Jeremy Vintcent Psychotherapy and Counselling in Brighton and Hove

Infant Observation. BPF infant obs

BPF Accredited Infant Observation Trainer

We meet ten times per term.

This two-year course provides an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of human development through direct observation of an infant during its early life. The body of knowledge is drawn from the main psychoanalytic schools. The course contains experiential and some theoretical learning.

On satisfactory completion of the Infant Observation Paper participants are awarded a Certificate by the bpf. Those opting not to write will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

who is it for

Anyone who works with people will benefit from undertaking an Infant Observation, especially therapists and counsellors.
For those considering training in psychotherapy or analysis it is indispensable in helping to develop your ‘analytic attitude’ - the capacity to maintain an objective stance while remaining emotionally open and reflecting on your countertransference responses.
The experience can activate primitive areas of the psyche, which is why it is such a valuable aspect of training and why individual therapy (minimum 1 x weekly) throughout the course is essential.

course content

Participants observe a baby from birth until two years of age, paying close attention to how they relate to their careers and environment. Observing an infant fine- tunes your ability to notice intricate and subtle detail and recall sequences of interactions. By reflecting on your observations in a small seminar group, you then build up a picture of the unfolding inner world of the infants and their relationships.

The seminars offer a place to ‘feel into’ or empathically imagine the baby’s experience, to be curious and to explore ideas about what might be going on in the baby’s inner world.

The aims of the course are to help you to:

  • Develop a keen understanding of the ways in which human beings develop
  • Witness the intense psychosomatic experience of the human infant
  • Enhance your attunement to non-verbal and pre-verbal communication
  • Sharpen all your observational skills
  • Deepen your attentiveness and analytic attitude
  • Enrich an appreciation of counter-transference experiences
  • Enhance clinical practice

The group and the seminar leader will help you to identify a suitable family who are expecting a baby. Participants then visit the infant in their family setting from birth. Most people observe until the second birthday, but some, for various reasons, need to choose a shorter length of time.

In the seminars each participant presents their observations in turn for confidential group discussion. The discussion is a chance to clarify, amplify and explore ideas about what might be happening at all sorts of levels. It can be especially fascinating to discover more about non-verbal and pre-verbal communication, early states of mind and to see the difference between the various infants’ personalities and experiences.

While the seminar leader and the group will offer as much support as possible, if a student has not been able to find a family expecting a baby after 3 terms they may be asked to leave the course.


Observations last one hour a week throughout the year allowing for everyone’s holiday commitments, and after each visit students write up detailed notes of what has been observed.

A number of seminar groups run at a variety of times on different days of the week across London, Cambridge and the South-East.

10 seminars per term, 3 terms a year. There is a maximum number of 5 participants in each group.
At the end of the course participants are encouraged to write an Infant Observation paper. If applying to the bpf adult Jungian or Psychoanalytic Training or the Child & Adolescent Training, it may be considered a component module.
It is possible to join a seminar group at any time depending on space. Paper participants are awarded a Certificate by the bpf. Those opting not to write will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

how to apply

To apply for this course, please download and complete the application form supplied and email it to Sandra Pereira at

Alternatively, please print it and return it to Sandra Pereira at 37 Mapesbury Road | London | NW2 4HJ
British Psychotherapy Foundation
Links. bpf

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