Infant and early childhood mental health is a growing field with clinical and research roots going back at least 60 years. Useful to a wide range of professionals who serves families with very young children, infant mental health provides ways to prevent, promote, and intervene when there are problems in social and emotional development. Professionals who regularly interact with infants and toddlers, however, are often unaware or uncertain about how to access appropriate infant mental health services. The capacity for reflection is recognized as an essential component of competency for professionals working with very young children and their families. Regular opportunities for providers to reflect on the emotional content of their work and consider their role from a relationship perspective is best accomplished with support and insight from other professionals.
This presentation will focus on the key components and principles of reflective practice in relation to working with infants, toddlers, and their families; these components include contemplation, self-awareness, curiosity, professional/personal development, parallel process, and emotional response. Many writers have contended that reflective activities and process within the context of a reflective supervision/consultation relationship is a highly effective form of professional development that leads to reflective practice. Reflective supervision has been defined as “the shared exploration of the emotional content of infant and family work as expressed in relationships between parents and infants, parents and practitioners, and supervisors and practitioners” (Weatherston & Barron, 2009). Although this presentation will focus on reflective practice as it pertains to infant mental health, professionals who work with clients of all ages and backgrounds will find these principles to be useful in their work.
Join Drs. Elesia Hines and Christine Raches at the IPA Fall Conference for their presentation on this topic, titled: Infant Mental Health and Reflective Practice.
Weatherston, D. & Barron, C. (2009). What does a reflective supervisory relationship look like? In S. Heller & L. Gilkerson (Eds.), A practical guide to reflective supervision. Washington, D.C.: Zero to Three Press.
Explore the book, “A Practical Guide to Reflective Supervision,” edited by Sherryl Scott Heller and Linda Gilkerson to learn more.
Elesia Hines, PsyD, HSPP & Christine Raches, PsyD, HSPP, BCBA, IMH-IV
Riley Child Development Center- LEND Indiana University School of Medicine
"PsychBytes” is a weekly educational resource from the Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) provided for psychologists, their colleagues and their patients.