The Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health is a program that provides training, program consultation, advocacy, and research in infant and early childhood mental health. The core component of the program is its postdoctoral training program. Program faculty also provide supervision and consultation to academic and community programs and agencies.
Fellowships in Advanced Clinical Infant Mental Health Training
The Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health offers training for postdoctoral graduates as well as experienced infancy and early childhood professionals seeking “community-based” training. It is an advanced 1-year clinical fellowship in infant and early childhood mental health, consultation, and treatment, with a particular focus on the problems of infancy, toddlerhood and parenthood.
The primary focuses of the training are on infancy and early childhood, understanding growth from different cognitive and developmental theories, attachment theory, psychodynamic theory, and family development. The training includes didactic seminars as well as clinical experiences. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including normal infant and early childhood development, temperament, normal pregnancy and pregnancy loss, high-risk infants and parents, developmental psychopathology (including attachment disorders, failure to thrive, and behavior problems), the impact of child abuse and neglect, developmentally appropriate assessment, diagnosis and treatment of infants and toddlers, the treatment of infant-parent psychopathology, and mental health consultation in early childhood settings. The educational experience also includes a clinical component, working with infants, toddlers and their families at a number of settings (some being bilingual) at UCD programs and local mental health agencies.
The Harris Program began in 1996 under the directorship of Robert J. Harmon, MD (in memoriam, 1946-2006), an infant and child psychiatrist and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and with the funding support from The Irving Harris Foundation.
Dr. Harmon was a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) where he also received his post-graduate training in General and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. After spending three years at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Harmon returned to Colorado, joining the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1978 as an Assistant Professor and later becoming Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics in 1992. Below are some of his many appointments/recognitions during his accomplished career:
- Founder and Director of the Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health (1996-2006)
- Medical Director of the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR) at the University of Colorado Hospital/University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
- Psychiatric Director of the Women’s and Children’s Residential Services at The Haven, a therapeutic community for women where he implemented a community-based Doula Program
- Board member of Zero to Three/National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
- Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
- Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and served as Chair of the AACAP Program Committee for the 2005-2008 Annual Meetings
- Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- The Kempe Children’s Foundation Professional Honoree for contributions to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect in April 2003
- Received the Simon Wile Leadership in Consultation Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions in the field of liaison child and adolescent psychiatry in October 2003
- Authored of more than 150 publications on infant psychiatry, infant and family development, and the effects of the death of an infant on the family
Dr. Harmon was certified in General, Child and Adolescent, and Addiction Psychiatry.