An invited commentary on mentoring in infant mental health: A symposium commemorating Robert N. Emde

David Oppenheim, Kristin Bernard, Mary Dozier, Alicia F. Lieberman, Markita Mays, Jane West

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate


This paper is based on a symposium on mentoring in infant mental health that took place at the 18th World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) conference. The symposium commemorated Robert N. Emde who was one of the founders of the field of Infant Mental Health, and devoted much of his career to mentorship. From an IMH perspective, mentoring experiences are best thought of as relationships, significant for both mentor and mentee, with positive mentoring experiences crucial for the development of IMH clinicians and researchers. The symposium participants, two pairs of mentor-mentee dyads, first gave an opening statement about what mentoring meant for them generally and personally, and then addressed three issues: the goodness of fit between mentor and mentee, “light and shadow” in mentoring relationships, and balancing old wisdom with new trends in mentoring. The paper brings the participants’ views and personal experiences regarding these issues in their own words, highlighting key personal and professional issues related to mentorship from the perspectives of both mentor and mentee.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Early online date4 Jun 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Infant Mental Health Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.


  • mentoring
  • mentoring relationships
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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