Master Class will offer a frame for listening to children and their caregivers who have experienced early developmental trauma. Dr. Gold will present a model informed by core principles of infant mental health, including reflective functioning, the mutual regulation model, the neurobiology of safety, and the neurosequential model of therapeutics. The Master Class will include opportunities for discussion about the application of this frame to participants’ clinical work.

About the Speaker
Claudia M. Gold, MD is a pediatrician and writer. After practicing general and behavioral pediatrics for over 20 years, she now specializes in infant-parent mental health. She is the director of the Hello It’s Me project, a program designed to bring infant mental health principles to rural communities. She works as a clinician with FIRST Steps Together, a federally funded program for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders. She has written four books: The Power of Discord with co-author Ed Tronick (forthcoming June 2020), The Developmental Science of Early Childhood (2017), The Silenced Child (2016), and Keeping Your Child in Mind (2011). She is on the faculty of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Brazelton Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital.


Coming to Life in Time: Early Deprivation and the Sense of a Lively Future

Speaker Series Overview
Time plays a central role in both clinical work and child development. Dr. Seligman conceptualizes “disorders of temporality”; one form involves the blurring of past and present, but another is a more basic deficit in the sense of a meaningful future. This lifeless state will be linked with the experience of an infant with a parent who does not respond to the baby’s feelings and gestures so as to support the infant’s most basic senses of personal agency. A relational-developmental approach is applied to show how the common sense of time as motion toward an emerging future is embedded in personal experiences of other people’s sympathetic responses. Video vignettes of infant-caregiver interaction will illuminate moments of patient-therapist interaction, alternatively reflecting chronic lifelessness and enlivening responsiveness.

About the Speaker
Stephen Seligman, D.M.H., is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF; Joint Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues; Training and Supervising Analyst at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California; and Clinical Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Seligman has recently authored Relationships in Development: Infancy, Intersubjectivity, and Attachment (Routledge, 2018) and is co-editor of the American Psychiatric Press’ Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Core Concepts and Clinical Practice.

This Master Class is offered in conjunction with A Home Within, a national organization dedicated to meeting the emotional needs of foster youth.


High-Risk Families in the Court System: The Integration of Infant Mental Health Practice into Family Courts

Speaker Series Overview
This course will address the important contributions that infant mental health professionals can make in cases of child abuse and neglect within the court system. The class will review the risk factors that infants contend with in the context of maltreatment, and the complex needs of court-involved parents. It will describe the shortfalls inherent to child welfare systems and Family Courts, in which legal and judicial staff make critical decisions about very young children without the benefit of background in early child development, and the benefits that accrue when an infant mental health practitioner becomes an active presence in the Family Court. The course will describe efforts around the country to develop specialized courts for infants and toddlers, with a particular focus on New York City's Strong Starts Court Initiative.

About the Speaker
Susan Chinitz is a psychologist with specialties in the areas of infant/early childhood mental health and developmental disabilities in infancy and early childhood.

She was the former director of the Early Childhood Center and the Center for Babies, Toddlers and Families at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she was a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and the Raizen Distinguished Scholar in Pediatrics. She is currently spearheading the development and expansion of the Strong Starts Court Initiative in the NYC Family Courts and is also the Clinical Co-Director of a Training and Technical Assistance Center that is providing support to seven new Early Childhood Mental Health Treatment Centers funded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


Remembering the “Forgotten Parent:” Lessons from Practice and Research About the Changing Roles and Needs of Fathers of Infants and Young Children.

Speaker Series Overview
Fathers used to be known as “the forgotten parent” but their presence as front-line caretakers has increased dramatically since 1965. Research suggests that fathers spend three times as much time with their children now as they did in 1965. The success of the Feminist Movement and the changing economic climate in the US have led fathers, some out of necessity and some out of interest, to be more active and emotionally engaged in their children’s lives. At the same time, 25% of children grow up without a father in the house. In the context of this polarized picture, Dr. Ray Levy will discuss child outcomes and fathers' attitudes about the birth of their children. From his work at The Fatherhood Project at MGH, Dr. Levy will share lessons learned on incorporating father friendly practices in medical services to encourage early father involvement and the development of programs for fathers in recovery and teen dads.

About the Speaker
Dr. Levy is the Founder and Executive Director of The Fatherhood Project at Mass General Hospital. Through programs, training and original research, TFP is dedicated to helping men be more knowledgeable, active and emotionally engaged with their children. Being a father has been a central part of Dr. Levy’s life. He is also the Senior Editor of a book series on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Research. Dr. Levy has been in the private practice of psychotherapy for 35 years, currently in Belmont, MA.


Trauma and Immigration Stress among Latino Families: Implications for Infant-Caregiver Well-Being

Speaker Series Overview
The experience of immigration is universally stressful and the current climate heightens feelings of uncertainty and fear. How do these realities impact families and the relationships between parents and their young children? An ecological model can provide a frame to understand the multiple risk and protective factors, which determine the quality of an infant-caregiver relationship. Immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to trauma, discrimination and health disparities, yet there has been limited research describing the implications for maternal-child well-being. This master class will include a presentation of findings from clinical research studies of Latino immigrants in the United States and clinical examples to examine the factors that have an impact on Latina immigrant women's emotional health, including the impact of exposure to interpersonal violence, discrimination, poverty and disadvantage and immigration status. We will discuss implications for infant-caregiver health, and specific intervention, prevention, and policy considerations. Following the didactic presentation, staff from the Early Connections/Conexiones Tempranas program of the Center for Early Relationship Support will share clinical vignettes and qviruestions from dyadic work with Latina immigrant parents and their young children.

About the Speaker
Lisa Fortuna, MD, MPH is Medical Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. She is Co-Director of Transforming and Enhancing Access to Mental Health in Urban Pediatrics (TEAM UP for Children), a BMC-community health center partnership aimed at building excellence in behavioral health care integration in primary care for children (ages 0-18 years) and families in Boston and Lowell, MA. Her clinical career has focused on health services research with a particular focus on post-traumatic stress disorder; Latino, immigrant and adolescent mental health services; access to care and quality of treatment for underserved minority and immigrant populations. She is a co-founder of the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center Community Counseling program, which offers mental health care integrated within a refugee resettlement agency in Boston. She has been an investigator on several NIH-funded national and international epidemiological and clinical studies of immigrant and minority mental health. She has published peer reviewed articles and chapters in the field of multicultural mental health services research and in posttraumatic stress and a book on the treatment of PTSD and co-occurring substance use disorders in adolescence.


Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speaker Series Overview
Professionals in the early childhood field are faced with the difficult tasks of identifying early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in infants and young children and of sharing their concerns with parents sensitively and effectively. In this Master Class, Dr. Carter will discuss research that helps us understand early symptom presentation and the varied course of onset of autism spectrum disorders. Specific strategies to assist in identifying early symptom presentation, including the use of behavioral checklists and structured observations, will be discussed. The importance of learning about parents’ concerns and beliefs about their children’s red flag behaviors will be emphasized as well as potential approaches for discussing ASD when you suspect that a child may be on the spectrum.

About the Speaker
Alice Carter is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Carter’s work focuses on young children’s development in the context of family relationships, with an emphasis on the early identification of psychopathology and factors that place children at risk for difficulties in social and emotional development. Dr. Carter is an author or co-author of more than 200 articles and chapters, the co-editor of the Handbook of Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Mental Health Assessment with Rebecca Del Carmen, PhD, and the co-author of the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA) and the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) with Margaret Briggs-Gowan, PhD. She is a member of the Zero to Three DC: 0-5 Task Force, and a DC: 0-5 trainer.

To be added to the mailing list for Speaker Series, contact us at

Payment and Refund Policy

Clinical Fellowship and Infant Observation Tuition Payment

  • A student’s non-refundable deposit is due within 2 weeks of your acceptance in order to hold your space in the program. The balance of tuition must be paid in full by July 1st or according to the payment schedule outlined in the acceptance letter.

Refund of tuition for Clinical Fellowship and Infant Observation.

  • In the event of withdrawal, students must notify the Faculty Coordinator in writing of their intention to withdraw.
  • Students withdrawing prior to July 1st: IPTI will retain student’s deposit and refund any additional tuition that has been paid.
  • Students withdrawing after July 1st and prior to first class: IPTI will retain 50% of tuition.
  • Students withdrawing after the first class are responsible for the tuition in full.

Shorter Courses Tuition Payment (3 – 10 sessions)

  • The first payment is your non-refundable deposit and is due at time of application.
  • The second payment is due prior to the first day of class.

Refund of tuition for Shorter Courses (3 – 10 sessions)

  • In the event of withdrawal, students must notify the Faculty Coordinator in writing of their intention to withdraw.
  • Students withdrawing prior to first class: IPTI will retain deposit.
  • Students withdrawing after first class: No refund will be given.

IPTI Speaker Series Fees

Students enrolled in the Fellowship are expected to attend IPTI Speaker Series presentations each fall and spring. The IPTI Speaker Series fee is included in tuition for the Fellowship and Infant Observation. Students enrolled in Shorter Courses are welcome to register for IPTI Speaker Series presentations as well for an additional fee.

Refunds will not be issued for IPTI Speaker Series fees. Registration may be transferred in the event that a participant is no longer able to attend.

IPTI reserves the right to adjust our refund policy so as to accommodate individual situations. Students in need of alternative payment schedules should contact the CERS Associate Director of Operations, Katie Britton, to develop an alternative payment arrangement.

The Infant-Parent Training Institute accepts payments by credit card, cash and check. Please make checks payable to JF&CS with the name of the Fellow/student in the memo and send to:

Gabrielle Jacobs, Jewish Family & Children’s Service
1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451
Tel: 781-693-5652

Attendance and Graduation Policy

IPTI courses are participatory and attendance at all sessions is expected and required. We value group process and much of the learning of the course is experiential and dependent upon attendance and participation. We understand that during the course of the year there may be unavoidable circumstances that require class absences. We do encourage students to keep this within the requirements of the program as outlined below.

  • Please arrive on time to ensure that all students may take advantage of the full benefit of the class time without interruption of late arrivals. A pattern of late arrivals will be addressed directly by faculty.
  • If there is an anticipated absence, students will contact the course instructor and the CERS / IPTI Administrative Coordinator as soon as possible by phone or e-mail.
  • When multiple absences are unavoidable, such as because of an extended illness, students are responsible for discussing the situation with their instructors. The possibility of substitute assignments or other accommodations will be made on a case by case basis.
  • In order to receive credit for completing courses at IPTI, students must attend 80% of course sessions*, which means no more than four absences during the 20 sessions of the Fellowship (including IPTI Speaker Series presentations) and Infant Observation.
  • For students anticipating receiving CEUs, 80% of classes must be attended. Some CEU approving bodies allow students to receive the number of CEUs for class sessions that were attended. IPTI will follow the guidelines of each approving body in making these decisions.
  • Criteria for graduation from the Fellowship and satisfactory completion of the courses are based on both attendance and overall participation. Final decisions in situations with excessive absences are decided on a case by case basis by the course instructor in conjunction with the IPTI faculty and the IPTI leadership team.

* Includes seminar sessions and IPTI Speaker Series presentations

Consultation & Observation

IPTI provides professional trainings, consultation, supervision, and program development consultation.

clinician with moms and babies

We bring the Center for Early Relationship Support’s 30 years of experience and expertise in the field of infant mental health and award- winning parent support programs to our work.


Trainings are offered on a variety of topics and will be adapted to meet the specific needs of your staff and program. Trainings can be single or multi sessions and can be combined with post-training consultation to integrate new knowledge into practice.

Topics include:

  • Postpartum Depression
  • Maternal Mental Health
  • Infant Mental Health: An Overview of Concepts and Ideas
  • Infant-Parent Attachment
  • Infant-Parent Mental Health
  • Working with Families Impacted by Addiction
  • Consultation in Early Childhood Education and Care Settings
  • Reflective Supervision
  • Infant Development
  • Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN)
  • Post-Adoption Depression
  • Infant and Toddler Sleep
  • Feeding Issues
  • Other topics tailored to the needs of your organization

Reflective Supervision Group

Reflective Supervision Groups can be 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or arranged to suit your staff meeting schedule. The reflective supervision we provide gives staff the opportunity to build self-awareness, appreciate their own and other learning styles, and develop a curiosity and respect for differences. We strive to bring new insight, knowledge, and understanding to all interactions. We encourage staff to become curious and examine individual strengths, needs, and the experiences that affect relationships.

Consultation and Supervision

IPTI offers early childhood mental health consultation to early education and care programs. Early education practice improves when providers are engaged in understanding their own and their children’s learning, and when they have a better grasp of the best knowledge in child development and how to translate that knowledge into the care they provide. IPTI consultants help providers support healthy social-emotional development of the children they serve and foster healthy attachment, growth, and learning.

If your agency employs LCSWs who need clinical supervision for their licensure and you do not have the licensed independent clinical social workers (LICSWs) in house to provide this, IPTI can meet this need for you. IPTI’s clinical supervision encourages providers to be reflective about their own skills and actions and helps providers translate self-awareness and clinical knowledge into their practice.

Program Development Consultation for Volunteer-Based Service Delivery Programs

The award-winning Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program is an outstanding model for an effective volunteer-based service delivery program. Rubin Visiting Moms has been replicated nationally and internationally as a home visiting support program for new mothers. It has also been adapted for programs using volunteers to mentor formerly homeless women, phone-based parent support, and hospital-based support for parents of premature infants. The Center for Early Relationship Support can provide in-person and phone consultation on tailoring the successful components of the Rubin Visiting Moms model for your volunteer-based service delivery program.

Organizations We Have Worked With

  • Bay State Community Services
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Parent Connection Program
  • Boston University School of Social Work
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • The Children’s Trust
  • Crispus Attucks Children’s Center
  • Eliot Early Intervention Program
  • Epiphany School
  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • Joseph Smith Community Health Center
  • Room to Grow
  • The Second Step
  • Thom Child & Family Services
  • Women, Infants & Children’s Nutrition Program

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

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. Please see the FAQs for more information

***Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are not offering our Infant Observation course in the 2021-2022 academic year. This decision was made to ensure the wellbeing of our students and our observation families. Thank you for your understanding.


Infant Observation provides a rich experience for professionals across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Our students have included social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, early childhood educators, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and early intervention specialists.

The Experience of Infant Observation

Observing infants over time in their family setting forms the foundation for understanding early development and the parent-child relationship. In addition, the experience of close observation builds awareness of the observer’s internal experiences and responses, a critical base for therapeutic work. Formal training in infant observation has long played a role in the training of psychotherapy professionals and child development specialists.

Observers become sensitized to intricate aspects of infant behavior and infant-parent interaction. The natural and inevitable feelings aroused by infant observation are shared and explored within the supportive small group. This allows for multiple perspectives and expands the view of the one observer. Group process provides another level of understanding, as group interactions sometimes parallel interactions observed between mothers and infants.

Program Information

  • Our Infant Observation seminar meets twice a month from September to June at our Waltham Headquarters.
  • Classes are small; maximum of five students.
  • The tuition for the course is $1,750.
  • 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.
  • CEUs for some disciplines will be available.
  • Please contact us at if you would be interested in IPTI offering Infant Observation on-site for your organization or group.


  • Download the Infant Observation Course application.

We are excited to be offering a section of our Infant Observation Course at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (BPSI).

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

"You become more sensitive to nuances of infancy, sharpen observation skills, increase ability to describe what you see, experience an emotional connection with mother and baby, and gain insight into your own feelings about babies and mothers and into your own experience as a baby and a mother."

- Infant Observation Course Participant