Psychoanalytic observation and the social matrix: implications for the learning and teaching of infant observation and its application

Course overview

The 9th International Conference for Teachers of Infant Observation and its applications will focus upon the way social forces and structures (including social class, gender, race, sexuality and disability) influence the infant’s emotional experience and developing social identity within their family and wider community.

There will be a particular consideration of how these structures inform and shape the observer’s and seminar group’s capacity to observe unconscious processes.

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Conference Image

The programme, which draws internationally upon the personal experiences of teachers of infant observation, will explore how psychoanalytic observation, with its emphasis on close attention to detail and the emotional impact upon the observer, can make a distinct contribution to our understanding of the way that wider social forces interact with the internal and interpersonal experiences that shape the infant’s developing identity.

In particular, the conference will focus upon how our own identities as teachers of infant observation shape and inform our psychoanalytic pedagogy.

Over the course of the day, there will two plenary papers and four parallel presentations. There will be the opportunity to discuss in small and large groups and a panel discussion to conclude the conference.

The conference will be presented in English with simultaneous translation into Italian for the plenary papers. Written translation for these papers will also be available.

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This conference is aimed at teachers of infant observation and its application, and will be of interest to qualified clinicians who use infant observation in their work.

We’re delighted that the biannual International Conference for Teachers of Infant Observation and its applications will be returning for the ninth time. The focus this year is on how social forces and structures influence the infant’s emotional experience and you will hear papers on this topic from Brazil, South Africa, the USA and the UK. Our speakers are practicing clinicians and teachers of infant observation so you can be confident that your learning will be founded upon the direct experience of teaching psychoanalytic infant observation. You will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the day – in small and large group settings – and expand your network.

For the very first time, we will be hosting this conference online. The conference is well known for bringing together participants from across the globe and we hope that virtual delivery will facilitate this.

From South Africa

Teaching infant observation in South Africa

Katharine Frost, Shayleen Peeke & Belinda Spalding Jones

Infant observers observed: reflections on what it is like to be an observer and be observed

Nicola Dugmore, Astrid Berg & Fiona Ross

From the USA

Use of fixed fantasies in the treatment of intergenerational trauma

Sujatha Subramanian

From the UK

Teaching infant observation: a personal and historical overview

Trudy Klauber

Turning our good eye: Oedipus, sameness and difference in infant observation.

Alex de Rementeria

Man in a shed or a room of one’s own? Considering gender and the role of the father in the teaching of infant observation

Matthew Chuard

From Brazil

Between shadows, beams of light and power games: the intersubjective field from infant observations in foetal ultrasound

Juliana Lucchesi, Marisa A. Sampaio, Maria do Carmo Camarotti, Mariângela Mendes de Almeida, Leyllyanne Bezerra de Souza and Andreza Aretakis

Further details on the programme will be published here by the end of May 2022

Andreza Aretakis:

Psychologist, PhD student in Clinical Psychology, Master´s in Health Psychology. Specialization in Mental Health, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Improvement in Neuroeducation.

Leyllyane Bezerra de Souza:

Clinical Psychologist, MA in Psychology, member of the Studies and Research Group on Power, Culture and Collective Practices.

Maria do Carmo Camarotti:

Psychologist and psychoanalyst, MA Maternal and Child Health, Coordination Internationale entre Psychotherapeutes Psychanalystes s’occupant de personnes avec Autisme (CIPPA), member Réseau International d'Etude sur la Psychopathologie et la Psychanalyse de L'Infans (RIEPPI).

Matthew Chuard:

Originally worked as a secondary school teacher and then trained as an Educational and Child Psychologist before going on to qualify as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock. As a Child Psychotherapist he has worked in a number of NHS and educational settings with children, young people and their families. He is currently the course lead for the MA Working with children, young people & families: a psychoanalytic observational approach and also teaches on other pre-clinical and clinical courses at the Tavistock and Portman. He has recently published work in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy.

Dr Alexandra De Rementeria:

A Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist working as a Lead therapist in the Tavistock Outreach in Primary Schools project. She is also Editor in Chief of the Journal of Child Psychotherapy and Assessment Tutor on the MA Working with children, young people & families: a psychoanalytic observational approach at the Tavistock. She co-authored "Finding Your Way with Your Baby", a British Medical Association award winning book and has published numerous papers. She has 19 years combined experience in education and mental health.

Trudy Klauber:

A Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Editor of Infant Observation, the international journal of infant observation and its applications, and a visiting lecturer and supervisor at the Tavistock Clinic, where she was also a staff member for a number of years and the Dean of Postgraduate Studies until 2012. She has published a number of articles in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy and Infant Observation, contributed chapters to the Tavistock series books Autism and Personality and assisted Maria Rhode in editing The Many Faces of Asperger's Syndrome. She also teaches in Italy, France, the USA and Taiwan.

Juliana Lucchesi:

Psychologist, MA in Palliative Care and Clinical and Hospital Psychology. PhD student in Clinical Psychology

Mariângela Mendes de Almeida:

Psychoanalyst (Sbpsp/IPA), MA by the Tavistock Clinic (C&F Dept.) and UEL. PhD by Unifesp. Head of Parent Infant Services, Pediatrics, Unifesp. IPA Research Fellow, Prisma Group of Psychoanalysis and Autism.

Marisa A. Sampaio:

Psychologist, PhD Maternal and Child Health, Post-Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, professor of the Postgraduate Programme in Clinical Psychology.

The conference will be delivered online using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.

You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the conference date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

Friday 2nd September 2022

9:30am to 6:00pm (BST)

£95 per person.

Please apply by clicking on the green 'Apply' button on the left-hand side.

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
1 day
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
2 September 2022 09:30 to 18:00
Course lead:
Matthew Chuard