Therapy with Babies: Exploring the meaning of Infant Mental Health

Denise Stadter

Denise Stadter MA, LMHC, CADC, IMH-E® is the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Children & Families of Iowa (CFI). She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC). Denise graduated Augustana College in Rock Island, IL in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology with an emphasis in social welfare. She attended Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL and graduated with her master’s degree in professional and school counseling in 2014. Ms. Stadter began working at CFI later that year as a full-time outpatient therapist working with clients zero through the lifespan that have experienced trauma. Denise has experience working with children, adolescents, and families both on the outpatient and residential level. Denise has direct oversight and supervision of the behavioral health teams and substance abuse programming at Children & Families of Iowa.

Denise has received extensive specialized training in domestic violence, addiction, trauma, attachment, and infant/early childhood mental health. As a therapist, Denise utilizes evidenced based practices to support her clients and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is nationally rostered as a Child Parent Psychotherapy clinician and supervisor. Denise is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist(IMH-E®) in the state of Iowa and serves as the president of the board of the Iowa Association for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health.

Title: Therapy with Babies: Exploring the meaning of Infant Mental Health
Presenter: Denise Stadter, MA, LMHC, CADC, IMH-E®, Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services, Children & Families of Iowa (CFI)

This presentation will explore the meaning of infant and early childhood mental health and explore symptoms that may necessitate a mental health intervention. Participants will explore the impact of early childhood experiences and caregiving responses on brain development in young children. Participants will learn the principals of infant mental health intervention and assessment, increase awareness of services available, and how to utilize the relationship between an infant and their caregiver as an assessment factor.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will gain an understanding of infant and early childhood mental health including its meaning, importance, and how to assess mental health in infants.
  • Participants will increase their understanding of how relationships and early childhood experiences impact brain development.
  • Participants will increase awareness of signs and indicators within parenting/caregiving relationships that would necessitate infant mental health assessment and intervention.