CLASS REGISTRATION IS FULL                                   7-WEEK INTRODUCTORY

Dorinda Welle, PhD

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This experiential seminar offers an introduction to parent-infant observation through the use of artwork and videos. As a unique opportunity to see the relational capacities of infants and their caregivers, the close observation of a parent and baby can inform psychoanalytic training and help deepen analysts’ treatment work. Many clinical innovations of recent decades have been enhanced by infant observation, including understandings of the intergenerational transmission of trauma and appreciation of the infant in the adult or child patient.

Participants will learn about primitive mental states, the development of the mind and relationship, and nuances of preverbal communication. The observer’s role in containment and affect regulation will be considered as it applies to the analytic situation. The intensity and intimacy of transference and countertransference phenomena will be explored through the observation material; no readings are assigned.

The following five skills of the observational process will be practiced:

  1. Observing the beginnings of the parent-infant relationship through the ways the infant is held, fed, bathed, looked at, comforted, put to sleep, diapered, and dressed.
  2. Writing detailed notes of what was observed from memory.
  3. Presenting observation notes to the seminar group.
  4. Discussing impressions of observations in order to reflect on personal reactions.
  5. Integrating concepts of infant development and the parent-infant relationship with the observation material.

Dorinda Welle, PhD, is an anthropologist and graduate of the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program’s three-year training in Parent-Infant Studies. She chairs and teaches in the China America Psychoanalytic Alliance infant observation training program.

The seminar is offered by CIPS and the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program, which is jointly affiliated with the Contemporary Freudian Society and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. For over 20 years, ABPIP has been teaching infant observation modeled on the work of Margaret Mahler and Anni Bergman at the Masters Childrens Center in New York and Esther Bick at the Tavistock Clinic in London.

The registration fee for the seminar is $200 and may be made by clicking on the link below. Payment may also be made by check and mailed to Susan Light, LCSW, 8 East 96th Street, New York, NY 10128. Payment by credit card is preferred. Payment must be received prior to the first session. Once registered, please email Elizabeth Reese at or text her at (727) 560-9746 to receive other information about the seminar and ask any questions.