A student in Adelphi's new Infant Mental Health-Developmental Practice Training Program talks about her experience in the program.
I graduated from New York University in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I chose to pursue my M.S.W. at Adelphi University because I learned that there were opportunities to specialize in work with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. When I began in 2015, I had never heard of Infant Mental Health. It was only when I was beginning to select my field placement for my advanced year that I learned about the new Infant Mental Health-Developmental Practice (IMH-DP) Training Program. Once I reached out to learn more, I realized that this opportunity could open new doors for me to merge my interests in developmental psychology, trauma and clinical social work.
After careful consideration, I decided to take a chance and apply to be part of this program. After interviewing to determine if this would be a good fit, I became one of seven students in the program’s first multidisciplinary cohort. Together, we learned from renowned professionals in the field, as well as from each other. Each student in the program brought a unique perspective from their respective discipline that I would not have had exposure to outside of this program. Our experiences at multiple internship sites, including a hospital, special needs preschool, and universal preschool, provided me with a taste of what it is like to work as a social worker and infant mental health specialist in a variety of early childhood settings. It was an intense 15 months. My clinical work took me out of my comfort zone, challenged me to grow by pushing me to reflect on my own weaknesses and strengths, and deepened my passion for this field. I had the privilege of presenting cases in front of colleagues and professionals from multiple disciplines. Completing the integrative project allowed me the opportunity to explore my interests in greater depth while developing the professional skills to plan and carry out extensive research. But above all else, the IMH-DP program helped me find a field I have an enormous passion for.
I chose to obtain my Master of Science degree in Infant Mental Health-Developmental Practice in order to pursue social work with a specialty in the field of early childhood. My professional goals include obtaining my license after graduating, becoming endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and pursuing clinical licensure as a social worker. My integrative project focused on prematurity and how it affects relationship quality between preterm infants and their mothers. I can one day see myself working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with new parents as they navigate the medical, emotional, and relational challenges that go along with having a newborn stay in the NICU. I would love to pursue further research to demonstrate that Infant Mental Health informed dyadic interventions can improve relationship quality between mothers and preterm infants. I can only dream of one day being able to help implement policies to ensure all new parents have access to social and emotional services for their family from pregnancy through birth to ensure optimal development for all babies. I have big dreams and a long career ahead of me, but I am excited for every step along the way!