Full course description
Infant Mental Health (IMH) is a growing field of research and practice focused on optimizing developmental outcomes of very young children within the context of their important people, culture and community. IMH includes a multidisciplinary approach to promoting very early childhood well-being, preventing the development of mental health problems in infants at risk, and intervening when significant problems arise. The basic assumption within IMH is that relationships are the active ingredient in the environments influences on a child's development. Ensuring that all infants and very young children experience high-quality nurturing, secure and supportive relationships with one’s important adults is central to ensuring optimal infant and early childhood development. Key components of IMH work include a focus on relationships and attachment theory, understanding and promoting optimal social-emotional development, and reflective capacity that allows IMH providers, and in turn, caregivers, to take another’s perspective and reflect upon one’s own psychology as it pertains to relationships with infants, caregivers, peers, and in this work.