Assessment and Formulation in Perinatal and Infant Mental

Assessment and Formulation in Perinatal and Infant Mental

Level ~ Graduate Certificate
Availability ~ Semester 2
Type ~ Perinatal and Infant

This unit presents a relationship-based, developmental approach to assessment and formulation in perinatal and infant mental health. Given the centrality of early relationships in shaping infant development, the primary focus is on building student capacity to work collaboratively with parents, to identify and understand strengths, vulnerabilities, and potential for change in these early relationships. The impact of wider social and cultural factors is discussed, and case studies and workplace learning experiences facilitate the integration of theoretical concepts and practical applications. The context and principles of assessment, process of assessment, clinical formulation, assessment of risk, parenting capacity and the parent-infant relationship are explored.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand average or ‘on time’ growth and development.
  • Identify and describe risk and protective factors that can shape development.
  • Understand key principles of assessment and formulation in infant mental health.
  • Identify and describe developmentally appropriate assessment tools for use with infants and young children.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1 Brain Basics
Week 2 Communication and Language Development
Week 3 Cognition and Executive Function
Week 4 Social and Emotional Development 
Week 5 Understanding Challenging Behaviours
Week 6 Principles of Assessment in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health
Week 7 The Assessment Process
Week 8 Formulation and Care Planning
Week 9 Developmental Assessment
Week 10 Diagnostic Classification System: Zero to Five
Week 11 Attachment I: Theoretical Perspectives
Week 12 Attachment II: Internal Working Models
Week 13 Assessing Attachment in Clinical Practice
Week 14 Risk and Protective Factors
Week 15 Assessing Risk in the Parent-Child Relationship