ACT Core Values
ACT Application & Fees
Upcoming ACT Events
ACT Canvas Log-in
Welcome to the Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) Program
The ACT Program is a 15-month, community learning structured, professional development program designed for licensed and license-eligible mental health professionals. It is composed of a foundations phase, an advanced clinical training phase, and two vital supporting activities – infant observation and reflective practice/consultation groups. The Foundations Phase introduces and grounds clinicians in the principles, knowledge, skills, and perspectives of infant and early childhood mental health and child development from prenatal to 5 years of age. The Advanced Clinical Training Phase focuses on specialized clinical infant and early childhood mental health treatment rooted in contemporary understanding and application of attachment and community psychoanalytic/psychodynamic perspectives, theories, and concepts. In addition to the traditional focus on relational processes and perspectives and the reflective stance, the ACT Program integrates diversity-informed practice principles based on the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families to prepare clinicians to address the influences of systemic and structural inequities on the lives of infants, children and families, themselves, and their practice. This includes the understanding of deeply rooted social and cultural influences of normative standards based on our history of colonization and the multiple intersectionalities of race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, age, and other social positioning factors and identities.
The ACT Program goals are to diversify and expand the clinical infant and early childhood mental health workforce which, in turn, expands more equitable access to clinical infant and early childhood mental health services in Washington State. We utilize the definition of diversity that includes the full range (majority and minority) of identities and social positioning factors and circumstances including, but not limited, to race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, location (urban/suburban/rural), immigration status, and nationality. Our curriculum strives to explicitly address systemic barriers and gaps in professional development in content and approach and will incorporate the lived experiences of clinicians enrolled in the program to deepen the program’s learning community. When the diversity of professionals is representative of the communities they serve, children and families from those communities benefit. In turn, the profession benefits as a whole.
ACT Program Description
The ACT Program strives to expand the availability of and access to infant and early childhood mental health clinical treatment services throughout the state of Washington. The curriculum is designed to fill the gaps in knowledge and skills required to provide developmentally appropriate, diversity-informed, relationship-based clinical mental health interventions focused on the early relational health and wellbeing between infants and young children and their parents and caregivers. Students will learn how to support early social-emotional development of children from prenatal to five years of age; understand how infant mental health develops in the context of relationships and surrounding environmental influences, and how to provide dyadic mental health treatment to families with young children.
The ACT Program is designed as a 15-month learning cohort consisting of over 270 hours of instruction with supporting activities that include infant observation and reflective practice/consultation groups. The first six months are dedicated to foundational knowledge in infant and early childhood mental health including:
* Diversity-Informed Practice & Decolonization Perspectives
* IECMH Ethics
* FAN Model & Reflective Function
* Observation Skills Development
* Early Relational Development
* Child Development - Prenatal-5
* Attachment Theory & Concepts
* Trauma, Resilience, & Healing
* DIR/Floortime & Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS)
* Neurorelational Framework (NRF)
The subsequent nine months of the program are dedicated to developing clinical skills using a community psychoanalytic/psychodynamic framework for intergeneration treatment to assess and support parent/caregiver-child dyads and family systems who are experiencing relational strain. Through case studies, observational activities, and reflection, clinicians will apply foundational knowledge in early childhood development and relational health to clinical work with dyads and families. Clinicians will further develop and deepen clinical assessment and engagement approaches with parents and caregivers who themselves are often struggling with the impacts of trauma, loss, and related biopsychosocial challenges to facilitate and support the dyadic and familial healing and recovery process toward relational health and wellbeing. Session topics include:
* Community Psychodynamic/ Psychoanalytic Dyadic, Triadic, & Family Systems Clinical Practice
* Critical Reflective Practice
* Expressive Arts Clinical Approach
* Attachment-Based Practice
* Relational Implications Topics:
* Systems Involvement Context
* Pre-, Peri-, & Neonatal Period
* Caregiver-Specific Concerns
* Child-Specific Concerns
* Gender Splendor
Throughout the program, the learning objectives rest on a foundation of understanding diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through the application of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children, and Families.
The ACT Program is designed as a learning community. This means that ACT Program clinicians will travel through the learning process together in relationship that we hope will continue beyond the completion of the program 15 months later. The learning community also offers an environment where clinicians can learn with and from one another, and through that relationship build and strengthen each person’s capacity to navigate, reconcile, and celebrate differences in knowledge, experience, and perspective. In the context of the learning community, we hold Jaree Pawl’s wisdom that “how we are is as important as what we do.”
Although we designed the program to be as friendly to working professionals as possible, the intensive nature of the program will require time from work as well as weekends and some weekday evenings. We encourage you to review the 2022-2023 Program Schedule (see ACT 2022 Schedule tab). The image below shows the phases and supporting activities, to be discussed more later, and how they fit within the 15-month program timeframe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the world and the ways in which we communicate and interact. We proceed holding in mind that COVID-19 is here to stay and plan for the next learning community cohort to be hybrid in structure with the majority of content learning sessions being delivered via synchronous Zoom meetings and strategically scheduled in-person gatherings over the 15-months of the program. Recognizing the fatiguing effects that many experience from online engagement, we plan for most sessions to be 3 hours long per day, to be held every other week on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with alternative schedules to accommodate holiday observances and popular vacation seasons. Please review the dates and session lengths thoroughly. Note that content for the Advanced Clinical Training Phase is still in preliminary development and finalizing the times of sessions on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, is in process likely with your input. Monthly Infant Observation virtual visits will be determined in agreement with the volunteer families. The monthly 90-minute Infant Observation Reflection Groups and the two monthly 90-minute Reflective Practice/Consultation Groups will likely be scheduled on weekday evenings.
Infant Observation is a supporting activity that spans the first 12 months of the ACT Program. ACT Program clinicians are responsible for recruiting a family who is expecting in their late third trimester or has recently given birth. Consent forms will be provided. Clinicians will be oriented to the observation model and objectives of infant observation during Month 1 of the program. Clinicians are required to complete at least nine 1-hour long virtual visits during the 12-month period (9-12 hours total). Each month, clinicians will gather virtually in designated facilitated reflection groups. Each monthly Infant Observation Reflection Group is 90 minutes long (18 hours total). Infant Observation offers a special window into the early relational developmental processes during the earliest days, weeks, and months after birth.
Facilitated Reflective Practice/Consultation Group
ACT Program clinicians will participate in faculty-facilitated Reflective Practice/Consultation Groups (RPCGs). These groups are opportunities for clinicians to reflect on the integration of program content with current clinical practice experiences and consult on the application of new knowledge and skills in clinical engagement. RPCGs are 90 minutes long and occur twice monthly across the 14 months of the ACT Program (42 hours total). RPCGs provide further opportunities to build relationships and engage in collaborative and mutual learning for the learning community.
Clinicians enrolled in the ACT Program are expected to attend all scheduled sessions. Sessions missed cannot be made up and will impact the number of continuing education contact hours. In addition, because session content is strongly aligned to required endorsement competencies as dictated by WA-AIMH and MI-AIMH Guidelines, missing session content can impact meeting those competency requirements.
Virtual participation provides many convenience-related benefits; however, virtual interaction may be stifled and feel disconnected. To maximize the learning community structure, ACT Program clinicians are expected to be present on video in Zoom unless otherwise requested. Additional guidelines for co-creating virtual space together will be discussed and implemented during the first session of the ACT Program.
Online participation will require stable internet access with adequate bandwidth to accommodate the use of video streaming for session content. ACT Program clinicians who have experienced connectivity instability in the past should take action to ensure connectivity stability. Concerns about resolving connectivity problems should be communicated to the program director.
The ACT program will communicate primarily through e-mail. Therefore, ACT Program clinicians should provide a preferred e-mail address that is checked regularly to ensure timely communication regarding program notifications and activity.
The ACT Program utilizes the Canvas platform to host program material including syllabi, readings, videos, and discussion boards. Canvas is accessible to Google account holders. For this reason, ACT Program clinicians will be required to have a Google account even if it does not serve as the primary or preferred email address.
Required & Recommmended Materials: Readings, Texts, & Videos
ACT Program Clinicians are expected to complete all “Required Materials” in preparation for related sessions. Clinicians will also be provided with videos, sometimes as preparation for a class as well as for ongoing practice to build observation skills based on frameworks introduced in program sessions. As a program for working professionals, every effort will be made to keep “Required Materials” and other preparation assignments manageable, with options to engage in more through Recommended Materials and Resources.
Organizational Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
At the Barnard Center, we utilize the definition of diversity that includes the full range (majority and minority) of identities and social positioning factors and circumstances including, but not limited to, race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, location (urban/suburban/rural), immigration status, and nationality. We recognize that it is critically important for those of us in leadership positions to articulate our commitment to reflect on, and learn about, the experiences of populations that are not typically represented by the dominant (white, middle class) culture so that we may be held accountable to advancing equity and justice. We are also committed to recognizing how we, or the systems we work in, reinforce and benefit from social structural inequality. We recognize that addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion is both deeply personal and institutional. At the Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, we aim to support all staff, students, and faculty in the process of learning about and reflecting on how we can be agents of change for the infant mental health field.
There are several ways in which we as educators seek to assure that our trainings are informed by diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) approaches and strategies. We do this by 1) making our trainings more accessible to all participants, especially those who have not had access to our trainings, 2) by attracting and mentoring diverse learners and future leaders, 3) by equipping our educators with the tools they need to facilitate hard conversations that may occur in practice, and by 4) undertaking critical self-reflection in the process of doing this work and supporting self-reflection of our staff, students and faculty.
Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families (The Tenets)
The Tenets are aspirational principles of best practices in the field of infants, children and families. Each of the 10 Tenets call attention to the wide range of ways that intersecting, interacting, interconnected, and interdependent systems of oppression (see Core Concepts) influence the lives of children, families, professionals, organizations, and systems of care. The central principle of the Tenets centers our work to deepen self awareness of our identities, history, and experiences with the various systems of oppression as individuals, organizations, and systems of care toward the highest standards of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. To learn more, visit the Tenets website at: diversityinformedtenets.org
Tenets Initiative. (2018). Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children & Families/Principios informados en la diversidad para trabajar con bebés, niños, niñas y familias. Chicago, IL: Irving Harris Foundation.
Self-Awareness Leads to Better Services for Families
Working with infants, children, and families requires all individuals, organizations, and systems of care to reflect on our own culture, values and beliefs, and on the impact that racism, classism, sexism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression have had on our lives in order to provide diversity-informed, culturally attuned services.
Champion Children’s Rights Globally
Infants and children are citizens of the world. The global community is responsible for supporting parents/caregivers, families, and local communities in welcoming, protecting, and nurturing them.
Work to Acknowledge Privilege and Combat Discrimination
Discriminatory policies and practices that harm adults harm the infants and children in their care. Privilege constitutes injustice. Diversity-informed practitioners acknowledge privilege where we hold it, and use it strategically and responsibly. We combat racism, classism, sexism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression within ourselves, our practices, and our fields.
Recognize and Respect Non-Dominant Bodies of Knowledge
Diversity-informed practice recognizes nondominant ways of knowing, bodies of knowledge, sources of strength, and routes to healing within all families and communities.
Honor Diverse Family Structures
Families decide who is included and how they are structured; no particular family constellation or organization is inherently optimal compared to any other. Diversity-informed practice recognizes and strives to counter the historical bias toward idealizing (and conversely blaming) biological mothers while overlooking the critical child-rearing contributions of other parents and caregivers including second mothers, fathers, kin and felt family, adoptive parents, foster parents, and early care and educational providers.
Understand That Language Can Hurt or Heal
Diversity-informed practice recognizes the power of language to divide or connect, denigrate or celebrate, hurt or heal. We strive to use language (including body language, imagery, and other modes of nonverbal communication) in ways that most inclusively support all children and their families, caregivers, and communities.
Support Families in Their Preferred Language
Families are best supported in facilitating infants’ and children’s development and mental health when services are available in their native languages.
Allocate Resources to Systems Change
Diversity and inclusion must be proactively considered when doing any work with or on behalf of infants, children, and families. Resource allocation includes time, money, additional/alternative practices, and other supports and accommodations, otherwise systems of oppression may be inadvertently reproduced. Individuals, organizations, and systems of care need ongoing opportunities for reflection in order to identify implicit bias, remove barriers, and work to dismantle the root causes of disparity and inequity.
Make Space and Open Pathways
Infant, child, and family-serving workforces are most dynamic and effective when historically and currently marginalized individuals and groups have equitable access to a wide range of roles, disciplines, and modes of practice and influence.
Advance Policy That Supports All Families
Diversity-informed practitioners consider the impact of policy and legislation on all people and advance a just and equitable policy agenda for and with families.
Decentering refers to behaviors that acknowledge, attend to, increase the influence and/or importance of the marginalized, and expand the “norm” while diffusing focus on, and decreasing the influence or importance of the dominant.
Decolonization is a process of “centering our concerns and world views and then coming to know and understand theory and research from our own perspective and for our own purposes” (Smith, 1999, p. 39).
Decolonization is “the intelligent, calculated, and active resistance to the forces of colonialism that perpetuate the subjugation and/or exploitation of our minds, bodies, and land” that “is engaged for the ultimate purpose of overturning the colonial structure and realizing Indigenous liberation” (Gray, Coates, & Yellowbird, 2008, p. 2).
Napoli, M. (2019). Ethical contemporary art therapy: honoring an American Indian perspective. Art Therapy, 36(4), 175-182.
Diversity-informed practice is a dynamic system of beliefs and values that shapes interactions between individuals, organizations and systems of care. Diversity-informed practice recognizes the historic and contemporary salience of racism, classism, sexism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression and strives for the highest possible standard of inclusivity in all spheres of practice: teaching and training, research and writing, policy and advocacy, as well as direct service.
Equity refers to the value-based concept that seeks to ensure that all people have access to the biological, economic, political, and social resources needed to optimally develop and achieve wellbeing. A central premise of equity is the acknowledgement that all people begin their developmental journey with differing levels of resources related to and/or determined by social positioning factors such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and nationality. Realizing equity will require unequal distribution of resources based on the needs of each individual.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
“Infant mental health is defined as the developing capacity of the infant and young child to experience, express, and regulate emotions; form close and secure relationships; and explore the environment and learn, all in the context of cultural expectations (ZERO TO THREE Infant Mental Health Task Force, 2001). A major premise of infant mental health is that babies’ emotional, social and cognitive development and competencies unfold in the context of …relationships; thus supporting both the infant and the…caregiver is crucial to optimize the young child’s functioning” (Osofsky & Liberman, 2011, p. 120).
Systems of Oppression
“Oppressive systems can be thought of as the structures within the greater society that allow inequities to continue. These systems allow the perpetuation of policies and practices that disadvantage marginalized groups.”
Maria Seymour St. John
Nucha Isarowong, PhD, LCSW, IMH-E®
Nucha Isarowong is the Director of the Advanced Clinical Training Program at the Barnard Center for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health on the campus of the University of Washington. His clinical experience includes work with and on behalf of infants, children, and families in home and school settings. Most recently, he served as faculty at Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL, where he instructed classes in the Master of Social Work Program and the Infant Mental Health Certificate Program. His clinical and scholarship experience and interests address sociocultural, relational, and structural factors that influence social-relational dynamics and facilitate access to and utilization of resources and services by families caring for infants and children from the broad range of diverse communities. His current efforts focus on multi-level systems integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in the context of father engagement practices and policies, integration of trauma-informed practice, generally, and in Part C Early Intervention, specifically, shifting understanding of disabilities and developmental differences, and affecting systems change. Nucha is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow (2012-2013), and currently serves on the coordinating council of the Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows. He also serves as a national workshop facilitator and member of the Executive Council of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families.
Kadija Johnston, LCSW
Kadija Johnston is an independent consultant with extensive experience working with and on behalf of infants, children, and families. As the former Director of the Infant-Parent Program at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry at ZSFG, Ms. Johnston developed the program’s approach to early childhood mental health (ECMH) consultation which now serves as a model for other organizations, both locally and around the world. She has provided training in ECMH consultation to clinicians in 22 states and is consulting on the development of services in Taiwan.
Ms. Johnston writes and lectures nationally on ECMH consultation including publications in Zero to Three, Infant Mental Health Journal and the 3rd edition of the Handbook of Infant Mental Health. Her co-authored book, Mental Health Consultation in Child Care: Transforming Relationships With Directors, Staff, and Families, was awarded the Irving B. Harris Book Award for contributions to early childhood scholarship. Ms. Johnston is active in local and national organizations involving infancy and early childhood mental health, including West Ed’s Program for Infant-Toddler Caregivers Home Visiting Training, The Infant Mental Health Task Force, the Early Head Start National Resource Center at Zero to Three; and the Irving B. Harris Foundation Professional Development Network for Training and Diversity in Leadership in the Early Childhood Mental Health Field. She is also an expert advisor for the SAMHSA-supported Center of Excellence in ECMH Consultation.
Monica Oxford, MSW, PhD
Monica Oxford is a Research Professor in Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing at the University of Washington and the Executive Director of the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development. Her research focuses on early parenting and child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments. Dr. Oxford’s interest is in how context, parenting, and child characteristics combine to inform particular patterns of child outcomes and how intervention services promote both caregiver and child well-being. Dr. Oxford is also involved in training social service providers throughout Washington on infant mental health, strengths-based practice, and how providers can support caregiver-child dyadic interaction from an attachment-based perspective.
Dr. Oxford is principal investigator of four NIH grants; the first three are aimed at examining the impact of Promoting First Relationships® (PFR: Kelly et al, 2008). PFR is a brief 10-week home visiting program that is strengths and relationship-based video feedback program. These three studies are randomized control trials in three populations: one RCT for parents involved with child protective services, one RCT for reunified birth families, and one RCT for American Indian families in a rural setting. The fourth NIH grant is aimed at addressing the interaction between family, school, child, and contextual risk such as poverty and early child developmental outcomes Dr. Oxford is also co-principal investigator on three NIH funded RCT testing the effectiveness of PFR in three additional populations (foster care, perinatal mental health setting, and American Indian rural setting).
Maria Seymour St. John, PhD, MFT
Maria Seymour St. John is an Associate Clinical Professor with the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Co-Director of Training for the Infant-Parent Program. Endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, a Reflective Facilitator II and a Mentor, Dr. St. John’s areas of expertise include infant-parent psychotherapy, diversity and inclusion, and reflective supervision. Dr. St. John is licensed as a marriage and family therapist and completed her doctoral training in the UC Berkeley Department of Rhetoric, an interdisciplinary critical studies program. She has published on subjects related to race, class, gender and sexuality in infant mental health work in numerous books and journals including Infant Mental Health Journal, Zero to Three, Feminist Studies, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Attachment and Sexuality, and the World Association of Infant Mental Health Handbook of Infant Mental Health. She is a core member of a collaborative group that publishes and trains on the Diversity-Informed Infant Mental Health Tenets, which are being disseminated via the Irving B Harris Foundation, Zero to Three: the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, and the World Association of Infant Mental Health. Her book, Focusing on Relationships: An Effort That Pays was published by Zero to Three in 2019.
Alison Steier, PhD
Alison Steier is Director of the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute at Southwest Human Development in Phoenix. She also directs the in-house mental health consultation service, the Birth to Five Helpline and the Fussy Baby Program. Dr. Steier has provided infant mental health training to the Department of Child Safety and Arizona’s Juvenile Judges and Commissioners. She served as a consultant on the Governor’s Subcommittee on Child Welfare Reform and is a frequent presenter on topics related to infant mental health. She also served as a member of the board of the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona and chaired the Coalition’s annual infant mental health conference from 2003-2006. Dr. Steier received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Tulane University and her masters’ and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from George Mason University. Prior to relocating to Phoenix from New Orleans, she was a member of Dr. Charles Zeanah’s “Infant Team,” which evaluates and provides intensive intervention to maltreated infants and toddlers in foster care. She also served as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry/Neurology at Tulane University Medical Center, and as the senior psychology training clinician to advanced mental health professionals seeking to develop expertise in infant mental health. She was the child/adult clinical fellow in psychology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital from 1994-1996, and a visiting fellow in psychology on T. Berry Brazelton’s Child Development Unit at Boston’s Children’s Hospital from 1995-1996. Dr. Steier holds a fellowship in infant mental health from Louisiana State University Medical Center and a postdoctorate in infant mental health from Tulane University Medical Center. She has published in the areas of mental health consultation and young children’s attachments to special inanimate objects (“transitional objects”).
Haruko Watanabe, MA, LMHC, IMH-E®
Haruko Watanabe is a Washington Association for Infant Mental Health endorsed Infant Mental Health Mentor and Program Manager at Navos Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Program in King County, WA. Haruko began studying parent-child interactions in 1998 under the mentorship of Dr. Kathryn Barnard, and has worked with families with young children within various systems (e.g. child-welfare, early intervention, childcare/early learning, mental health) since 2003. In addition to her Child-Parent Psychotherapy work with Medicaid eligible families, she provides reflective supervision/consultation and early childhood mental health consultation to providers serving young children and their families in King County. Haruko is committed to engaging in shared learning with colleagues and communities to explore how impacts of trauma and racism show up in everyday practices and systems functioning, and ways to promote relationship-based healing in communities and organizations. Her clinical perspective and consultation/mentoring practices have been informed by her personal experiences as an immigrant and having lived in three different countries. She is a former Board Member for the Washington Association for Infant Mental Health and is a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.
Joyce Yang, AM
ACT Program Manager
Joyce is the program manager responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) program. She graduated with honors from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Administration degree in Management. She later received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Chicago. She spent the early part of her career working at a social service and immigrant rights non-profit that serves community members from 15 months to end-of-life as a development & outcomes manager. Joyce cares deeply about strengthening the capacity of professionals that serve infants, children, and families to embed diversity and equity principles into their work. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to coffee shops, trying new recipes, and playing with her cat Momo.
Lee Johnson III
Carmen Rosa Noroña
Rebecca Berg, MA OTR/L
Rebecca’s passion for understanding social, emotional, and cognitive development first emerged in the field of education, with students ranging from preschool and early elementary special education to undergraduate theatre students. Since earning her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2008, Rebecca has continued to nurture this passion through training and mentorship in sensory processing and infant mental health, including certification in the DIR-FCD Model through Profectum and Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) model.
Rebecca’s professional home is Cooper House, an infant mental health clinic in Seattle, where occupational therapists and mental health therapists work in close collaboration and transdisciplinary practice to serve children 0-5 and their families. Her clinical work is characterized by a deep understanding of a child’s developmental capacities and close partnership with caregivers to understand the many moving parts of development within the caregiver/child relationship, their family system, and the community in which they live.
In additional to her clinical work, Rebecca is drawn to individual and organization-level advocacy for trauma-informed, developmentally minded, relationship-based practices. She is a writer and has been an active member of several professional groups and committees, including Profectum’s Communication and Engagement Committee and WA State’s TIC Legislative Advisory Board.
Rebecca continues to enjoy teaching; in recent years, she has taught occupational therapy students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, presented for WOTA state conferences and Profectum’ national conferences and training program, and presents locally on topics related to the development of play and relationship-based, developmentally minded work for parents, early childhood educators, and other professionals.
Marian Birch, DMH
Marian Birch is a retired clinical psychologist and infant mental health specialist who lives in Port Angeles, WA. She received a Doctorate in Mental Health from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco in 1983. Her teachers included Erik Erikson and Mary Main. Dr. Birch spent several years as a post-graduate trainee at the Infant-Parent Program founded by Selma Fraiberg at UCSF. Her supervisors there included Jeree Pawl and Alicia Lieberman. Dr. Birch practiced for 12 years in San Francisco, where she taught and supervised in numerous clinical training schemes. Dr. Birch also served as the Clinical Director of the IMH Certificate Program at the UW School of nursing from 2001-2004. From there she has engaged in a variety of projects to support families with young children including developing a dyadic intervention called BabyLink and intensive home-visiting program called the CARE Project. Since her retirement, she has learned to play the harp, studied Chinese, and done lots of kayaking, snowshoeing, gardening, yoga and cooking in the home she and her husband built in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains.
Abigail Bocanegra, MA, LMFT, Mental Health Consultant
Bio to come.
Gloria Castro, PsyD
Gloria Castro is a clinical psychologist and Certified Sexual Assault Counselor. Dr. Castro was granted the Fraiberg-Harris Fellowship to complete her postdoctoral training at the Infant-Parent Program, UCSF. Dr. Castro's clinical work has focused on infant mental health and mental health daycare consultation. She has experience conducting comprehensive psychological assessments and developmental neuropsychological assessments for children ranging in age from infancy to adolescence. Dr. Castro is currently working at Child Trauma Research Program on the implementation of Child-parent Psychotherapy during pregnancy and the perinatal period. Dr. Castro provides psychotherapy to pregnant women with history of traumatic experiences throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-partum at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFGH), UCSF. She provides infant mental health services to families and newborns at the NICU and has provided mental health services at the High Risk Pediatric Kempe clinic at ZSFGH. She has worked with children, adolescents, and families in various clinical venues including Rape Trauma Services and North Peninsula Family Alternatives (YMCA), in San Mateo County where she developed and implemented a mental health program for immigrant families. She consults, supervises, and trains mental health providers who work with immigrant families and their children who have experienced significant trauma. Dr. Castro has a strong interest on the impact of immigration on family systems, the intergenerational transmission of trauma, and the impact of trauma on children?s development. Prior to the Infant-Parent Program and Child Trauma Research Program, she worked at the Children's Hospital, National Medical Center in Mexico City and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She has presented on national and international conferences, and forums on the topics of parenting in a different culture and on the impact of immigration on the sense of self and motherhood identity. In addition to her work at UCSF, Dr. Castro has taught at Argosy University, American School of Professional Psychology. She also served on the Advisory Board.
Helen Egger, PhD
Bio to come.
Lauren Hipp, MPA
Lauren brings nearly a decade of experience in the field of early childhood, where she has worked to advance racial equity through large-scale grassroots organizing and mobilization campaigns, policy development, advocacy, and implementation. Working both across Washington State and at the national level, Lauren has aimed to ensure that policy and programmatic solutions are driven by those communities who are furthest from justice -- by using collaborative leadership strategies, capacity-building training, transparent and accessible communication approaches, and inclusive strategic planning methodologies. Lauren directed a cross-issue policy and advocacy portfolio to advance early childhood mental health and perinatal mental health at the state and national level, led state and national early learning campaigns for MomsRising and led the Policy and Community Partnership efforts for a state-wide public-private partnership focused on early childhood. She holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Lauren also serves on the the Board of Directors for the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, and is a founding member of the Womxn of Color in Education Committee.
Lee Johnson III, PhD
Lee Johnson III, Ph.D., CHES®, IMH-E® is Senior Policy Analyst for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at ZERO TO THREE (ZTT). Before joining ZTT, Dr. Johnson served as a director at the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, extending leadership to early childhood mental health and federal and state-funded home visiting efforts. Dr. Johnson is a former early childhood educator, health educator by training, and a newly minted public health Ph.D. His dissertation focused on the impact of early adverse experiences on the mental & physical health outcomes of Black boys & men and the power of relationships, solidified his selection for the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Dissertation Fellowship (2019-2020). In the same year, he became a National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) Policy Fellow (2019-2020). Dr. Johnson's NBCDI Policy Fellowship project, Supporting Resilience in Black Families: Advancing Racial Equity in Early Childhood Mental Health Policy (2021), acknowledges the developmental threat our society poses to the health and mental health of Black children and recognizes the need for racially equitable policies and approaches that empower Black families. Lee holds his B.S. in early childhood education, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in public health from The University of Alabama.
Keoki Kauanoe is a native Hawaiian single-father of 4, the Director of Father Engagement at Family Education and Support Services, where he is a Master Trainer for the nationally recognized Nurturing Fathers Program, holds certifications in multiple parenting curricula and is a certified trainer for the QPR Gatekeeper Program. He also sits on the Washington State Interagency Fatherhood Council, The Board of the Equity in Education Coalition and The Thurston Asset Building Coalition.
When not at work or volunteering in his community, Keoki enjoys volunteering at his youngest son's elementary school, light saber duels and Minecraft and Lego builds with his youngest.
Connie Lillas is the Director of the NeuroRelational Framework (NRF) Research To Resilience Institute (www.nrfr2r.com) with a background in high-risk maternal-child nursing, family systems, developmental psychoanalysis, early intervention, infant mental health, and is a National Graduate ZERO TO THREE Leadership Fellow. Connie has a private practice, specializing in dual diagnosis across both developmental delays and mental health concerns for infants, children, teens, and their families. In addition, she trains locally, nationally, and internationally on the NeuroRelational Framework (NRF, 2009) based upon her co-authored book —Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A NeuroRelational Framework (NRF) for Interdisciplinary Practice, which is a part of W. W. Norton’s Interpersonal Neurobiology Series (www.the-nrf.com). While there are currently four active NRF communities in the US and one in Canada, her work in Los Angeles County focus’ on the largest child welfare system in the US wherein the NRF’s curriculum on toxic stress is being used to train Dept of Child and Family Social Workers. She currently specializes in training cross-disciplinary teams in national and international communities, wherein a common language and shared approach using the NRF can be used for holistic health care outcomes.
Lisa Mennet, PhD, LMHC, IMH-E® (IV)
Lisa Mennet is the Cooper House owner and clinical director emeritus. She began her clinical career at Ryther Child Center, then studied at the Center on Infant Mental Health at the UW, and was later a clinical instructor there. She’s taught infant mental health principles at the UW schools of Social Work and Nursing, and for the Washington DSHS. Lisa earned a certificate in child psychoanalytic psychotherapy from SPSI, and a doctorate in Infant Mental Health from UW. Her particular area of interest is the impact of trauma on early relationships. Lisa provides reflective consultation and supervision to professionals and is trainer for the FAN model.
Ayannakai Nalo, LCSW
Ayannakai Nalo is a CPP rostered licensed clinical social worker and has been working with children and families for 30 years. Ms Nalo is an early childhood mental health consultant and provides training, technical assistance, and consultation to public health systems, hospitals, and community, state, and national organizations in the areas of infant mental health, early intervention, mental health consultation, reflective supervision and issues of diversity and inclusion.
Additionally, The California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health has endorsed Ms. Nalo as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Reflective Practice Facilitator Mentor. As a member of the Harris Foundation TENETS Work Group, Ms. Nalo also trains organizations and mentors individuals in the implementation of the TENETS across infant and early-childhood mental health providers and public health fields. She integrates diversity-informed principles from TENETS and other sources into reflective supervision and infant mental health services.
Carmen Rosa Noroña, LICSW, MSW, MS.Ed., IECMH-E®
Carmen Rosa is the Child Trauma Clinical Services and Training Lead at Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center. She is a Child-Parent Psychotherapy National Trainer, an expert faculty of the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood Training (DC: 0-5) and one of the developers of the Harris Professional Development Network Diversity Informed Tenets for Work with Infants Children and Families Initiative (https://diversityinformedtenets.org) and of the Boston Medical Center Family Preparedness Plan for Immigrant Families. Her practice and research interests are on the impact of trauma on attachment; the intersection of culture, immigration and trauma; diversity-informed reflective supervision and consultation; and on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practice in real-world settings. She is a Co-Leader of the Department of Pediatrics Council of Social Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Boston Medical Center. In addition, she serves as core faculty of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s (NCTSN) Being Anti-Racist is Central to Trauma-Informed Care Initiative, as a member of the NCTSN Steering Committee, and as a co-chair of the NCTSN Latin American Families Collaborative group. Ms. Noroña has adapted and translated materials for Spanish-speaking families affected by trauma and has also contributed to the literature in infant and early childhood mental health, diversity and immigration
Anne Stone is the Early Childhood Innovation Director at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Economic Services Administration. A central part of that role is as the director of the Washington Interagency Fatherhood Council which launched in 2018.
Anne has 30 plus years of experience in the child and family services field as an innovator and change agent in youth and family crisis, child healthcare transformation, early childhood systems, poverty reduction, and fatherhood inclusion, as a funder, non-profit executive director, community consultant, crisis counselor, and state agency innovator.
She has a strong value around affecting root causes of family struggle such as racism, poverty and bias, using human centered design grounded in early brain science to inform system and policy change. She works to reduce burdens of families needing to be “empowered” to survive toward fixing broken systems so that families can access what they need to flourish.
As the Washington State First 1,000 Days Initiative founder she works with a variety of broad based community coalitions to walk with them as they seek ways to find families experiencing high levels of stress as early as possible after the birth of a child, triage their need and resiliency, and seek to create a coordinated community response that reduces that stress we know is so detrimental to developing young brains.
When not working her focus is on her family with a new grandbaby on the way, gardening during COVID 19 to grow food and sooth the soul, paddling and hiking with her partner of 35 years.
Arietta Slade is Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. An internationally recognized theoretician, clinician, researcher, and teacher, she has written widely on the development of parental reflective functioning, as well as the implications of attachment and mentalization theory for child and adult psychotherapy, and for relationship-based infant mental health practice. She is a Co-Founder and Director of Training of Minding the Baby®, an evidence-based interdisciplinary reflective home visiting program for high-risk mothers, infants, and their families, at the Yale Child Study Center and School of Nursing. Dr. Slade is a winner of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Award from the New York Attachment Consortium, and author, with Jeremy Holmes, of Attachment in Therapeutic Practice (Holmes & Slade, SAGE Publications, 2018), and editor of the six volume set, Major Work on Attachment (Slade & Holmes, SAGE Publications, 2014), of Mind to Mind: Infant Research, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis (Jurist, Slade, & Bergner, Other Press, 2008), and Children at Play (Slade & Wolf, Oxford University Press, 1994). Currently, she and her Minding the Baby® colleagues are writing a book on reflective parenting (Forthcoming, Guilford, 2021). She
Kandace Thomas, MPP, PhD
Kandace Thomas, MPP, PhD, works to help individuals, programs and systems of care experience transformation by learning, doing and being. Currently, Kandace is the Executive Director of First 8 Memphis, an organization working to build Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee’s early care and education system. As the inaugural Executive Director, Kandace is building a start-up organization partnering with the community to implement its early childhood plan. Prior to joining First 8 Memphis, Kandace was a senior program officer at the Irving Harris Foundation where she worked with organizations integrating early childhood development and child trauma-informed best practices for children from birth to age eight. Kandace led the creation of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work With Infants, Children and Families, a framework and approach to help organizations and systems integrate a diversity, equity and inclusion principles into their work. Kandace has research, policy and practice interests in contemplative self-care, intergenerational trauma, building power to influence public policy and diversity-informed practice.
Gil Tippy, author of Respecting Autism with Stanley Greenspan, MD, offers Evaluations, Direct Services, and Consulting to private individuals and organizations. He is the Clinical Director Emeritus of Shrub Oak International School, in Westchester County, NY. He is a Clinical Psychologist, licensed in the State of New York, with his Psychology license in California in process. He is the Chief Clinical Advisor of the Envision Center in Verona, NJ and is an Expert DIR/Floortime Provider and Teacher. He lives and has a private practice, Respectrum Developmental Services, as well as a not-for-profit, Dirty Hands Developmental Alliance, in Sonoma County, California.
Lindsay Usry, MPH
Lindsay Usry is the Director of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) at ZERO TO THREE. She guides ZERO TO THREE’s policy agenda on infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) and leads related technical assistance projects and collaborations, working at the state and federal levels to increase access to and utilization of high-quality mental health services for young children and their caregivers. She formerly served as Director of Special Projects for the Institute of IECMH at Tulane University School of Medicine, where she is on faculty. She also served as the Louisiana Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Coordinator for the LA Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health. Her work has focused primarily on the translation and dissemination of research on IECMH and development to inform policy and programming decisions.
Ms. Usry received her BS in Neuroscience from the College of William and Mary and her Master of Public Health from Tulane University. She is a member of the board of the Maryland-DC Association of Infant Mental Health, and formerly sat on the Louisiana Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. She has previously worked with the U.S. Government Secretariat for Children in Adversity at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as The World Bank. She has worked on international and domestic public health initiatives and also taught elementary special education.
Martina Whelshula is a member of the Arrow Lakes Nation of the Colville Indian Reservation. Her educational and experiential background is diverse and focuses primarily in the fields of education and behavioral health. She possesses a doctoral degree in Traditional Knowledge, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, with an additional certification for Chemical Dependency Professional. Dr. Whelshula has worked extensively with Native American communities nation-wide in the areas of local and national policy development, education, and behavioral health. Dr. Whelshula’s professional experience has ranged from Research Director for national Indian health policy development for Congressional review, P-12 tribal language instructor in the public-school system, Head Start Director for the Colville Tribe to Tribal College President. She is an educator, trainer, and consultant specializing in education and intergenerational trauma impacting indigenous communities. Dr. Whelshula’s most recent work is the development of integrative cultural therapeutic model addressing trauma, mental health and substance use disorders for tribes. Dr. Whelshula served for nearly seven years as the Executive Director of a Native American inpatient treatment program for drug and alcohol addicted youth. Her successes during her tenure include: National iAward for revolutionary behavioral health care (honorable mention), Washington State Co-Occurring Disorders and Treatment Conference’s Innovative Program of the Year, Potlatch Foundation’s Educational Leadership Award, Washington State Public Health’s 2013 Health Champion for Empowering Healthy Communities, Harvard University Medical School’s online BASIS Editorial Board, and the Spokane Regional 2014 AGORA Business Award for the Large Nonprofit Category. In addition to her work experience, Dr. Whelshula served on Gonzaga University’s Indian Education Advisory Board, as Chair of Spokane’s NAACP Education Committee, the Chair pro-tem for the Washington State Native American Education Advisory Committee with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, a member of the Washington State Native American Think Tank, member of the Washington State Multi-Ethnic Think Tank, and formerly with the Washington State Board of Education’s Equity Committee.
Kristin has more than 20 years experience in government affairs, strategic advising, and policy analysis. Her lobbying work focuses predominantly on early learning, children’s behavioral health, and issues that impact children, youth, and families. Due to her multi-dimensional experience as legislative staff, non-profit leadership, a teacher (including working with special needs populations) and education advisor, and a mental health peer support worker she has a strong comprehension of the levers of change at the community, budget, and policy levels. Kristin is a volunteer in her children’s public schools and enjoys outdoor adventures with her family, fitness, and gardening.
ACT Program Application Form
The application period for the 2022-2023 Cohort of the ACT Program is now open!
If you are interested in applying for the 2022-2023 Cohort of the ACT Program, please reference the Sample Application Form below. Note that there may be changes to the information requested.
SECTION BELOW FOR REFERENCE ONLY
Please read the information below before proceeding with the application:
* Applications will be submitted via an online Application Form.
* As stated in the Program Description, the ACT Program and its curriculum material will require a Google account. We recommend that applicants create a free Google account (if one doesn't already exist) as part of the process to apply for the program. Applicants should use the Google account information to log in to the Online Application Form.
* Applicants will not be able to save the application in an incomplete form. We recommend that applicants use the Sample Application Form to ensure that all answers and documents for upload are ready prior to beginning the online Application Form.
* The list of documents applicants will need to upload/attach as a part of the Application are:
- Scan of Academic Transcript(s) - please ensure that all relevant information (e.g. degree and date conferred) are indicated and readable.
- Autobiographical (Personal) Statement in PDF format
- Scan of Professional License, Credential, or Certificate - please ensure that all relevant information on the scans is readable.
- Letter(s) of Reference (one required, no more than 2; one must be from an individual with knowledge of applicant's clinical work) in PDF format.
- Resume or curriculum vitae (CV) in PDF format.
Download the ACT Program Sample Application Form_2020-2021 here!
ACT Program Fee Information
The program fee for the second cohort to launch in June 2022 will be $8,000. The true cost of the program is closer to $20,000 but those costs are offset with philanthropic support.
Once notified of acceptance into the program, applicants will have 14 business days to accept and submit $500 of the initial payment as a deposit to hold the seat as an enrolled ACT clinician in the program. Instructions will be provided in the Notice of Acceptance. Not meeting this payment and enrollment steps within the 14-business day period will constitute the release of that seat in the ACT Program to another applicant. If the program fee will be covered by a 3rd party (e.g., agency) that cannot meet these deadlines, it is the applicant’s responsibility to contact and discuss an alternative plan with the Program Director, Dr. Nucha Isarowong.
If an enrolled ACT clinician chooses to withdraw from the program after submitting acceptance and enrollment forms and first payment to the Barnard Center, the letter of withdrawal must be submitted to the program director in writing following instructions that will be provided in the Notification of Acceptance. Letters of withdrawal received 1-7 days after the deposit payment was received will be fully refunded. Letters of withdrawal received more than 7 days after the enrollment forms and first payment are received up to and including Monday, May 2, 2022, regardless of cause, will receive reimbursement of one-half (1/2) of the deposit payment ($250 ). No portion of the first payment will be reimbursed if the letter of withdrawal is submitted after May 2, 2022, regardless of cause.
The remaining $1,500 of the first payment is due Monday, June 6, 2022; the second payment of $3,000 is due Monday, October 3, 2022 (Month 5); and the third payment of $3,000 is due Monday, March 6, 2023 (Month 10).
There are two available fee waivers for clinicians accepted into the ACT Program: one designed for those with a financial need (Need-Based) and one designed for those working as an infant and early childhood mental health consultant (IECMH-C) in early care and education settings provided in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families IECMH-C Task Force. There also are options for those who will pay privately. See below for more information.
* Payment plan: You may pay in full or in three installments. The first payment will be due prior to the first day of class. Payments two and three will be due on the fifth and tenth months of the program.
- Enrollment Deposit - $500.00 [Due 14-business days after Notification of Acceptance]
- First Installment - $1,500.00 [Due June 6, 2022 (Month 1)]
- Second Installment - $3,000.00 [Due October 3, 2022 (Month 5)]
- Third Installment - $3,000.00 [Due March 6, 2023 (Month 10)]
We are providing the following suggestions as information only. We are not making recommendations for any type of financial service; it is the responsibility of the prospective ACT clinician to make their own financial decisions.
* Loan and Credit Options: Loan and credit options may work for you, however, you must be aware that each option will have its own benefits and costs and that it may cost more to finance your education due to charged interest and fees.
* Bank Loans: There are several banks that offer personal loans or home equity loans. We strongly encourage potential ACT professionals to carefully read and understand loan parameters for payment, the interest charged, and early-payment penalties of any loan.
* Credit Cards: Some credit cards, such as Bank of America in 2020, have a no-interest requirement for the first 15 months. Once at 15 months interest (typically between 14% and 24% depending on card and applicant credit score) would be charged on the remaining balance at 15 months. Terms and conditions may change. It is the responsibility of the applicant to review and accept any terms and conditions.
Need-Based Fee Waiver
* You must first apply for admission and be accepted into the Advanced Clinical Training Program
* Complete the ACT Program Need-Based Fee Waiver Application and Statement of Financial Need
* This support is only available to Washington State residents
*This form of support has not been confirmed for the next cohort
Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is providing for a limited number of full program fee waivers that are available to professionals working as an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant in early care and education settings in Washington State. Waivers are available for professionals:
* from diverse social and experiential backgrounds
* who have experience with overcoming adversity, experience with diversity, and/or a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
* who are among the first generation in their family to attend college, experienced socio-economic or educational disadvantage
* are affiliated with of one of the national minority organizations linked on the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health website (https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=147&lvl=1&lvlID=3)
* have a demonstrated interest and/or active role in advancing access to (health, mental health, and human services) resources for under-served populations
* You must first apply for admission and be accepted into the Advanced Clinical Training Program
* Complete the ACT Program IECMH-C Fee Waiver Application and Statement of Financial Need
* This support is only available to current IECMH Consultants for early care and education providers in Washington State
* This support is only available to Washington State residents
ACT PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE
A 15-month comprehensive, developmentally-grounded, relationship-based, diversity-informed foundational and specialized clinical professional development program in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
A mental health professional who is:
* looking to specialize, enhance, advance, or expand your clinical mental health services with families who are expecting or caring for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
* interested in infant and early childhood mental health consultation
A mental health agency that is:
* interested in enhancing and/or expanding clinical mental health services with families who are expecting or caring for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
* interested in enhancing and/or expanding services in infant and early childhood mental health consultation
* interested in the Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Learning Collaborative
We strongly encourage any and all interested BIPOC mental health professionals to apply!
Sign up for one of the Virtual OPEN HOUSES currently scheduled.
To register for an open house on January 26, 2022 at 4pm-5pm, click here.
To register for an open house on January 28, 2022 at 12pm-1pm, click here.
To register for an open house on February 3, 2022 at 4pm-5pm, click here.
To register for an open house on February 8, 2022 at 12pm-1pm, click here.
BIPOC Virtual OPEN HOUSES
To register for a BIPOC open house on January 26, 2022 at 12pm-1pm, click here.
To register for a BIPOC open house on January 28, 2022 at 4pm-5pm, click here.
To register for a BIPOC open house on February 3, 2022 at 12pm-1pm, click here.
To register for a BIPOC open house on February 8, 2022 at 9am-10am, click here.
**All times are in PST
If you would like more information about the ACT Program, please contact us at BCact@uw.edu to schedule a conversation with the program director or sign up for our mailing list.
Thank you for your interest in the Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) Program!