Intensive Practice-Based Training in Multicultural Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

The Infant-Parent Program (IPP) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center offers professional development and training to multidisciplinary students and practitioners comprising the field of infant and early childhood mental health. These disciplines include social work, family therapy, psychology, and psychiatry (child and adult). On occasion, students or professionals from allied professions such as maternal-child health nursing, pediatrics, or occupational therapy have pursued the specialized training opportunities IPP provides.

All aspects of the training program have been articulated with the California Competencies, supporting participants in pursuing endorsement as infant mental health transdisciplinary providers and/or specialists through the California Center for Infant/Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. The curriculum includes units dedicated to understanding parenting, family functioning, and infant-parent and preschool-parent relationships; infant/toddler and preschool development; biological and psychosocial factors impacting outcomes; risk and resiliency; observation, screening & assessment; diagnosis & intervention; interdisciplinary collaboration; and ethics.

Participants in the Intensive Practice-Based Training in Multicultural Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health typically pursue training in one multicultural infant/family or early childhood intervention modality per year, although those with appropriate background and experience may undergo two or more training strands simultaneously. The modalities in which participants may be trained include:

  • Infant-parent psychotherapy (children ages 0-3)
  • Mental health consultation to infant/early childhood settings
  • Perinatal intervention and consultation/reproductive justice
  • Child-parent psychotherapy (children ages 3-5)
  • Developmental therapeutic playgroups for toddlers and preschoolers
  • Therapeutic shadowing of high-needs children in group care settings

Training in infant-parent psychotherapy and therapeutic shadowing is available every year. The availability of training in the other modalities is variable based on funding considerations and also requires that trainees enter with the appropriate educational or professional background.

Training is nine to twelve months beginning in September of each year.

Postdoctoral psychology: Full- and/or part-time fellowships may be available if there is a match between funding source, clinical needs, and the applicant's background and experience. Follow the application guidelines below. Please contact the program to inquire.

Marriage and family therapy, social work and other disciplines: Several part- and full-time non-stipend positions are offered to developing professionals in these disciplines who are seeking supervised hours of experience. Only students who are in enrolled in programs on the Approved List of Schools and Programs (available at may be eligible for training. Follow application guidelines below.


Application guidelines

Please send copies of the following via email to [email protected] and copy Co-Directors of Training Maria St. John, PhD, MFT, and Elizabeth Lujan, PhD.

  •  A letter describing your interest in the IPP Intensive Practice-Based Training in Multicultural Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, relating this to your background and experience
  • A resume or CV
  • Three letters of recommendation (these may be included or sent under separate cover)


Infant-Parent Program
Intensive Practice-Based Training in Multicultural Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
1001 Potrero Avenue
Building 5, 6B
San Francisco, CA 94110

UCSF is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The University undertakes affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunity for underutilized minorities and women, for persons with disabilities and for Vietnam-era veterans and special disabled veterans. 12/04 Employer University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)