Infant and Toddler Observation Seminar



Considering the current developments regarding the outbreak of the pandemic and in coordination with the instructions of the Ministry of Health to limit and control the increase of cases, we inform you that the annual Infant and Toddler Observation seminar will run online this year.

The Infant and Toddler Observation Seminar Serie is an experiential educational process aiming to understand human personality. Through the observation and analysis of infants and toddlers, the trainees recognize and realize experientially the points of human development that take place during infancy and childhood.
The observation of infants and toddlers was introduced at the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1948, and is maintained to this day, as a prerequisite for any psychoanalytic education but also as a training seminar for professionals working with children in any context.
Infant and Toddler Observation Seminars are divided into two separate and independent sections:
A) Annual Infant Observation Seminar
B) Annual Toddler Observation Seminar
They are addressed to all mental health professionals. Psychologists, mental health counselors, special education teachers, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists. It is also open to educators and other professionals working with children who are interested in understanding deeper early relationships and bonds.
 
  1. ANNUAL INFANT OBSERVATION SEMINAR
 
The Annual Infant Observation Seminar provides the opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and understanding of the human personality development through direct observation of an infant and significant others around him/her, at the beginning of his/her life. Infant observation is based on both psychoanalytic theory, as expressed by the main psychoanalytic schools of thought and mainly Klein`s and post – Klein`s school of thought, as well as up-to-date research data on infant development.
The seminar has mainly experiential nature and aims to equip participants with knowledge of early and non-verbal mental phenomena and observation skills, extremely useful to any professional working in a clinical setting. At the end of the seminar the participants will understand experientially and theoretically the development of the infant's psyche and the ways it relates to important others. But how does it work and how does it enrich the therapist's training course?
The observer, the object of observation and the seminar-group are the basis of the Infant Observation Seminar. In a familiar environment for the baby, such as the home, the observer stands silently and discreetly watching both the external interactions and the emotional atmosphere around the baby, as well as his/her own emotional reactions. The laughter, the crying, the agony, the fear, the pleasure and the enjoyment of the observed, but also his/her own feelings and thoughts that are activated during the observation. At the same time, as the meaning of each stimulus by the observer largely involves its subjectivity, it is necessary to invest time and analysis in its execution. The small group of observers on a weekly basis frames and supports him/her, helping the observer to process in a later stage what he/she observed, but also to make connections between observations and behaviors, paying attention and understanding unconscious processes and early defense mechanisms.
Axes of Infant Observation Seminar
1) Infant observation:
Participants will observe an infant from the beginning of his/her life for a year once a week at his/her place.
2) The observation seminar:
The observations will be presented for analysis and discussion in the seminar, which will consist of 6 participants and the trainer.
3) Seminar Groups:
Participants will attend weekly 75-minutes seminars where they will present to the group detailed reports of their observations. This will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the unconscious potential of the infant psyche.
4) Psychoanalytic Theory and Contemporary Issues of Infant Development:
Participants will be introduced to basic psychoanalytic concepts around infant development, including S. Freud, M. Klein, Bion and D. Winnicott. Participants will also explore up-to-date research data related to attachment theory, neurobiology and developmental psychology.
 
Seminar structure
1 seminar  for 75 'per week for an academic year (from October to June) - Every Monday & time 8:00 -9: 15 p.m.
3 three-hour theoretical seminars during the academic year
 
Beginning Date: Monday, 19/10
Time: 8:00 -9: 15 p.m.
 
  1. ANNUAL TODDLER OBSERVATION SEMINAR
 
The Annual Toddler Observation Seminar provides professionals with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of this age. In contrast to infancy, early childhood contains new separations and developmental challenges, while at the same time the game and the activities that the child engages in his/her daily life are of great importance. The importance of play and personality development is at the heart of this seminar. Drawing a theoretical basis from psychoanalytic theory, as formulated by the main psychoanalytic schools of thought, mainly Klein`s and post-Klein`s school of thought, as well as up-to-date developmental research data, the seminar attempts to deepen the understanding of children`s psyche and those at stake in early childhood.
The seminar is primarily experiential. The observer visits the infant either in the kindergarten or at home once a week. He observes his/her movements, initiatives,emotional reactions, and the ways he/she relates to the people around him/her. At the same time, he/she observes the emotions that emerge inside him/her, in the view of the subject of observation. During the observation, the participants gain knowledge about the development of the children's personality, while sharpening observation skills, which can help them both in the roles as parents and as professionals, especially in professions that focus on the child.
As in infant observation, it is useful to note down in detail after each visit, type, and present for discussion to a small group the observations. The purpose of the group teaching of the seminar is for the observer to have the opportunity to watch the development of other toddlers through the group discussions, and to understand the unique developmental course of each child. This is a seminar for 5-6 people and the participants are invited to observe, analyze and discuss about the object of observation, the child, that is, in his/her daily life. Therefore, by combining the subjective reality of the observer with the seminar-group, the participants change their point of view, thus enriching their understanding.
The annual seminar is held once a week and lasts 75 minutes. It is addressed to mental health professionals as well as teachers or people who work with children in any post and are interested in understanding in depth the psycho-emotional development of young children.
 
 
 
Axes Toddler Observation Seminar:
1) Toddler observation:
Participants will observe a toddler in his/her daily life, either in kindergarten or at home, once a week for a year.
2) The Observation Seminar:
The observations will be presented for analysis and discussion in the seminar, which will consist of 5-6 participants and the trainer.
3) Seminar Groups:
Participants will attend weekly 75 'seminars where they will present to the group detailed reports of their observations. This will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the unconscious potential of the child psyche.
4) Psychoanalytic Theory and Contemporary Issues of Child Development:
Participants will be introduced to basic psychoanalytic concepts around child development, including S. Freud, M. Klein, Bion and D. Winnicott. Participants will also explore up-to-date research data related to attachment theory, neurobiology, and developmental psychology.
 
The start dates for the Toddler Observation Seminar will be announced on our website.
 

Procedure for selection of participants:
  • Send a CV until 09/10 to dikepsy@dikepsy.gr
  • A clinical interview with the program experts will follow, to ensure the suitability and homogeneity of each group.
 
Coordinator`s Curriculum Vitae:
Alkisti Holmes, BSc, MSc, MProf is a Psychologist, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, a member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists UK, trained at the Tavistock Clinic in London. She has a postgraduate degree in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice by Anna Freud Center and UCL University. She has clinical and research experience mainly in adolescent psychiatric clinics, mental health clinics, hospitals and organizations dealing with children under the age of five. She has specialized in pediatrics at Whittington Hospital in London where she has worked with children with organic diseases and psychosomatic disorders. She has also specialized in long-term and short-term (brief parent-young child psychoanalytic psychotherapy model) psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children under five years old. She works at the NHS (British National Health Service) at the Tavistock Clinic as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist providing sessions, trainings, and supervisions. She also teaches infant observation to trainee psychotherapists at the Caspari Foundation.
 
 
 
 
For further information you can contact usat: 698 8080383.