Infant Observation Seminar

Subject PSYT90028 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 37.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Year Long, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

The subject will be conducted on a full time basis, one afternoon per week over the academic year with additional time required for field work (infant observation) such that the time required for the course will be at least six hours per week.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours
Total Time Commitment:

Approx. 180 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the 3 Disability Liaison Unit website : 4


University of Melbourne Commercial
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 442 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Australia


Subject Overview:

This subject will cover:

  • contribution of infant observation to developmental and psychodynamic theories;
  • therapeutic effects of infant observation on the infant and care-giver; and
  • relevance of infant observation to therapeutic work in other settings and counter transference and its use.

The weekly seminar will develop further the understanding and skills of observing being practised in PSYT90029 Infant Observation Practicum, and will provide a forum to discuss the literature on infant observation and the applications of this method.

  • Come to recognize the persistence of infantile patterns and the significance of these for later life.
  • Learn about the nature of links between infant observation and developmental theories.
  • Develop recognition of the relevance that observation skills have to all therapeutic and consultative work and understanding of older children and adults.

Two written assignments of 3,000 words each (one per semester) each worth 40% of the final mark. The seminar leader will assess the student's regular participation in the seminar. This will be worth 20% (10% per semester) of the final mark.

Prescribed Texts:

All study materials will be provided.

Recommended Texts:
  • Miller, L. et al. (eds.) (1989). Closely Observed Infants. Duckworth Press.London.
  • Harris, M. (1987). Some Notes on Maternal Containment in Good Enough Mothering, In Collected Papers of Martha
  • Harris and Esther Bick (ed) M.H. Williams. Clunie Press.London.
  • Piontelli, A. ‘From Fetus to Child’ Study in Infant Observation 1986LondonClunie Press
  • Reid S (Editor) (1997) ‘New Developments in Infant Observation’: The Tavistock Model. Routledge,London
  • Rustin, M. (1988) ‘Encountering Primitive Anxieties: Some Aspects of Infant Observation as a Preparation for Clinical Work with Children and Families’. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 14 (2).
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Infant and Parent Ment.Hlth)

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