Infant Observation Program

Infant Observation is a course for professional people who would like to deepen and broaden their understanding of psychological development. It is offered as part of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training or as a STAND-ALONE PROGRAM. It can also be offered via ZOOM or face-to-face.

The Stand-Alone program is run alongside the Infant Observation component of the NSWIPP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training. It may be possible, following the completion of the Infant Observation course, to join the full training program, subject to meeting the prerequisites for the training, namely being in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with an approved therapist twice weekly. Application for the training and an interview would be required. Information about the Training can be found on this Website.

Therapy, at least weekly, is also required for the Stand-Alone program. We have found that students have a richer experience of their infant observation if in therapy concurrently.

While students can read about child development, a much deeper understanding can be gained by actually observing, in a non-intrusive manner, an infant growing up with his/her family. The observer can have a unique opportunity to witness the week-by-week changes in the baby’s interactions with others, and thus see at first hand the emergence of a new personality. Personal therapy enables the student to have a richer experience of the observation process and helps to contain any strong feelings that may emerge.

After potential observers have started meeting in the seminar group they will look for and make contact with a family that is expecting a baby. The student will need to visit the family and to discuss contact arrangements that would follow the birth of the baby. These matters will need to be discussed in the seminar prior to beginning the search for a baby to observe.

Infant Observation involves the student observing the baby with his/her care givers on a weekly basis. The observations are for one hour per week at a convenient time for the mother/care giver and family. It is ideal to observe a baby for twelve months, although this can be extended if convenient to the family. The observer will watch the baby and will be interested to hear any observation that the mother or family has noticed during the week. No notes are taken during this time, but after the hour, the student is required to write down their observations. These observations are then discussed in a small seminar of no more than five people. No names are mentioned so that the confidentiality of the family is respected and maintained.

The seminars are conducted by a qualified psychoanalytic psychotherapist who is a member of NSWIPP.  Reports are required at 6 monthly intervals by both student/trainee and seminar leader.

Infant Observation offers an opportunity to experience at first hand the evolving development of a baby, and families can enjoy sharing their experience of their baby with the observer.

For further information, please contact Administrative Officer: Lyndall Rees Ph: 0406 975 434 Email:

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