Infant Observation seminars - Cambridge

07982 437 375 07982 437 375
Counsellors and trainees
£250 per term
Cambridge, CB4 3AG

Infant Observation was developed at the University of Vienna at the beginning of the twentieth century. Influenced by Freud’s writings, Esther Bick and her colleagues began to undertake regular long-term observations of infants and their mothers. In 1923, they all emigrated, and some continued with this work abroad.

When John Bowlby set up the first child psychotherapy training at the Tavistock Clinic, London, he asked Esther Bick to organise a similar study of infants, observed in their natural environment within the family home and in relation to family members. Soon the programme that Bick developed was extended to the training at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and from there to virtually all psychoanalytic psychotherapy trainings.

The basic elements of these mother/infant studies are an hour’s observation weekly at the family home over a period of two years. Each observation is written up in detail and then discussed in a weekly group with other observers. The purpose is to learn how to observe emotional development in the infant and how to think about it.

This will enhance the observer’s capacity to deal with raw emotions and to integrate what one sees and what one feels without taking an active role in the observed situation.

The observation consists of three parts:

1. The weekly observation and its emotional impact on the observer.
2. The reconstruction of the observation (writing about it).
3. Seminar: the mental space where the observation can be looked at in detail and thought about.

This is followed by forgetting, the actual/unconscious digestion, elaboration and

The Infant Observation seminars take place weekly in Cambridge on Wednesdays from 12:45pm-2:15pm for 10-week terms. We recommend you contact one of the seminar leaders to find out when to best join the ongoing Infant Observation seminars.

Find more information and book your place today.

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Hosted by Penny Maddrell

Please note, this event was posted by Penny Maddrell but the seminar group is hosted by its leaders Martha Stevns, a BPC-registered SAP Training Analyst, accredited as an infant observation leader by the Society of Analytical Psychology, and Nicola Parrott, a Tavistock-trained Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist registered with ACP.


Hosted by Penny Maddrell

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