Infant Mental Health
Infant mental health is an interdisciplinary field founded on the principle that early relationship-based intervention in the context of family, community, and culture can support normative emotional and behavioral development and help children at risk and their families prevent future developmental problems.
The Mills Infant Mental Health Program provides students with the skills and knowledge to become practitioners or researchers that specialize in working with children from birth through age five. Our program builds on a solid background in psychology, research methodology, and normative development. Graduate courses include advanced study of development, assessment, and special needs children, combined with fieldwork and a master's thesis. Each student works with an advisor to create a plan of graduate study that fits her/his goals.
In addition to entering careers in the early childhood field, graduate students may also use this program as a bridge to other graduate training, such as doctoral work in psychology, early childhood special education, or occupational therapy.
Mills also offers a one-of-a-kind BA/MA Accelerated Degree Program for undergraduate students that combines undergraduate and graduate course work and field placement with a broad background in the liberal arts and sciences. Students graduate in five years with a bachelor's degree in psychology and master of arts degree in infant mental health.
Learn more at one of our Information Sessions at the School of Education.
- Learn contemporary psychological and developmental principles.
- Learn the value of the scientific method as a way of thinking about questions concerning the causes of (and therapeutic approaches to) behavior, including the ability to find and comprehend research.
- Develop the ability to apply the scientific method to questions concerning the causes of and therapeutic approaches to behavior in order to be able to assess children for serious mental health and developmental problems in a culturally competent and developmentally appropriate way.
- Learn to link assessment information on individual treatment strategies that foster healthy emotional and relationship development.
- Develop the ability to communicate effectively and responsibly in writing in interpersonal contexts and learn to work in collaboration with others.
Accelerated Degree Program
Professor of Psychology
Co-Director of Infant Mental Health Program
Carol George is an internationally recognized attachment researcher who specializes in infants and their families, middle childhood, and parenting. Her publications have addressed the development and sequelae of attachment in children and adults in normative and clinical/risk populations, including studies of divorce and overnight visitation (with Dr. Judith Solomon), relationship violence and adult depression (with Dr. Malcolm West), and the neurophysiological correlates of attachment (with Dr. Anna Buchheim). She co-edited the first comprehensive book in the field of attachment on disorganization, Attachment Disorganization, and is working on a sequel edition, Disorganized Attachment and Caregiving.She is on the editorial board of Attachment and Human Development. In addition to her research, teaching, and writing, Dr. George serves as an attachment assessment consultant to researchers and clinicians worldwide. She is well known for developing a number of representational and projective attachment assessments, including the Adult Attachment Projective, a child Doll Play Projective Assessment, a parental Caregiving Interview, and the Adult Attachment Interview
Professor of Education
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Abbie Valley Professor
Director of Child Life and Early Childhood Specialist Programs
Co-Director of Infant Mental Health Program
Linda M. Perez has over 25 years of experience working in the area of early childhood trauma and mental health. She has specialized training supporting the early development of medically fragile high-risk preterm and prenatally exposed infants, and those with developmental disabilities. Dr. Perez' research and scholarship has been shaped by a long-standing commitment to social change and to understanding the diverse experiences of young children with special needs. Her current research projects include identifying the mental health needs of young children who have experienced extraordinary traumatic situations during critical points in their early development and to examine the effects of early childhood trauma work on helping professionals' psychological well-being. Additionally, she continues to identify the adverse developmental and social effects of experiencing the early beginning of life in the neonatal intensive care nursery and train healthcare provides how to provide developmental care for medically fragile preterm infants.
Program Coordinator, Infant Mental Health
School of Education
Kimball 3, 510.430.3293, firstname.lastname@example.org