The London region
Infant Mental Health Hub

A hub within AiMH UK

The London Region AIMH Hub was launched in June 2018 with a presentation by Julianne Boutaleb on Birth Trauma. So far we have held 3 annual events with speakers (Jenifer Wakelyn on ‘Watch me Play in 2019) each presentation followed by informal networking over tea. Our 2020 event was of necessity our first online meeting. After a presentation by Dana Shai and Rose Spencer on Parental Embodied Mentalising members were able to spend some time reflecting on the impact of Covid-19 on their work. We look forward to seeing you at future events, and your participation in the development of the Hub.

The AiMH UK Infant Mental Health Hubs enable members to connect across professions and levels within geographical areas, to help to develop and co-ordinate our thinking and practice around Infant Mental Health issues in our work. If you would like something posted here, contact your Hub leads on the Hub Discussion Forum (big blue link below).

AIMH hub lead Sara Rance

Sara Rance

AIMH Clinical Lead & Trustee. Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist, specialising in Parent Infant Psychotherapy. After 24 years in NHS CAMHS Sara now works in independent practice. Clinical supervisor and teacher for ITSIEY and the Anna Freud NCCF Psychoanalytic PIP training.

Gwen Kirkwood 

Psychoanalytic Parent-Infant Psychotherapist working in a perinatal and early years service which she set up within a Specialist CAMHS clinic in East London. NHS Trust Perinatal Champion. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Supervisor.

Julianne Boutaleb

Consultant Perinatal Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Parenthood in Mind practice, a specialist psychological services for parents, parents-to-be and their babies.

Discussion forum

Share insight, explore issues, and ask other professionals for their experience and expertise in the Hub discussion forum.

Posts from the London region Infant Mental Health hub

News and events below.

Welcome to the London Hub

The London Hub welcomes you to AiMH UK. What we can post and share together in this space will help us more broadly understand the wide range of work happening, and the many different organisations or individuals working with babies and their families. Let’s join up our thinking and our work where we can! We look forward to hearing from you on the London Hub Forum.

Interview with Juliet Hopkins

 Jane O’Rourke from MindinMind talks to Juliet Hopkins about the significant impact she has had on child psychotherapy.

In this interview, Juliet shares her regret about feeling embarrassed about her uncle being John Bowlby when she was a trainee, and the painful rejection of him by colleagues at the Tavistock Clinic who considered his ideas ‘ridiculous’. 

Juliet says despite John Bowlby’s theories being widely embraced by child clinicians throughout the world, he is still not properly honoured at the Tavistock or by psychoanalytic organisations.

Juliet’s difficulties with her own parents and children inspired her to develop important ideas about parenting in psychotherapy, and led to the illuminating theory of ‘Too Good Mothering,’ which she shares with MindInMind.

She describes how her analyst Enid Balint lifted her from depression. 

Juliet’s recall of a time in history is fascinating. It was when some children like her grew up with parents who were steeped in psychoanalysis (her mother’s analyst was Joan Riviere) and hearing about penis envy was a completely normal part of everyday life!

Interview with Dilys Daws

Dilys Daws’ contribution to the field of infant mental health and child psychotherapy has been immense.  

Her work has spanned more than five decades, raising awareness of the difficulties experienced by babies and their families and shaping public opinion and government policy.  

Her clinical work has also been remarkable, marking her out as one of the most important child psychotherapists of her generation. 
Since 1976, Dilys has been transforming the lives of children and parents in what might be to some an unconventional setting for psychotherapeutic work. In her interview with Jane O’Rourke from MindinMind, she talks about how she has been going to the James Wigg GP Practice, in Kentish Town, London to stand by the weighing scales, observing what takes place as parents bring in their babies to be checked

Her work has spanned more than five decades, raising awareness of the difficulties experienced by babies and their families and shaping public opinion and government policy.

Watch Infant Sleep Lecture and read Dilys Daws’ new book on Infant Sleep Problems

Dilys Daws with Sarah Sutton’s ‘Parent Infant Psychotherapy for Sleep Problems’ (Routledge 2020) is a wonderful addition to the literature on the subject of infant sleep. This book includes infancy research, a psychoanalytic perspective on infant sleep problems and case studies.

A lecture on ‘What is Normal Infant Sleep? A view from Anthropology’ was given on 11th Nov 2020 by Professor Helen Ball of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre and it is still accessible on YouTube, together with the Q & A.

You can find everything we do on our website, the Baby Sleep info Source  where we have resources for parents and healthcare professionals, including downloadable information sheets and an infantsleep app. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.