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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Apr 15, 2024
 
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Infant Mental Health Certificate


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A certificate in IMH will allow students to gain specialized skills and knowledge for working with very young children (0 to 3-years of age) and their families. The training will be aligned with the recently purchased IMH Competency Guidelines and will prepare IMH students to be “ready” for IMH Endorsement through the process to be determined by the state of Pennsylvania. Students with IMH concentration and/or those who pursue IMH Endorsement will have unique qualifications that may improve employment opportunities and qualification to work in various settings. Among the unique skills students will learn are culturally-informed methods for infant observation, neurobehavioral assessment, transdisciplinary evaluation of infant development, promotion of caregiver-infant relationships, family engagement, relationship observation and assessment, system coordination, and an understanding of evidence-based interventions including Child Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security, Seeing is Believing, Healthy Families America, and more.  Students will have unique learning opportunities with the continued collaboration between the concentration in IMH and various local agencies and offices.

Description of the Course Requirements:


All students must complete 18 course credits for this School of Education Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Infant Mental Health within the Department of Applied Developmental Psychology.  Students may complete two optional credits in Reflective Supervision/Consultation to meet requirements for IMH Endorsement.

At the present time, none of the proposed IMH courses have been created or offered within the School of Education Program in Applied Developmental Psychology.  SOE policy allows for graduate courses to be taught for 3-years before they must be formally reviewed by the Academic Affairs Committee.

The courses for this certificate are as follows:


  1. Foundations of Infant Mental Health I (Fou IMH 1) (3 credits, Fall)
    1. This course will provide an introduction and overview of Infant Mental Health (IMH). Core theoretical concepts related to the practice of IMH will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how IMH principles provide a foundation for working with infants, toddlers, and families across cultural, setting and discipline contexts.
  2. Infant Mental Health Interventions I (IMH INT 1) (2 credits, Fall)
    1. This course introduces specific prevention and intervention approaches for promoting attachment relationships and social-emotional development in children aged 0 to 3 emphasizing evidence-based practice. Participants will gain valuable skills for assisting parents, caregivers, educators and children in the promotion of positive social, emotional and behavioral development.
  3. Infant Observation I (Inf Ob 1) (1 credit fall)

    1. Students will learn ways to observe and describe infant behavior and infant/young child relationships with their caregivers.  Structured and unstructured observation approaches will be introduced and applied through live observations of family interactions.  Discussion of mental processes inherent in infant/young child and caregiver experiences will be explored.

  4. Infant Development (Inf Dev) (3 credits Fall)

    1. This course will provide in-depth examination of infant development from conception to age 3. Participants will gain an understanding of the bio-psychosocial aspects of brain development, attachment theory, temperament, and the potential consequences of trauma and loss. The development of specific development milestones across key domains will be reviewed.

  5. Foundations of Infant Mental Health II (Fou IMH 2) (3 credits, Spring)

    1. This course will expand upon concepts introduced in the entry level foundations course providing students with in depth instruction and observation of parent-infant interactions, an understanding of family systems, and approaches to assessment and intervention within this relationship.

  6. Infant Mental Health Interventions II (IMH INT 2) (2 credits, Spring)

    1. This course will explore parent-infant interactions with specific emphasis on early attachment relationships between parents and child, problems in the attachments process, family systems, and interventions to improve the quality of parent-infant relationships. Opportunities to observe and assess attachment relationships and parent-infant interactions within different at-risk populations will be provided.

  7. Infant Observation II (Inf Obs 2) (1 credit fall)

    1. Students will continue learning ways to observe and describe infant behavior and infant/young child relationships with their caregivers.  Structured and unstructured observation approaches will be introduced and applied through live observations of family interactions.  Discussion of mental processes inherent in infant/young child and caregiver experiences will be explored.

  8. Infant Assessment (Inf Assess) (3 credits, Spring)

    1. This course will provide students with an introduction and hands on experience completing developmental assessment of infants from a multidisciplinary perspective. Participants will learn to assess infant development of milestones in cognitive, social-emotional, communication, adaptive, and motor skills, as well as sensory integration.

  9. OPTIONAL: Reflective Supervision (Ref Sup) (two X 1 credit, Fall and Spring)

    1. Students will use observations and experiences at field placement sites to develop and/or strengthen their ability to use reflective practice principles to conceptualize, support and provide discipline specific Infant Mental Health supports. The course provides a reflective group consultation experience for students. Topics such as development, gender, culture/ethnicity and ethics will be included in classroom discussions on a regular and as-needed basis.

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