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

Former Title: Working with Parents of Young Children: Considerations for Special Populations

EDHD 5300 011 37352

Earn a Continuing Education Certificate (84 clock hours)
or 2 Academic Credits

Next session: September 12 to November 14, 2016

Father and childParticipants will examine the transactional role of parents and parent-child relationships in child development as well as interdisciplinary childhood mental health principles and strategies for working with parents of young children. Participants will understand special considerations of how infant mental health research informs work with parents with mental illness, chemical dependency, trauma, and cognitive delays, as well as adolescent parents, foster, adoptive and kinship parents, and parents of children with special needs. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their professional role in the interdisciplinary field of early childhood mental health and how strategies and principles will inform their professional role.

Course Learning Objectives

In addition to the learning objectives above, participants will:

  • Be introduced to the concept of adult attachment, the theory of intergenerational transmission of attachment, and its application to working with parents.
  • Understand elements of “psychological reorganization” and neurobiological correlates of parenting which characterize the transition to parenthood.
  • Understand parenting as a developmental construct paralleling the child’s development, the needs of parents at different stages of development, and the influence of culture and environmental factors on relationships and childrearing practices.
  • Know the theoretical basis and skills for holding multiple perspectives in relationship-based practice and the need to consider the unique strengths, challenges, and needs of individual families.

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

International students are welcome!

Instructor Tracy Schreifels

Tracy SchreifelsTracy Schreifels, MS., LMFT, IMH-E® (III) is the Mental Health Specialist for Reach Up Inc., a Head Start agency in St. Cloud, MN. In this position, she provides support to children, parents, and staff to promote social and emotional development for children birth-5. Prior to this position, she taught as a preschool teacher and has had experience working in a day treatment program for preschool children with significant mental health disorders. Tracy has extensive background knowledge in challenging behaviors and early childhood development.

Tracy teaches the CEED online courses Introduction to Infant Mental Health and Working with Parents: Considerations for Special Populations.

Instructor Angie Klinefelter

Angie KlinefelterAngela Klinefelter, MS, is a licensed teacher of parents and children. She has a Masters Degree in Child and Family Studies and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently working 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. Angela has specialized in the area of social emotional development of young child and the enhancement of parent child relationships.

Angie co-teaches the CEED online course Working with Parents: Considerations for Special Populations.


For 84 clock hours: $800 registration fee plus required textbook

For 2 academic credits: $800 tuition plus required textbook

Upcoming Sessions

  • Fall 2016: September 12 to November 14, 2016


Registration Information

To register for clock hours:

  1. Please read important information in About Online Courses.
  2. Register and pay online. You will receive a confirmation of registration.
  3. You will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site, on the Friday before the session begins.

To register for academic credit:

There is a two-step registration process. You must complete both steps in order to fully and completely register for this course. You will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site, on the Friday before the session begins.

  • Degree-seeking students currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota may not use our for-credit courses toward their degree program. Should a currently enrolled student choose to register for academic credit, the student may be subjected to additional University fees.
  • Degree-seeking students enrolled in schools other than the University of Minnesota wishing to use our course as an elective must directly seek prior approval from their degree program.


  1. Please read important information in About Online Courses.
  2. Register online.
  3. Complete and submit the Registration Request for Graduate Credit form. Complete the highlighted sections (e.g., do NOT register via OneStop; send your Grad Credit Request form to CEED, not the University.) Questions? Contact Karen Anderson at Please submit this form as soon as possible. CEED will obtain the appropriate approval signatures and forward your form to One Stop Student Services.
  4. When the University processes your request form, you will receive a confirmation from One Stop Student Services with information regarding your student account and payment. You must activate your student account to make your payment.
  5. On the Friday before the session begins, you will be emailed getting started instructions, including how to access the course site.

Required Textbook

Please purchase this textbook:

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

Testimonials from Participants

  • "This class was by far the most helpful class I have ever taken and I plan to share more with my colleagues to effect some significant changes in our programming and collaboration with other organizations."



Contact Karen Anderson, CEED Online Course Manager, at or 612-625-6617.

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Last modified on February 21, 2013.