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News from Around the World

NBO & NBAS-related News


The first NBO Training to be held in Japan was conducted by Professors Campbell Paul and Kevin Nugent, with the assistance of Drs. Mariko Iwayama and Eiko Saito as Associate faculty.  (See Tokyo NBO group training photo below). Not only was this the first NBO training held in Japan, but it was the occasion when the first NBO training center was established under the direction of Professor Shohei Ohgi, with Drs. Saito and Iwayama as trainers.   While NBAS training has been conducted in Japan for almost 30 years by Drs. Akiyama, Ohgi, Kawasaki and Tsurusaki and more recently by Drs. Ohgi, Nagai and Nagata, this was the first NBO Training to take place in Japan.  Thirty trainees participated in NBO training in Tokyo at the Japanese Red Cross College of Nursing on September 12-13th. For further information on NBO Japan see 

Thirty participants also joined the Nagoya training later that week at the Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daini Hospital.  The training was hosted by Dr. Masako Nagata and Dr. Yukio Nagai (See photo below).    

Front row from left: Yukiyo Nagai (Pediatrician & NBAS trainer), Kevin, Campbell, Masako Nagata (Clinical psychologist & NBAS trainer)

Back row from left: Kayo Nomura (Clinical psychologist, Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daini Hospital), Eiko Saito (Midwife & NBO trainer), Yumi Kubota (Head Nurse of NICU, Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daini Hospital), Mariko Iwayama (Clinical psychologist & NBO trainer).

A special Open Lecture took place on Sunday September 18th at Nagoya University, Higashiyama Campus, which featured lectures by Professors Paul, Nugent and Nagata (See additional photos below from left: Professors Ohgi, Nugent and Paul).  


The first NBO training to take place in Hong Kong was presented on September 9-10th, 2016.  The training was hosted by the Hong Kong Association for Infant Mental Health (HKAIMH) and was coordinated by Joyce MOK, President of HKAIMH, assisted by K.H. Chung, from the Executive Committee of HKAIMH. Trainers were J. Kevin Nugent and Campbell Paul.  Thirty participants from a range of professions including midwives, psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, physical therapists & occupational therapists took part.  The evaluations of the training were extremely positive and trainees were excited about the possibility of learning to integrate the NBO into their respective settings.  For all participants the live NBO sessions, which were facilitated by Joyce Mok and her colleagues and took place at the United Christian Hospital in Kowloon, were especially revealing in that they highlighted the strength-based relational character of the NBO philosophy and the importance of including the parents as partners in the NBO session.  The mentoring process is already in progress.  

(Photo below on the left shows the Hong Kong trainees during the training).


Hanne Kronberg, MPH. Ph.D., from the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University is leading a Randomized Controlled Trial designed to examine the effects of the NBO in a preventive primary care setting.  The study will be carried out in four medium sized municipalities.  The training of the Health visitors is being carried out by Inge Nickell and Merethe Vintner.   


A meeting of Nordic Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) practitioners was organized by NBO Trainers Unni Tranaas Vannebo and Kari Slinning in Oslo in March, 2016. Kevin Nugent was the primary speaker at the meeting, while eighty-five NBO practitioners from all over Norway reported on their logs and described their work with the NBO. Many speakers reported that learning the NBO has been “life-changing” for them and has transformed their practices, so that they cannot “take off their NBO glasses”. Others discussed the challenge of “unlearning being and advice-giver and telling people what to do” and “bringing forward the baby’s voice” and “making parents more visible and allowing parents to take the lead”. All participants reported on the strong sense of community and camaraderie that exists between all the NBO practitioners and added that the NBO has made a significant contribution to their confidence in their work. 

New NBO Trainers in Norway

Three new Norway trainers received their NBO Trainer certificates in March. The new trainers are Nina Cheetham Bøhle, Rakel Aasheim Greve and Hege Sandtrø. Congratulations! The photo below includes Kari Slinning and Unni Tranaas Vannebo and new NBO trainers Nina Cheetham Bøhle (on the left) and Hege Sandtrø (on the right). 

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The total number of certified NBO trainees in Norway so far is 252. Training is also taking place in Trondheim with 33 participants and another group in Haugesund began in late January. In addition, a new group started in Oslo in the end of March, and another will begin training in Oslo in September, 2016.

Kevin Nugent was also the keynote Speaker at the 25th Nordic Infant Mental Health (NFSU) Jubilee Conference in Oslo, Norway on March 10th, 2016. Unni Tranaas Vannebo, NAIMH President and NBO Trainer introduced the conference. The title was: Beginning in the Perinatal Period – a unique opportunity for preventive intervention and support for parents. Participants came from all over Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Finland. Other speakers included Professor Emeritus Lars Smith, Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth and Mette Sund Sjøvold. 


Beth McManus and Kevin Nugent received a research grant to test the effectiveness of the NBO as a model of care in a large sample of infants served by Early Intervention programs for infants with developmental disabilities or delays in the State of Massachusetts. The purpose of this randomized controlled study is to determine the effects of the NBO on infant cognitive and social-emotional function and maternal depression. Trainer Yvette Blanchard is a consultant on the grant and Trainer Jayne Singer is involved in the advanced training of the EI practitioners who are participating in the study. The study began recruiting in February 2016.


Two NBO trainings took place in Boston in April 2016 (one with the Dulce group) with Connie Keefer, Kevin Nugent and new NBO trainers Nancy Deacon and Aditi Subramaniam and Trainer-in-training Carmen Noruna. (Nancy Deacon appears in the front row on the right, while Carmen Noruna and Connie Keefer are on the right of the photo in one of the trainings).

On March 18th, 2016, NBO training led by Drs. Keefer and Nugent took place at the University of California Davis Extension's Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program in Napa, CA, which is directed by Dr. Kristie Brandt. This first NBO training to be offered in the Napa-based Fellowship program was offered over 12 years ago and the multidisciplinary program draws participants form all over California and from all over the US and abroad. 

Drs. Keefer and Nugent also offered NBO training to participants in the Infant-Parent Mental Health Postgraduate Fellowship/Certificate Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston onMarch 4th, 2016. Professor Ed Tronick is the Faculty Chief and Dr. Dorothy Richardson is the Program Director. Participants from many countries include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage-family therapists, educators, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, speech/language & communication therapists, and other professionals.

NBO Training took place in Chicago, Illinois with Claudia Quigg and Ann Stadtler as faculty on September 22-23rd. 2015. Connie Keefer and Kevin Nugent presented NBO training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Infant Mental Health Fellowship on Sept 17-18th 2015.  Participants included Fellows in the University of Wisconsin Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program and guests from many of the Home Visiting Programs in Wisconsin. Drs. Roseanne Clark and Linda Tuchmann coordinated the training.

Congratulations to both Nancy Deacon and Aditi Subramaniam, who completed their training to become NBO trainers for the US region! 


Professor Joao Gomes Pedro and the Fundaçâo Brazelton/GomesPedro presented an International conference, The Love Synapses: Building Strong Children, Families and Communities in Lisbon, January 2016. Over 800 health care and education professionals from all over Portugal attended the three-day conference. Speakers included: Ana Teresa Brito, Joao Gomes Pedro, Maria do Céu Machado, Charles Nelson, Kevin Nugent, Emilio Salgueiro, Adriana Sampaio, Danile Sampaio, Jorge Sampaio, Isabel Soares, Joshua Sparrow. (Photo below of Joao Gomes Pedro on the right, with former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, centre). 

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Professor Kevin Nugent gave theKeynote Address at the 45th Annual Meeting Psychological Society of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, Friday November 13th, 2015. He was awarded the 2015 Presidential Citation by Dr. Paul D’Alton, outgoing President of the Psychological Society of Ireland. The citation read: “To Professor Nugent - in recognition and deep appreciation for your significant contribution to infant mental health and the resulting betterment of the human project”. 

Kevin was also invited to testify before the National Parliament of Ireland (Oireachtas) Joint Committee on Health and Children, Government Buildings, Leinster House, Dublin, Thursday November 12th. The main thrust of the address to the Senators and House Members was that was the first three years of life are a time of massive brain development, with lifelong implications for the child and society and that the first months of life present us (through the NBO) with a remarkable opportunity to promote the development of early parent-infant relationships from the very beginning.


The first Swiss NBO training took place at the Bern University of Applied Science in the beautiful city of Bern, Switzerland, Nov, 19-20th, 2015. Trainers were Drs. Kari Slinning and Kevin Nugent, while the trainees were made up of nurses, psychiatrists, pediatricians, Physiotherapists, home visitors and infant specialists. Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern joined as guest faculty. Professor Eva Cignacco and Natascha Schuetz Haemmerli convened the training. The mentoring of the new trainees is still in process.

At dinner

From left: Kari Slinning, Natascha Schutz, Eva Cignacco and J. Kevin Nugent


Brazelton training group photo (Barry & Kevin)

The International NBAS & NBO Trainers Meeting took place at Harvard Medical School Nov. 2-4th, 2015. The meeting was organized by Drs. Nugent, Hawthorne, Johnson and McManus and included NBO and NBAS trainers and prospective trainers from 21 countries across the world. This was the 30th anniversary of the first Trainers meeting which took place at the Free University of Berlin in 1985 and was also organized by Dr. Nugent. The Harvard meeting was undoubtedly memorable, and deemed a spectacular success by all who participated. As one participant said, “It was an inspiring occasion”, while another reported that “it was a fabulous networking opportunity, an invaluable time was spent getting feedback and input on our clinical practice, research endeavours and training pathway…..”.

The meeting was launched by a series of brilliant lectures by some of the great minds in the field today. Speakers included Harvard faculty members, Professor Heidelise Als, Jerome Kagan, Terrie Inders, Charles Nelson, Leonard Rappaport, Jack Shonkoff. Berry Brazelton also participated in the panel discussion. Professor Nugent opened 

the proceedings (See photo above) and this was followed by Professor Rappaport who gave the opening address. Professor Als spoke on “NIDCAP and Neuroscience” and this was followed by Professor Kagan’s presentation on “The Tapestry of Temperament.” In her presentation, Professor Inder discussed her research on the brain, “Inside the Newborn Brain – Imaging Insights”. “Driving Science-Based Innovation to Achieve Breakthrough Outcomes for Babies Facing Adversity” was the title of Professor Jack Shonkoff’s address. Finally, Professor Nelson’s presentation was entitled, “The effects of early adversity on brain and behavioral development”. These presentations were followed by a panel, “A vision for the future”, which included Heidelise Als, Berry Brazelton, Terrie Inder, Jerome Kagan, Jack Shonkoff, Lenny Rappaport. In the afternoon of the first day, Dr. Lise Johnson facilitated the “Around the World in 5 Minutes” session, which featured the participants from all countries describing their work with the NBAS and NBO and their plans for the future. The following two days consisted of break-out groups and mini workshops. 


Dr. Susan Nicolson conducted the first NBO training with Aboriginal workers in Northern Victoria, Australia, in June 2015. For further information on NBO Australia, click here:


The first NBO training to take place in Africa took place at the Ububele Parent Infant Programme in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2015. The NBO training team consisted of Drs. Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson. Ububele is an educational and psychotherapy trust providing training and services to improve the emotional development of children under 7 years. Ububele's training in mental health focuses on preventative strategies for children under the age of seven, their parents, families and other caregivers, so that the NBO will be used in this context. The program is directed by Katherine Frost and Tony Hamburger, who hosted the NBO training. For more information see:


The first NBO Training to take place in Brazil took place at the Department of Pediatrics, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte on March 27-28th, 2015. The trainers were Drs. Lise Johnson and Beth McManus, while the facilitators were Prof. Claudia Regina Lindgren Alves, MD, PhD and Profa. Titular Lívia C.Magalhães.


An international conference presented by Professor Gherardo Rapisardi, NBAS trainer for Italy, tool place in Rome on March 13-14th, 2015. The conference title was: "MI Fido di Te - I trust you- A tribute to T. Berry Brazelton. Speakers included Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, C. Calzone, S. Facchini, S. Federici, L. Migliaccio, G. Nebbiosi, J. Kevin Nugent, Joshua Sparrow, G. Tamburlini, G. Valeri, Colwyn Trevarthen. Professor Nugent’s opening talk was entitled, “The Development of the Sense of Trust and the Gift of Hope: the contribution of T. Berry Brazelton”. This was followed by Dr. Bruschweiler-Stern’s lecture on “Supporting Early Relationships and the Birth of the Family”. Dr. Luca Migliaccio spoke on co-parenting and the use of video feedback as an intervention, while Dr. Sergio Facchini spoke on the use of video intervention therapy in a primary care setting. Fabia Banella also spoke on procedural communicative behaviors and the mother-infant relationship.


The Møller Centre, Churchill College at the University of Cambridge was the setting for a special meeting of UK NBO Trainers, convened by Brazelton Centre Director, Dr. Joanna Hawthorne which took place on 29th - 31st January, 2015. Kevin Nugent joined this special Trainer of Trainers Meeting, convened by Dr. Hawthorne (assisted by Betty Hutchon and Maggie Redshaw) and included workshops and discussions on the NBO. Among the other Trainers and Trainer Associates were: Jeanette Appleton, Megan Eccleson, Melanie Gunning, Inge Nickell, Emily Hills, Deanna Gibbs, Lisa Hodge, Libi Deller, Maureen Lancaster, Guillermina Marquine, Maggie Wood, Alison Pritchard and Christine Bartram.

Each Trainer discussed her experience both as a user and as teacher of the NBO in her own particular setting. These individual presentations and the discussion that followed offered a picture of a vibrant training program that, according to the data presented, is making a significant difference in the lives of the practitioners and the infants and families whom they serve across England, Scotland and Wales. Many of the themes which were introduced at the Edinburgh International meeting in June were discussed in an effort to carve a vision for the expansion and refinement of the training process and the facilitation of research using the NBO (and NBAS) in the UK.

The two days were crowned by a formal dinner in honor of Professor Nugent at Churchill College, where tributes were paid to all the trainers and to Dr. Hawthorne especially, for all she has done to make the UK Training Centre what it is today - the largest in the world. A Joint meeting with the Brazelton Centre UK & The Cambridge Centre for Perinatal Neuroscience then took place on Saturday Jan 31st at the Seminar Room 5, Clinical School, Cambridge University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge. Speakers included: Professor Kevin Nugent, Director, Brazelton Institute, Boston;Professor Jonathan Hill and Dr. Helen Sharp (Universities of Reading and Liverpool), Dr. Susan Pawlby, Institute of Psychiatry, London, Pauline Lee, Clinical Psychologist, Tameside and Glossop and Drs. Topun Austin, Cristine Costa and Cheun Wai Lee from the Cambridge Centre for Perinatal Neuroscience. Click here for the full program: Brazelton meeting 31st Jan. 2015.


The first NBO training program in Denmark was conducted in Thisted in North Jutland by NBO Trainers Jeanette Appleton and Inge Nickell (UK) on October 1st-2nd., 2014. The sessions were conducted in Danish and Inge translated the NBO materials into Danish. The success of the program was due in no small part to Convener Merethe Vinter's "enthusiasm, knowledge and passion", according to Jeanette and Inge's report. Group photo above includes Merethe Vinter, seated second from the left with Jeanette Appleton on her right and Trainer Inge Nickell standing behind on the far left, with all the new trainees. Merethe is now training to be an NBO trainer. 


Brazelton Institute faculty members, Drs. Lise Johnson and Yvette Blanchard conducted NBO Training in Iceland on Sept 18-19th., 2014, in Reykjavik. This is the second NBO training to be held in Iceland and once again the training was facilitated by our dynamic and dedicated colleague, Stefanía Birna Arnardóttir. Last year, it was Drs. Johnson and Hawthorne who made up the faculty and this year Dr. Blanchard joined Dr. Johnson, who reported that the training was very successful.


The first NBO and NBAS Training to be presented in China took place in Xi'an Children's Hospital, Affiliated Medical School at the Xi'an JiaoTong University on November 3-4th. Drs. Susan Nicolson (Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) and Kevin Nugent, the Brazelton Institute were the instructors on this auspicious occasion. Thirty neonatologists, pediatricians, nurses and social workers from all over China participated. NBAS training was also offered on Nov 5th by Professor Nugent. The training was facilitated by Professor Hui Li, MD., Ph.D., Division of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Xi 'an JiaoTong University and First Affiliated Hospital, Medical School, Xi'an Jiaotong University.  The NBO training was preceded by an International Conference entitled Neonatal Behavioral Observation system applied in the family and medical rehabilitation, which was held on Sunday November 2nd. in Xi'an. Invited speakers include Chuen Wai Lee (UK), Shohei Ohgi (Japan), Susan Nicolson and J. Kevin Nugent. Attendees at the conference included neonatologists, pediatricians and nurses from Xi'an and other medical centers from across the country, including Shannxi Province, Zhejiang Province, Shandong Province, Beijing and Hong. 

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