Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program

Courses

The following courses are included in the Capstone Certificate Program:

Fall Semester - Required Classes for All Participants

  • P712 - Foundations in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Concepts: Development, Screening, Assessment and Diagnosis (3 credits)
  • P713 – Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health I (2 credits)

Spring Semester -Required for All Participants

  • P715 - Therapeutic Interventions, Practices and Policy in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (3 credits)
  • P716 – Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health II (2 credits)

Recommended For Licensed Mental Health Professionals Only*

  • P714-Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice I (1 credit)
  • P717 – Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice II (1 credit)

*Participants may choose to take these courses concurrent with the required courses each semester or enrollment may be deferred to the following academic year. The best plan for each participant is worked out in the application process.

Total Number of Credits for Capstone:

10 Credits for All Participants (Courses P712, P713, P715 & P716)

12 Credits Recommended for Licensed Mental Health Professionals (Adds courses P714 & P717)

Course Descriptions

Semester 1-Fall

P712 - Foundations in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Concepts: Development, Screening, Assessment and Diagnosis (3 credits)

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the underpinnings of Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. Content begins with a focus on pregnancy, transition to parenthood and development of typical and atypical attachment relationships. Subsequent sessions provide a knowledge base on early childhood development and on screening and assessment of social, emotional, cognitive, communication, motor and regulatory capacities in infants and young children in the context of their caregiving relationships. Students will become familiar with reliable and valid screening and assessment tools, developmentally appropriate diagnostic nosologies, methods of conceptualizing risk and protective factors, and planning for therapeutic interventions that build on strengths and address vulnerabilities in infants, young children, and their families. A unique feature of this course is the focus on observation and assessment of early parent-child relationships and the use of video replay to engage parents in assessing their relationship with their child. During the course of the semester, students will also benefit from invited state and national guest speakers and faculty and instructors from the UW.

P713 – Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health I (2 credits)

This course provides students with a foundation in reflective practices through discussion of cases , infant and family observations and mindfulness experiences as applied to their work with infants, young children and families. These practices allow students to explore and experience ways in which reflective practices strategies may be applied to the understanding of family and child development and to the screening, assessment and diagnoses in infants, young children and families. Students will learn strategies to focus their attention and to develop increased awareness and regulation of sensations, thoughts and emotions and how these skills can support best practices in their work with families of infants and young children. In reflective practice mentoring groups, students are also provided with both descriptive and in-vivo examples of reflective practice, along with case based presentations, allowing for deeper introspection and supportive discussion to increase clarity and engagement in their work with parents in the transition to parenthood and in parenting infants and young children. Discussion of professional ethics and boundaries related to the dilemmas faced by professionals working with families during the perinatal period and in early childhood, especially those in high risk and challenging circumstances will be addressed throughout the seminar.

P714 – Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice I (1 credit)

This small group and individualized course offers students an opportunity to reflect upon their work with mothers and partners in the prenatal and postpartum period, infants, young children and their families. Course faculty and a senior, clinical consultant will guide students in exploring their individual responses to the literature, course content and issues raised in their work including personal experience and reactions as well reflecting on the parallel process. The intent is to support the student’s professional development in ways that broaden and deepen the effectiveness of their work.

Semester 2-Spring

P715 - Therapeutic Interventions, Practices and Policy in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (3 credits)

This course offers students the opportunity to apply knowledge of Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health concepts, assessment and diagnosis to planning and implementation of relationship-based and individual treatment approaches as well as to program development and policy. Students will be introduced to best practices and evidence based multi-disciplinary treatment approaches to address a range of presenting issues, settings, and cultural contexts for vulnerable children who are evidencing social, emotional, behavioral or attentional disturbances and parents with psychiatric disorders. Implications for informing policy across systems of care will be addressed. During the course of the semester, students will benefit from invited state and national speakers and guest faculty and instructors from the UW speaking on their areas of expertise.

P716 – Seminar in Reflective Practices and Mindfulness in Infant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health II (2 credits)

This course provides students with continued advancement in reflective practices through discussion of cases, infant and family observations and mindfulness experiences as applied to their work with infants, young children and families. Students are provided with additional practice strategies and increasingly in-depth opportunities for introspection self-awareness and supportive discussion towards greater, clarity and engagement in their work. This will include a greater recognition of the parallel process between the nature of their relationship with a parent and the parent’s relationship with their child. The focus will be on the application of mindfulness strategies and reflective practices to relationship-based therapeutic interventions with families of infants and young children, with a special focus on underserved populations and family circumstances where maternal depression, other mental health and co-morbid substance abuse disorders or trauma experiences (current or past) may contribute to disturbances in the parent-child relationship and the child’s development. The course will also introduce mindfulness strategies that can be offered to parents and young children to reduce stress and increase mindful awareness and attention. In addition, concepts of ethics and boundaries will be integrated into the seminar course throughout the semester. There will also be opportunities for students to reflect upon their experiences in planning and conducting outreach education and consultation on topics related to infant, early childhood and family mental health to programs within their communities. The implications for policy and practice will also be addressed. This course will also include a self-assessment process that will support the students in assessing the appropriate level of endorsement and their readiness to apply for the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health Endorsement. The semester concludes with an all-day mindfulness retreat incorporating what was learned over the semester.

P717 – Consultation in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Practice II (1 credit)

This small group and individualized course offers students an opportunity to reflect upon their work with mothers and partners in the prenatal and postpartum period, infants, young children and their families. Course faculty and a senior, clinical consultant will guide students in exploring their individual responses to the literature, course content and issues raised in their work including personal experience and reactions as well reflecting on the parallel process. The intent is to support the student’s professional development in ways that broaden and deepen the effectiveness of their work.