The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program

Anni Bergman, PhD, Founding Director
Rita Reiswig, MS, LP, Co-Director
Sally Moskowitz, PhD, Co-Director

The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program began in 1997 at the Psychoanalytic Training Institute of CFS and in 2006 came under joint sponsorship of the Institute and IPTAR. The program is unique in offering intensive training in parent-infant work to psychoanalysts and advanced psychoanalytic candidates. Applicants with particular interest and experience in research are also considered, as are applicants interested in only the infant observation year.

The three-year training program includes infant observation, the study of the literature on infancy, infant research, dyadic treatment of infants and their parents, and the application of this knowledge to clinical work with children and adults. A three-hour seminar led by program faculty is held weekly.

The full program is offered on a three-year cycle basis.

Year One: Infant Observation

The first year is devoted to infant observation which establishes the foundation for later theoretical understanding and clinical work. It is the program’s belief that the close observation of a parent-infant couple forms a strong basis for further psychoanalytic training and work. It provides a unique pathway to gaining deeper understanding of the power and intimacy of the analytic relationship as it unfolds in the transference and countertransference, as well as helping attune us to the nuances and complexity of nonverbal communication. There is a parallel between the observer’s role vis-à-vis the parent- baby pair, and the parent’s role vis-à-vis the baby, in processes of containment, affect regulation, and timing. These elements can also be considered as they apply to the analytic situation. Observing the evolution and development of personality in the context of the family, and finding ways to think about this with colleagues is a compelling learning experience.

Each program participant finds a parent-infant pair to observe and makes weekly visits to the home for at least one year. Detailed process notes of the observation are written and presented at the weekly seminar conducted by the program faculty.

Year Two: Psychoanalytic Theory and Research on Infant Development

The second-year curriculum begins with the study of recent research in infant neuropsychology and neurobiology focusing on the infant/parent dyad as a biologic entity. The curriculum then moves to psychoanalytic theories of infancy and the parent-infant relationship, including the foundational work of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Mahler, Bowlby, and Bion, and contemporary work of psychoanalytic theorists and researchers such as Beebe, Brazelton, Fonagy, Greenspan, Hofer, Sander, Shore, Steele, Stern, Tronick, and Trevarthen. Topics include affect regulation, communication, assessment, attachment theory, separation-individuation theory, and the development of the self. In addition to the program faculty, numerous infant experts from the United States and Europe teach and present their current thinking and research. Program participants also study the literature through an extensive bibliography.

Year Three: Clinical Applications

In the third year, program participants concentrate on clinical applications of infant observation and developmental theory, and examine psychoanalytically oriented approaches to parent-infant therapy. They study dyadic treatment of parent-infant pairs and are supervised in their work with parent-infant groups and mother-infant or father-infant couples. For graduation, each student writes a paper which integrates aspects of their three year training and focuses on their clinical work.

Admissions and Tuition

The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program is an advanced non-credit elective program open to licensed professionals whose scope of practice includes psychoanalysis and who have completed their training in psychoanalysis or who are advanced candidates in a psychoanalytic training program. Applicants with particular interest and experience in research are also considered for admission. Tuition is $2400 per year.

For more information about admission to the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program, please call Rita Reiswig, MS, LP, at 212-875-9442 or Sally Moskowitz, PhD, at 212-225-1983.

Application forms for our Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program can be found on our website (

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