Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program Accepting Applications

The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program will begin a new three-year training cycle in September 2018. Below is a description of the program. If you are interested in applying or would like more information, contact Sally Moskowitz at or Rita Reiswig at The deadline for applications is June 15, 2018.


The ANNI BERGMAN PARENT-INFANT PROGRAM began in 1997 and is affiliated with both The Contemporary Freudian Society and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. The program is unique in offering intensive training in parent-infant treatment to psychoanalysts, advanced psychoanalytic candidates, and to professionals with expertise working with infants and toddlers.

The three-year training program includes one year of infant observation, one year of study of the psychoanalytic literature on infancy and relevant infant research, and one year of the application of this knowledge to supervised clinical work with infants and their parents.. The program is held weekly on Tuesdays from 12-2:30 at 30 West 86th Street and runs from mid-September through the end of May.

Year One: Infant Observation

The first year is devoted to infant observation. Each student finds a parent-infant dyad to observe and makes weekly one-hour visits to the home for a minimum of one year. Detailed process notes are written after the home visit and presented at the weekly seminar where faculty and students discuss interaction patterns observed in the visits, as well as feelings evoked in the observer.

The close observation of a parent and baby provides a powerful learning experience and offers a unique opportunity for understanding primitive mental states, the origins of the development of the mind and relationship, the nuances and complexities of preverbal communication, and the intensity and intimacy of transference and countertransference phenomena. There are parallels between the observer’s and the parent’s roles in processes of containment, affect regulation, and timing, and can be thought of as they apply to the analytic situation.

The program considers the infant observation experience to be foundational for the theoretical understanding and clinical training that follow in subsequent years. Our model is based on both the infant observation models originated by Esther Bick at the Tavistock Clinic and Margaret Mahler at the Masters Childrens’ Center.

Year Two: Psychoanalytic Theory and Research on Infant Development

The second-year curriculum includes discussion of psychoanalytic theories of infancy and the parent-infant relationship, including the work of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Mahler, Bowlby, and Bion. From these foundations, the curriculum moves to current theorists and mother-infant researchers, including Beebe, Brazelton, Fonagy, Hofer, Monk, Steele, Stern, Tronick, and Trevarthan. Topics include affect regulation, communication, the development of self and object representations, attachment theory, separation-individuation theory, neurobiology, and assessment. The program faculty teaches this part of the curriculum along with researchers and analysts who are invited to present their current thinking and research. Students study the literature through an extensive bibliography and also return to their infant observations of the previous year to relate the detailed observations to the theories being studied..

Year Three: Clinical Application

In the third year, students concentrate on clinical applications of infant observation and developmental theory. Clinical opportunities include work with parent-infant dyads either privately or through The ABPIP Outreach Project working with parents and infants in homeless shelters and foster care. Students present their clinical work to the seminar and are supervised both individually and in the group.

For graduation, each student writes a paper that integrates aspects of their three-year training.

Anni Bergman, Founding Director

Rita Reiswig, Founding and Co-director

Sally Moskowitz, Co-Director

Beatrice Beebe, Consultant

Miriam Steele, Consultant

Yearly Tuition: $2900

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