what is infant mental health?

Infant Mental Health (IMH) is the state of emotional and social competence in young children, generally from birth to three years of age.

Infant Mental Health - Ages Zero to Three Years

Is the developing capacity of the children from birth to three to:

  • Form close and secure interpersonal relationships.
  • Experience, regulate and express emotions.
  • Explore the environment and learn within the context of family, community and cultural expectations for young children.

Biology, relationships, and cultural contexts may be either protective or risk factors for infants and children. IMH is dominated by a relational approach, which assumes that infants are best understood, assessed and treated in the context of their primary caregiver relationships.

The development of problems in infancy may include:

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Eating Difficulties
  • Sleeping Difficulties
  • Anger and Aggression
  • Tantrums and Fretfulness

Often these symptoms result from a disruption in the caregiver-infant relationship. Attachment to a caregiver enables an infant to feel safe and secure as the infant explores his or her world.

Certified in Infant Mental Health, Carol is trained in the qualitative assessment of attachment issues as well as in emotional and behavioral problems from birth to three years of age. Interventions may include sessions with caregiver and child together in a dyadic infant-led approach. Parents receive training, support, and encouragement as they pave the way for healthy and secure functioning for their child.

Carol founded a Naples chapter of the Florida Associate for Infant Mental Health in 2010 and is current co-chair of the chapter.