Open House to Learn about the New Advanced Clinical Training in Infant Mental Health for Mental Health Clinicians

Distance Training Glossary | Print Version | Email This Page To A Friend

Training Details

Event Dates and Timeframe
Two time slots for the Open Houses are available: 11am-12pm or 3-4pm
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Location and Delivery Method
Delivery Method
Video Conferencing
Cost Range

Host And Instructor

Barnard Center for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health, University of Washington
Nucha Isarowong, PhD, LCSW, IMH-E (III)®
class/provider logo image

Training Overview Description

Free Open House about the Advanced Clinical Training Program (ACT) at the Barnard Center

Join Nucha Isarowong, PhD, LCSW, ACT Program Director, in a virtual Open House to learn more about this brand new, intensive training program for mental health clinicians! Nucha will give a short presentation and answer your questions live on Zoom.

ACT Program Overview

The ACT Program is a 15-month long intensive deep dive into foundational theory and practice skills for those conducting clinical infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) assessment and treatment. This program is located at the Barnard Center for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Originally designed for monthly long-weekend seminars, scheduled in-person, the program will launch in March 2021 virtually amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The learning objectives for this program rest on an integrated application of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families. In fact, the Tenets are the topic of the first 30 hours of the didactic training and will be woven into all subsequent content. The program seeks to develop participants as practitioners, not academics, so while the first five months will focus on core foundational knowledge areas, the last nine months focus intensively on building psychodynamically-informed mental health practice skills for work with families of young children.

History of ACT

Started as the Center on Infant Mental Health and Development in 2001 by the late Kathryn Barnard, PhD, FAAN, the mission of the Barnard Center is to promote interdisciplinary research and training related to infant and early childhood mental health. The Center also hosts the popular NCAST system which is now housed in the Parent-Child Relationship Programs (PCRP) of tools/training, along with Promoting First Relationships & Baby Cues.

From 2009-2017, the Barnard Center had an in-person graduate certificate program to train professionals in IECMH. That program has now been redesigned as a community-based professional development program with a reorganized format to make it more accessible for working professionals.


Faculty bios are available on the ACT website

  • Nucha Isarowong, PhD, LCSW, IMH-E®-Clinical Mentor
  • Kadija Johnston, LCSW
  • Monica Oxford, MSW, PhD
  • Maria Seymour St. John, PhD, MFT
  • Alison Steier, PhD
  • Haruko Watanabe, MA, LMHC, IMH-E®-Clinical Mentor

Guest faculty will include other national experts speaking on their specialties:

  • Abigail Bocanegra, MFT
  • Connie Lillas, PhD, MFT, RN
  • Carmen Rosa Noroña, LICSW, MSEd, IMH-E®-Clinical Mentor
  • Martina Whelshula, PhD


  • Participants must be post-graduate (master or doctorate) level mental health clinicians who are licensed or license-eligible.
  • Applicants from diverse backgrounds and/or who have overcome significant adversity are prioritized by the program.
  • While the program aims to address critical shortages of IECMH clinicians in Washington, the program welcomes participants from other states particularly those in Region X (AK, ID, OR). The caveat is that participants will pay their own travel costs, in the event the ACT cohort is eventually able to convene for monthly in-person, post-Pandemic long weekends during the final 9 months of the program.
  • Only Washington residents may apply for tuition waivers.

Components of ACT

  • Cohort/community learning model to build relationships that support effective adult learning and IECMH practice
  • Cohort limited to a maximum of 20 participants
  • Extensive opportunities for mentorship by faculty
  • 270+ hours of didactic training by expert faculty and guests
  • 45 hours of small group Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RSC) which can be used toward Endorsement (see below)
  • 12 months of monthly 1-hour Infant Observation
  • 12 months of monthly 2-hour Infant Observation Reflection Groups
  • Special training opportunities in several dyadic treatment models are included (described below)

CEUs & Endorsement®

The didactic training hours will carry CEU credit for mental health providers and the program is being cross-walked to the Endorsement Competencies® by the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health (WA-AIMH) (see below).

Program Format

ACT has 2 phases: Foundations Phase & Advanced Clinical Practice Phase.

The Foundations Phase (March-August 2021) consists of online live webinar training for approximately 24 hours/month scheduled primarily over two weekends (Fri-Sat-Sun) each month, as 2-3 days of 4-hour webinars. Group RSC will begin immediately, also live online, scheduled as two sessions each month of 90 minutes each; these will be scheduled to accommodate standard work schedules, typically in the evenings.

During the first few months, ACT will help participants recruit families in their home communities for the Infant Observation component. Initial infant observation sessions will likely be via videoconferencing, pending practitioner and family comfort with in-home observations. These infant observation sessions will start by month 3-5, as will the Infant Observation Reflection groups.

The Advanced Clinical Practice Phase (September 2021- May 2022) will last 9 months. The didactic training component will occur either through distance delivery (organized similarly to the Foundations phase) or through convening in-person for one long weekend (Friday-Sunday) per month in the Seattle area. Virtual RSC and Infant Observation Reflection groups will continue throughout the Advanced Clinical Practice Phase, and participants will continue conducting infant observations in their home communities.

Given the Covid-19 Pandemic, the learning cohort as a group, along with the faculty, will transparently assess the safety of convening the cohort in person during the Advanced Clinical Phase.

Topics Covered in Training

  • Prenatal, infant and early childhood development
  • Attachment theory & research
  • Early relational development
  • The impact of adversity/trauma on neurodevelopment & stress physiology
  • Child development & parenting in diverse families & cultures
  • Reflective functioning & its development in children, parents, & providers
  • Reflective practice & Reflective Supervision/Consultation
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Integrating social justice with IECMH intervention
  • Dyadic and family clinical intervention models
  • Providing IECMH Consultation for early childhood/family support programs

Advanced Practice topics covered in the training will include comprehensive multi-disciplinary assessment, to include training on the Functional Emotional Assessment (FEAS) with attention to sensory integration. Intervention skills will be further bolstered with trainings in multiple IECMH intervention models to include Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN), the Neuro-Relational Framework (NRF), DIR Floortime, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). These trainings may be integrated into the didactic meeting schedule (e.g., FAN) or conducted at other times selected by participants, who will directly access the training sponsors to register (e.g., DIR, FEAS); tuition to attend those trainings will be paid for by the program. Clinical training in the DC:0-5 may also be included.


  • While the ACT tuition of $6,000 might seem steep, it is less than the program will cost in future years when tuition will be $8,000.
  • Payment will be accepted in installments.
  • Given that group RSC in Alaska costs $35 to $60/person, and a typical online/live, high-quality CEU hour costs approximately $40-$50, the value of the ACT program is $17,000+ per participant.

Continuing Education Credits & Endorsement®, & Competencies® Information

All of the didactic training hours will be receiving CEU approvals from the accrediting body in Washington that covers mental health practitioners of all types. Please check with your own state's licensing regulations to determine if these will be acceptable.

The full curriculum is being cross-walked to the Competencies Guidelines for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® by the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health (WA-AIMH). ACT is expected to address all competency areas for the Infant Mental Health Specialist category.

WA-AIMH is a member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health and licenses the Endorsement for Culturally-Sensitive Relationship Focused Practices Promoting Infant Mental Health®, as does the Alaska Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (AK-AIMH).

The Reflective Supervision/Consultation received in the program may also count toward Endorsement®, as long as participants are able to practice dyadic clinical infant mental health intervention directly with families of very young children while in the training program. Services provided must meet the scope of practice required by Endorsement®.

Event-specific Details

The Alaska Association of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (AK-AIMH) has listed this training for the benefit of Alaska's professionals as part of our three-year initiative Project Compass: Leading the Way to Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce Development. Project Compass is funded by AK-AIMH members and donors, the Alaska Children's Trust, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

Membership information can be found on our website. You will also find that 2021 members have FREE access to 60 hours of on-demand, online recordings of expert lectures on a variety of infant mental health topics. Continuing checking this AKTC catalog under the IECMH categories because Project Compass is offering more training in February-June 2021 and will also continue listing training offered by other organizations.

Registration Information

Email ACT to sign up for one of the virtual Open House slots, or to get more information about this opportunity:

Open Houses are on Wed. Jan 20, 2021, at 11am-12pm AK time, or 3-4pm AK time.

Applications are being accepted until January 31, and training is scheduled to begin the first weekend of March.

The application system is online but is described fully on the ACT webpage.

The following items must be uploaded for the application:

  • Autobiographical (Personal) Statement

  • Academic Transcripts (not official)

  • Professional Licenses, Credentials, or Certificates

  • Letter(s) of Reference (1-2)

  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)