Infant Observation Course in London 

Certificate in Infant Observation 

Seminars available Online

Observe an infant as she or he develops from birth and join an infant observation seminar, either in London or online.

Why this course?

The close and regular observation of an infant is recognised as a powerful tool in deepening an understanding of early development and of the roots of adult mental life. Infant observation groups give participants an opportunity to discuss these observations with the guidance of an experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Infant observations are a very common part of most psychodynamic psychotherapy trainings. They help the trainee to develop the skills of observation and self-reflection that are crucial to the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy.


Start date:
The Centre's infant observation seminars can be joined in September, January or April of each year, vacancies permitting.

Participants should make a commitment of at least one year to their observation. There is the possibility of extending this to two years.

The observation takes place in the child's home and so can take place anywhere in the UK or overseas. 

The seminar is held at 27 Frognal, London NW3 6AR or can be joined remotely via the internet.


Suitable for:
Anyone who is interested in an infant's early years and wants to understand human development in a psychoanalytic context.

The course can also be used as CPD or to supplement another training.

Successful completion of the course depends upon:

  • Satisfactory attendance at the seminars
  • A satisfactory log of observations
  • A pass mark for a 4,000 word paper on an aspect of infant development drawn from the observation

Structure of the course

Participants find a mother and infant to observe for one hour a week. The observations take place in the infant's home and should start as soon after birth as possible. Trainees meet in an observation seminar for 90 minutes once a fortnight. Guidance is given on how to conduct the observation.

The observations should be made in a family that is not known to the observer. It is important to maintain the role of an observer, without making judgements or giving advice. This is a powerful experience that gives the individual an opportunity to develop as a neutral and self-reflective observer. 

No previous experience is necessary, but candidates should show the maturity necessary to undertake such a sensitive role.

After the observation: A successfully completed observation can count towards the School's UKCP-recognised diploma in Parent Infant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. The award of the diploma and registration with the UKCP requires a two-year observation