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Suitability

The Baby in Mind training for infant massage educators is a unique course in Australia.

If you are thinking about taking this course, we want to make sure that you can make an informed decision before you commit to this program. It’s in your interests – and ours – to make sure we can meet your expectations and deliver you the best possible training experience!

To do this, as well as allowing you to ‘try before you buy” and complete some foundation subjects for free, we also encourage you to consider the following questions before you enrol in this training.

Use the tabs on the left to access questions that will help you work through your expectations, and to determine whether this course is right for you.

Are we a good match for your learning style:
  1. Do you have a flexible approach to learning? 

This course is intended to prepare you for work with families, or to extend the skills you already have in working with families. Babies and families rarely fit formula and “text-book”solutions. This course is most suited to students who are comfortable with flexibility in their thinking, and a reasonable tolerance for situations where a “black and white” answer may not always be immediately obvious or applicable.

2.  Are you comfortable with the principles of Adult Learning? 

We use the principles of adult learning in our training. This means (among other things) that we aim to provide you with training that is relevant to you. Within the limits of the course requirements, we enjoy supporting students to focus their learning in ways that reflect their own specific ideas, passions, challenges or situations. Are you someone who would feel comfortable communicating with us about your learning needs?

3. Are you comfortable taking initiative? 

How do you respond when confronted with something you don’t know or a situation you are uncertain about?

Are you the sort of person who is able to look up ideas or reach out to others for help and suggestions?

This training (and the work you will be qualified to do on completion of the course) is best suited to people who are willing to “not know” all the answers, and who have a willingness to use their own research skills to find answers from other resources and people.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘most of the time’ to these questions:

You will probably find that your learning style is a good match for this course, and working with families to teach cue-based infant massage.

If you answered ‘no’ or are uncertain about your answers to these question:

It is important to be aware that you may find the style of learning in this course challenging. You may need to be willing to develop some of these approaches to learning and working in partnership with your trainer, in order to get the most out of this course.

Is this the right course for you in your current circumstances:
  1. Are you experiencing significant financial distress? 

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous training organisations gain students for Baby Massage courses, by suggesting that graduates can earn hundreds and thousands of dollars a week in private practice, once they graduate. This has the effect of attracting a lot of students on very low incomes and who need work that is flexible.

However, in reality most graduates take a good 12-24 months to establish their own  practice, and some can even take longer depending on factors such as location, other time commitments, and the resources you have to work on building your business.

If you are experiencing immediate financial  distress or are seeking an immediate income source, we believe it is important that you are realistic about the time and energy you may need to apply in order to build your practice to a viable level: especially if you have not worked for yourself before. Many of our graduates do go on to establish very successful practices to varying degrees. But any businesses can take time to establish, and teaching infant massage or the First Touch Program is no different.

2.  Are you in active recovery from childhood or relationship trauma? 

This course addresses child mental health development–with a particular focus on the quality of early parent-child relationships. Students are exposed to a range of topics that can trigger uncomfortable feelings for some people–particularly those who have survived or witnessed abuse, neglect or trauma.

If you in the early stages of, or in active healing from, any type of abuse or other trauma associated with parenting or childhood, you may find some of the content in this course distressing, and this may not be the right time to do this training.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions:

Please contact us prior to enrolling in this program. We will be able to provide you with additional detail about the course content, and to discuss any questions you have so you can make an informed choice about whether this is the appropriate training for you to undertake at this time.

Do you have the time to work on the course requirements:
  1. Do you have approx 3-6 hours a week to spend on your course-work? 

On average, most students need to spend from three and up to six hours a week on the course work. This may not be every week during the course: it is an averaged-out amount over most weeks and is a good guide for evaluating whether you have sufficient time to undertake the course-work required.

You should also take into account any specific learning needs you have. For example, if you have not studied for a long time, or if you are new to using online learning, you may need to allow some additional time.

2.  Are you able to meet deadlines? 

This course has some flexible components, and it also has some parts with tighter deadlines.

For example, Block 4 (practice and practical) has some flexibility in terms of the timing for submission of your assignments.

However, Block 2  consists of 10 weeks of online learning, with a small assignment (e.g. a quiz) due each week. You can complete the work at any time during the week that it suits you, but during this block, it is important that you have sufficient time on a regular weekly basis to submit each assignment.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ both of these questions:

Then it is likely you will have sufficient time to comfortably do this course.

If you answered ‘no’ to either or both of these questions:

We suggest that if you want to enrol in this course, you may need to re-order some of your activities or priorities to get the most out of it and to successfully participate in the learning and assessment activities.

Is your preferred working style suited to this course:
  1. For health/ allied health/ welfare professionals: Are you comfortable working outside of a clinical specialisation and treatment framework? 

Most of our students from health professional backgrounds report to us that this course enhances their practice and adds much depth to their repertoire of skills. This is true of students who work in highly clinical, tertiary health services, as well as those providing primary and secondary health care services.

However, The First Touch Program was originally designed as (and continues to be) a program based on the principle that knowledge about relationships between parents and babies should belong to communities and families as much as to any professional group.

The emphasis in this training in on facilitation skills and relationship-based approaches for supporting gentle touch and other forms of parent-infant interactions in any environment.  The First Touch Program is a health promotion and education intervention which is adaptable to a wide range of situations and contexts.

However, it is important to be aware that this course does not provide training in complex infant mental health diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a treatment-focussed intervention, that addresses specific clinical problems, this course may not be suitable for your needs.

2. Are you comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds? 

Our student body is made up of people from very diverse backgrounds – ranging from PhD graduates, medical practitioners, nursing and midwifery practitioners, allied health professionals, teachers, bodywork therapists, complementary health therapists, and lay-persons. Each student on our course has a range of strengths and areas of learning they are focusing on, which may be different to yours.

Likewise, our teaching faculty is made up of professionals from a wide variety of health and human service backgrounds. They have various qualifications ranging from nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, education and teaching, and body-work. You will work with a variety of trainers throughout the course, some of whom may have very different professional backgrounds and experiences to you. However, all of our faculty have extensive experience in their background profession and in delivering the First Touch Program to families in many diverse environments. This course is most suited to people who are comfortable with learning in a cross-disciplinary environment that respects a wide variety of professional knowledge.

3.  For students intending to teach infant massage in private practice: Are you comfortable working collaboratively? 

Many people are attracted to teaching infant massage as a private practitioner, because it offers a way to work flexible hours that can fit in with other family and work commitments. We see many graduates go on to establish successful programs working for themselves, and others who struggle. Although there can be many reasons for this, one of the characteristics that our most successful graduates have in common is that they are able to work collaboratively with others in their community.

Some students come to the course with the perception that in order to build a viable practice, that they must compete ferociously with other educators and services in their area. However, we have found the opposite to be true: those who meet up and build networks with other graduates, those who get involved in and make use of the Baby in Mind resources, and those who support others typically face far fewer challenges, and are much more likely to still be practicing five years on, than those who tend to isolate themselves from the infant massage community. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that the more parents who take this program, the more parents who want to take this program. By being part of building a strong infant massage awareness in your community, the more parents are likely to seek out private classes.

This issue does not affect your training so much: but if you are intending to work in private practice after you graduate, and have no time to build your networks – or if a collaborative approach doesn’t sit with your philosophy – you may find it helpful to consider these issues before committing to the training.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘mostly’ to these these questions:

Then it is likely this course is a good match for your needs.

If you answered ‘no’ or ‘probably not’ to these questions:

Please contact us to discuss your concerns – we’d be happy to talk through a bit more about the nature of this course and to work out whether we can effectively adapt the materials to suit your needs.

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