Assessment and Formulation in Perinatal and Infant Mental

Assessment and Formulation in Perinatal and Infant Mental

Graduate Certificate
Semester 2 - Perinatal and Infant unit

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:

  • Demonstrate collaborative assessment processes in the identification, interpretation and reporting of biopsychosocial risk and protective factors important in shaping perinatal and infant mental health. This includes the assessment of common presentations in pregnancy and infancy as well as the assessment of parenting capacity and the parent-infant relationship.
  • Articulate a collaborative, individualised case formulation that includes strengths, adaptive capacities, short and long-term needs, and review of progress.
  • Develop a comprehensive intervention plan that is evidence-based and consistent with the case formulation above.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1 Introduction to the Unit and to the Principles of Assessment
Week 2 The Assessment Process
Week 3 Formulation and Care Planning
Week 4 Parental Mental Health I: Anxiety and Mood Disorders
Week 5 Parental Mental Health II: Suicidality and Low Prevalence Disorders
Week 6 Trauma
Week 7 Attachment I: Theoretical Perspectives
Week 8 Attachment II: Internal Working Models
Week 9 Assessing Parenting Capacity
Week 10 Parental Reflective Functioning
Week 11 Risk in the Parent-Child Relationship
Week 12 Specific Measures
Week 13 Developmental Assessments
Week 14 Diagnostic Classification System: Zero to Three
Week 15 Professional Challenges and Report Writing