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WIFWU offers the following training to a wide range of primary care and early years practitioners

Continuous professional development (CPD)

Infant Mental Health On Line (IMHOL)

Infant Mental Health Online (IMHOL) is standardised training in infant mental health for front line professionals who work with babies/children and their families in the United Kingdom.

IMHOL has been created for professionals/practitioners to access anywhere in their own time via our virtual learning environment (Moodle). Participants will have access to online forums to encourage peer support as they progress.Your engagement with IMHOL should take you a couple of hours each week and you should complete in 16 weeks.

There are 3 core themes that underpin the course: Neurophysiology and Biochemical Structure of the Brain /

Social and Emotional Development / Ghosts and Angels in the Nursery

There are two modules on the course

Mother and Foetus and Babies and their Relationships

One of the aims of IMHOL is to promote your understanding of the concept and development of emotional regulation in the early years and the relationship between emotional regulation and dysregulation to psychopathology and what this means for your clinical practice.

IMHOL is endorsed by the Association of Infant Mental Health (AIMH) UK and has CPD Standards accreditation.

Parent Infant Interaction Observation Scale (PIIOS)

The PIIOS is a validated, easy to use tool, designed with the front line practitioner in mind to assess parent-infant interaction between 2 - 7 months. The PIIOS has been developed to meet the need for a short, easily accessible screening tool to assess parental attunement for professionals such as health visitors, midwives, nursery nurses, social workers and psychologists.The PIIOS was developed and validated by Dr P.O. Svanberg in collaboration with colleagues at Warwick Infant Family Wellbeing Unit (WIFWU) and has been shown to be reliable and also ‘teachable’ with significantly improved ability to recognize ‘risky’ interaction following the training.

The training course consists of face- to- face training, an initial two days followed by a third day 4 – 6 weeks later. On- line resources will be available to course participants and assessment will take place on line. Following the training course participants will be required to complete an on-line assessment in order to gain reliability in the use of the PIIOS.

Training will take place with the commissioning body at a venue chosen and provided by them and delivered by a PIIOS approved trainer. Training may also be arranged at the University of Warwick. Course fees are currently under review.

Enquiries for the course should be directed to


Svanberg, P. O., Barlow, J., & Tigbe, W. (2013). The Parent–Infant Interaction Observation Scale: reliability and validity of a screening tool. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 31(1), 1-10

Svanberg, P. and J. Barlow (2013). "The effectiveness of training in the Parent-Infant Interaction Observation Scale for health visitors." Journal of Health Visiting 1(3): 162-165.

Babies in Mind: Why the Parent's Mind Matters


This course will explore how the mind of the parent influences the developing mind of the child, from conception through infancy and into later life.

We will take you on a journey that begins in pregnancy, exploring the importance of the ability of the mother-to-be to think about her baby while still in utero, alongside the impact of emotions such as anxiety and depression.

We will then explore what the research tells us about the way in which the parent’s emotional and cognitive mind, can shape the interactional context of the baby during the first two years of life, and the impact of this interaction on the baby’s developing mind. This will include, for example, thinking about the parent’s ability to be ‘mind-minded’ in terms of being able to treat their baby as an individual with a mind of their own.

Throughout, we’ll seek to answer questions such as:

How does a parent’s mind influence the development of a baby before he or she is born?What processes take place in the post-natal period that influence the baby’s developing mind?What can we do during pregnancy and the post-natal period to support parents who are experiencing difficulties?

You will get the chance to hear from expert academics and clinicians working in infant mental health, and share your views with other parents and caregivers around the world and will be led by Professor Jane Barlow.


This free online course is aimed at everyone who has an interest in promoting the well-being of their own baby, or the parents and babies they work with. You do not need any prior knowledge of infant or child development, just a desire to learn about parents and babies, and the way that early interaction shapes later development. The course is based on the latest research in the field and you will be introduced to key concepts relating to infant psychology and attachment.

Course available at: