This conference has been created to enhance your work with infants and their parents, with talks by professionals across the spectrum of Infant mental health specialties. They will bring not only their wealth of experience, but something for everyone to take away, whether that is a different way of thinking about babies, or skills, ideas and approaches to working with infants and their parents.

9.15am – 9.30am: Welcome – Jane Barlow – AiMH UK President

9.30am – 10.30am: Betty Hutchon – The NBO in Practise: Transforming Parent-Infant Relationships in Early Infancy

Betty is Head of Paediatric Occupational Therapy at the Royal Free Hospital London NHS Trust. Betty trained in the NBO (Newborn Behavioural Observation) with its originator, Terry Brazelton and is Master Trainer & Co- Founder of the Brazelton Centre, UK. Betty has spent decades teaching this technique, which was designed to help practitioners sensitise parents to their infant’s unique competencies and vulnerabilities and therefore understand and respond in a way that meets their infant’s developmental needs, contributing to the development of a positive parent-infant relationship from the very beginning. In this session and through video material, Betty will explain and demonstrate how the NBO is being used in both universal (health visiting) and specialist settings (neonatal units) in the UK, to support parent-infant relationships and, in the process, to promote communication between clinicians and parents.

10.30am – 10.45am: Coffee break (15 minutes)

10.45am – 11.30am: Mary Short – From Rejection to Recognition: Parent Infant Psychotherapy with a ‘replacement baby.’

Mary is a Psychoanalytic Parent Infant Psychotherapist and a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist in the NHS in Northern Ireland. She is winner of the Louise Emanual Essay Prize 2021 for her clinical paper on parent-infant psychotherapy with a ‘replacement’ baby – a baby born into the void and unbearable grief which follows a loss, often, of another baby or child. Mary will describe her work with a mother and baby girl, who had begun her life in the shadow of her dead brother, who had been born with severe disabilities and to whom her mother had been completely devoted. In this moving piece of work, Mary will demonstrate how she placed the infant girl’s emotional experiences at the centre of the work, to support the recognition and formation of the baby’s identity.

11.30am – 12.30pm: Katy Taylor & Clare Beckell – The Rockabye Program: Nurturing Parent Infant Connection through Sensory Play & Song

Katy and Clare are Co-Directors and Therapists at the Rockabye Program in Bristol, a support program for parents who may be suffering post-natally or having difficulties in bonding with their baby. The Rockabye program runs for 10-12 weeks in Children’s Centres across Bristol, for parents and their pre- crawling babies. Parents are supported to share their experiences with other parents and to nurture their relationship with their baby through singing and sensory play. Katy and Clare will share their therapeutic approach and some of the structured activities they use with parents and infants to give parents time to focus on their baby, have fun and nourish their connection.

12.30pm: Lunch break (30 minutes)

1.00pm – 1.30pm: AiMH UK Awards and presentations

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Nicola Canale & Rebecca Stewart – In the Heart of the Community: Transforming Parent Infant Relationships through use of Video within a Home Visiting Programme

Nicola and Rebecca will present the work that Cardiff Parents Plus are doing, a psychology-led service that provides targeted, personalised, psychology-informed interventions, to parents and children aged 0-4 years old within the family home. The team is based in a Local Authority setting as part of Cardiff Parenting Services. It consists of Educational Psychologists and Early Years Parenting Practitioners. This talk will:

Describe the process of undertaking a whole team approach to using Video Interaction Guidance within a Personalised, Psychology Informed, Home-Based Intervention.
Illustrate the transformation of the Parent-Infant relationship through a series of short case studies and video examples.

Hear the voices and experiences of both practitioner and parents who took part in this process.
Reflect on the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to undertaking such a project.

The presentation will end with some reflections on how bringing video work into the heart of people’s homes can break down some of the barriers typically associated with accessing this type of intervention.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Alison Steier – The Essence of Transformation: The FAN method, Facilitating Attuned Interaction

The ultimate goal of FAN is to strengthen the ‘provider-parent’ relationship through attunement, empathy and capacity-building. The attuned approach of FAN increases safety and reduces anxiety in parents who may be struggling and hard to reach. The process of attunement is modelled by the practitioner and experienced by the parent. In turn, parents are better able to respond to the needs of their infants. Whilst created for Erikson’s Fussy Baby Network, FAN can also be applied to parenting of older children and can be used as a framework for team building and supervision. Alison will talk us through the FAN model and its application, particularly when supporting a parent may be easier said than done.

3.30pm: Close of Conference


Members of AiMH UK: £35  Non-members: £55