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Perinatal parent-infant art therapy: from pregnancy to two years old

This course introduces art therapy practice within perinatal parent-infant mental health. Adult mental health throughout the perinatal period and infant personality development are described in a theoretical context. The course explores perinatal trauma, including sub-fertility, baby loss and how mental health illness can impact parents and the parent-infant relationship. Treatment planning, safeguarding risk and infant observation using video analysis are demonstrated using clinical material.

Saturday 26th November 2022

10.00am - 16.00pm


Delivered via Zoom, information for the day & invite to join will be sent once booking has closed

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**This course is open to all trainee and qualified professionals**


This course introduces a dynamic intergenerational mode of art therapy that focuses on the complexities of relationships and deep-rooted traumas. The perinatal period is a time when adults’ sensitivity to their own childhood memories of being parented are heightened. The non-verbal nature of art therapy can help adults gain a deeper understanding of themselves whilst making links to current relationships. Intergenerational repair during the perinatal period can achieve positive psychological change that can affect a baby’s neurological and personality development.


Pandemic lockdowns have curtailed sensory interventions like art therapy, yet touch is central in perinatal trauma, baby loss and parent-infant work. This course considers the effectiveness of online delivery and physical proximity in the community therapy room. Infant observation, formulation, treatment planning, safeguarding risk and suitable measures to evidence practice are also discussed.


A model of perinatal parent-infant art therapy is introduced. This highlights the dynamic relationships formed between the parent and infant mind, the therapist’s mind and the objective position of the artwork made. A description is given of how video analysis is shared in supervision and sensitively reviewed with parents to help facilitate bi-directional creativity. Parental reflective function (mentalization) is also discussed.


Participants may find it useful to have artmaking materials such as clay, paper, and ink available as opportunities will be given to reflect on course content using art practice.


On completing this course, you will have:

1. Gained a deeper theoretical understanding of the perinatal period, perinatal trauma, parent mental health and infant personality development

2. Learnt how a transgenerational model of perinatal parent-infant art therapy can be applied to clinical work

3. Learnt how the perinatal period offers a small window of time to: (a) help halt transmissions of deep-rooted trauma; (b) maximise parent-infant interaction to positively affect personality development; (c) value the use of video and artmaking in this field


Diane Bruce is a qualified Art Psychotherapist registered with the Healthcare Professionals Council (HCPC). She completed a two-year IAPT infant mental health post graduate diploma at UCL Anna Freud Centre where she also qualified in Video Intervention Positive Parenting (VIPP). She underwent five years of personal psychoanalysis as part of her training. Diane joined North-East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) in 2015 and currently works for the Perinatal Parent-Infant Mental Health Service (PPIMHS) and the Maternal Mental Health Service (MMHS). She is a clinical and safeguarding supervisor and an integrative practitioner informed by attachment, systemic and psychodynamic theories. Diane is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) where she teaches CPD in art therapy practice within perinatal parent infant mental health. She has also contributed as an author to books relating to the arts in health and to the International Journal of Art Therapy (IJAT).

Additional Information:

Please Note:

Booking closes 1-week prior to start date. Information and link to join the day will be sent once booking has closed.


Trainee BAAT Member: £100.00


x3 Reduced Rate for Trainees or Unemployed Members: £75.00

Please Note: We can not reserve reduced rate places.


Full Unemployed or Retired Member: £100.00


Full Underemployed Member: £110.00


Full Member (Self Funded): £120.00


Associate Member: £120.00


Employer Funded BAAT Members: £165.00


Non-BAAT Member (Self or Employer Funded): £195.00


Please create a Free Booking Account if you don't have one or are not a member, here:


Employer Funded places for members or non-members, please download a course booking form here: Invoice Request Form - Course Booking Form.docx

Completed Booking Forms (with purchase order number and BAAT booking account number), please email to:


Please Note: We do not accept employer funded bookings without an employer purchase order.


Convenors: Diane Bruce

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