9th International conference for infant observation 2024

Psychoanalytic observation, intersectionality and the social matrix: implications for infant observation and its applications

5 – 6 April 2024

This conference is now fully booked.

Returning in-person at the Tavistock Centre in London, the 9th International conference for infant observation and its applications will focus on how social forces and structures (including social class, gender, race, sexuality, neurodiversity and disability) influence the infant’s emotional experience and developing social identity within their family and wider community. Across two days, speakers from across the world will consider how these structures inform and shape the observer’s and seminar group’s capacity to observe unconscious processes.

For the very first time, the initial day will be open to both teachers and students of infant observation. The second day, which focusses predominantly on the teaching of infant observation, will be open to teachers only.

Conference programme:

Friday 5 April 2024

ActivityTimePresenter and presentation
Registration and refreshments09:15 
Welcome and introductions  09:45 
Plenary paper  10:00–11:00Considering complex intersections: psychoanalysis, infant observation and the social matrix
Presenter: Dr Matthew Chuard
Chair: Trudy Klauber
Coffee break11:00–11:15   
Parallel papers  11:15–12:15Perceiving anew: an exploration of infant observation as continuing professional development for experienced clinicians
Presenter: Dr Darren Bull
Chair: Alex de Rementeria
Thinking about race in the teaching and learning of infant observation in South Africa
Presenters: Shayleen Peake, Katharine Frost and Belinda Spalding-Jones
Chair: Dexter Benjamin
Use of fixed fantasies in treatment of intergenerational trauma
Presenter: Dr Sujatha Subramanian
Chair: Matthew Chuard
Lunch  12:15–13:15 
 Plenary paper 13:15–14:30Psychoanalytic observation and group life
Presenter: Lydia Hartland Rowe and Rajni Sharma
Chair: Biddy Youell
Small group reflective spaces 14:35–15:20
Break  15:20–15:30 
Plenary paper15:30–16:45Turning our good eye: Oedipus, sameness and difference in infant observation
Presenter: Dr Alexandra de Rementeria
Chair: Katie Argent
Panel or final plenary discussion  16:45–17:45 
Networking reception

Saturday 6 April 2024

  Presenter and presentation
Registration and refreshments09:15–09:45 
Reflections on day 1 of the conference  09:45– 10:30 
Plenary paper 10:30–11:45Observing mothers: an exploration of maternal identities in an infant observation seminar
Presenter: Fanny Lena
Chair: Katie Argent
Coffee break11:45–12:00 
Parallel Papers  12:00–13:00Infant observation in the training of professionals working with children with disabilities and their families: experiences from teaching infant observation as part of a Master’s programme at the University of Vienna
Presenters: Wilfried Datler and Margit Datler
Chair: Matthew Chuard
“Flapjacks, tangerines, coffee and tea”, ingredients for a post-natal parent and baby support group; the application of infant observation methodology and psychoanalytic technique within the wider community  
Presenter: Alison Bruce
Chair: Alex de Rementeria
Lunch  13:00–14:00 
Workshop/round table discussion  14:00–15:00Reflections on unconscious factors and identifications in infant and young child observation and their impact on exploring issues of difference and diversity: obstacles and opportunities
Presenter: Amanda Mintowt-Cyz
Chair: Margaret Lush
Final plenary and panel discussion  15:00–16:00 

Conference chair: Dr Matthew Chuard

During the conference, we will hear international perspectives on how psychoanalytic observation, with its emphasis on close attention to detail, unconscious processes and the emotional impact upon the observer, can deepen our understanding of infant development. Drawing upon their own experiences, our speakers will also explore the role that wider social forces play, and their interaction with internal and interpersonal experiences that shape the infant’s developing subjectivity.

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

Who is this conference for?

The first day of this conference will be open to both teachers and students of infant and psychoanalytic observation, whilst the second day will only be open to teachers of infant and young child observation.

Date and time:

Friday 5 and Saturday 6 April 2024

Arrival for registration between 9.15am and 9.45am both days

Close: 6pm Friday 5 April and 4pm Saturday 6 April

Fees and booking:

This conference is now fully booked.

If you are interested in attending please contact cpdevents@tavi-port.ac.uk and we will contact you should a place become available.

Confirmed speakers

For a better viewing experience we recommend you upgrade your browser.