Working with Parents: Using Infant Mental Health Principles to Support Special Populations

Strong relationships set the stage for healthy development. In this course, examine childhood mental health principles and learn strategies for working with parents of young children.

What to expect

  • Learn how early childhood mental health research informs work with parents with mental illness, chemical dependency, trauma, cognitive delays, and those who face other adversities.
  • Gain an understanding of attachment patterns and how they affect work with parents.
  • Explore the needs of parents at different stages.
  • Learn how culture and environmental factors impact relationships and childrearing practices.
  • Review self-reflection strategies that will help you identify the needs of individual families.

Who should register

  • Professionals working with young children
  • Parents of young children

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps.

Meet the instructors

Headshot of Tracy SchreifelsTracy Schreifels

Tracy Schreifels, M.S., LMFT, IMH-E® (III), is the mental health specialist for Reach Up Inc., a Head Start agency in St. Cloud, Minn. In this position, she provides support to children, parents, and staff to promote social and emotional development for children ages birth to five. Prior to this position, she taught as a preschool teacher and worked in a day treatment program for preschool children with mental health disorders.

Headshot of Angie KlinefelterAngela Klinefelter

Angela Klinefelter, M.S., is a licensed teacher of parents and children. She has a master’s degree in child and family studies and marriage and family therapy. She currently works as a parent educator and home visitor for the St. Cloud School District Early Childhood Family Education Program. She has 20 years of experience working with children and families. Klinefelter has specialized in the area of social-emotional development of young child and the enhancement of parent-child relationships.


  • For 84 clock hours: $795 registration fee plus required textbook

Required textbook

Zeanah, C. (2009). Handbook of Infant Mental Health (3rd Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Upcoming sessions

  • Spring 2018: March 5 to May 7, 2018 (registration opens at a later date)
  • Summer 2018: June 18 to August 20, 2018 (registration opens at a later date)