Infant Mental Health Advanced Training (IMHAT)


This one year certificate course is administered through Mindful and coordinated by Associate Professor Campbell Paul at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. It is suitable for health care professionals working in the infant mental health field who wish to develop their understanding and clinical skills in work with infants and parents. The course runs every 1-2 years, according to demand. Please note that while a certificate of completion will be provided, this is not a University of Melbourne award course.


The IMHAT course aims to provide a basic understanding of the principles of infant and parent mental health and to equip students to use this understanding to further develop their skills in working with babies and toddlers who present with, or are at risk of developing, mental health problems. The course builds upon the former University of Melbourne Graduate Diploma and Masters courses in Infant and Parent Mental health (est. 1996) and was developed out of the clinical, teaching and research work of the Infant Mental Health Group at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. The course focuses primarily on the baby and infant/parent relationships and draws on the disciplines of psychiatry, developmental psychology, attachment theory, social theory and psychoanalysis for the theoretical basis to provide sound theoretical, practical and observational foundations for working with infants and famliies experiencing mental health problems.

Course Overview

There are four subjects in this course:
IMH0001: The Infant-Parent Relationship
IMH0002: Clinical Problems in Infancy
IMH0003: The Infant in Social Context
IMH0004: Observing and Assessing Infants

Students will become familiar with the theoretical foundations for understanding all aspects of the infant's development and infant/parent relationships.

Methodologies with which infants have been observed and studied will be examined and students will become famliiar with key psychoanalytic and psychodynamic concepts and models for understanding the infant and family experience. 

Theories of child rearing including cultural aspects, how family and social context impinge upon the infant's development and some common problems of early infancy will be examined.

Students will be introduced to the techniques used in communicating with and assessing infants and examine some of the therapeutic results of such intervention.


Students will be selected from applicants with degrees or equivalent training in medicine, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, speech pathology or other related health and welfare disciplines. Applicants would normally be expected to have at least two years of post-graduation clinical experience, and should be currently working or anticipate working with babies, toddlers and their families.


This is a year long course, offered over two 12 week semesters. Semester 1 is expected to commence in late February/March, and Semester 2 is expected to commence in late July/early August.

Expressions of Interest and Application Process

There is a formal application process, including interview. Expressions of interest for 2024 are now open from 23 November 2023 and will close on 19 January 2024. All course enquiries should be directed via email:

[email protected]

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All information correct at October 2022. Mindful reserves the right to make changes to the training calendar or any general or specific information published in this calendar. Mindful reserves the right to cancel courses that do not achieve minimum participation, in which case, course fees will be refunded.