Reflective Supervision Learning Collaborative (Syllabus)©

(revised 2023)

“RS is a set of caring conversations co-constructed over time by supervisee and supervisor; improvised or created in the moment, yet deepening their connection as together they develop their history and knowledge of one another and of the children and families in their conjoined care.”
Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok

Training Description

SPCC’s Reflective Supervision Learning Collaborative (RSLC) is a comprehensive, experientially based, small group training for supervisors and administrative leaders in the field of infants, young children and families, and specifically infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). Through a balance of Reflective Learning Sessions, and Reflective Consultation Groups, sharing of collective group knowledge, and ongoing support, participants will experience how to implement and provide reflective supervision within their programs while simultaneously, receiving reflective consultation themselves by qualified, experienced reflective supervisors/consultants. The RSLC is also designed to provide infant/early childhood program supervisors and leaders with much of the training and experience needed to pursue the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health (NYS-AIMH) Endorsement focused specifically on reflective supervision/consultation (RSC).

Course Objectives

• Gain a clear and deep understanding of fundamental theories of RSC, and specifically how it relates to IECMH work.
• Increase self-reflective capacity as a supervisor/leader.
• Understand and articulate the value of RSC for programs and staff working with infants, young children and their families.
• Develop one’s Reflective Supervisor identity and personal practice of Reflective Supervision.
• Learn the operationalized components of RSC.
• Increase skills in navigating complex supervisory relationships.
• Meet 18 hours of training on competencies aligned with the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement.*
• Receive 18 hours of NYS Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the fields of social work, mental health counseling, and creative arts therapy.*
• Receive 20 hours of reflective consultation (RC) toward the New York State Association for Infant Mental Health’s Endorsement.*

*Please note that RC group experiences, outside readings and reflective practice exercises outside of the Learning Intensive Sessions are not included in the number CEU Credits, as they are not allowable.


In addition to RSC being the gold standard of support for front line staff across infant and young child serving disciplines, RSC is increasingly being highlighted as a necessary requirement of fidelity and best practice in many Evidenced Based Practices. RSC is becoming an increasing expectation in EBP’s and is also a cornerstone of IECMH practice. As New York State, and the Rochester area specifically, is experiencing an increased valuing of, and demand for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health specialists across sectors, the shortage of trained RSC providers is increasingly evident. Additionally, in 2016 The New York State Association for Infant Mental Health adopted The Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health’s Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health®. The Endorsement® system is the premiere, global effort that identifies best practice competencies across disciplines and settings. Receiving RSC through a vetted and/or Endorsed professional is a requirement of this set of standards and competencies. For professionals aiming to become Endorsed as an Infant/Early Childhood Mental Specialist or an Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Mentor-Clinical, and provide NYS-AIMH approved RS/C for supervisees seeking Endorsement, this course aims to meet many of the training and experiential standards and competencies specific to supervision for the New York State Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement and will allow professionals to purse this post-degree specialization and credential; a specialization and credential increasing in demand in the Rochester area and in NYS.

Please visit for further details about the trajectory of IECMH across the state and the Endorsement process.


This course is designed for multi-disciplinary professionals in supervisory or leadership roles in infant and young child-serving agencies/fields in the Greater Rochester Area. While participants are not required to have prior training or practice experience in RSC, they must value or interest in reflective capacity, relationship-based work, the professional use of self, cultural awareness, the balance between thoughts and emotions, and the parallel process. It is expected that some participants will have the goal of NYS-AIMH Endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist or an Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical, this is not a required outcome for the RSLC. While this is not an exhaustive list, supervisors and leaders from the disciplines/fields/sectors of nursing, child-life specialists, social work, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical medicine, nutrition, home visitation, psychotherapy, child welfare, legal field, and early childhood education will be a good fit for this Learning Collaborative.

Prerequisites, Expectations, and Commitments

• SPCC’s IECMH Training (11 or 7 session IMH: Theory to Practice) or equivalent is a prerequisite for the RSLC.
• The RSLC includes a small amount of reading and reflective practice exercises outside of meeting times. It is anticipated that this equates to approximately 15-45 minutes monthly. These readings and activities are accessed through a cloud-based platform (Sharepoint). Participants should have comfort using a cloud-based platform for file storage and basic document editing. RSLC trainers will orient and provide support on the use of this platform at the beginning of the RSLC.
• Each participant is required to practice RSC with a minimum of two identified supervisees/consultees throughout the year. SPCC may be able to assist participants who are in need of supervisees/consultees to practice with.

Learning Collaborative Details

In Person Option
Five Reflective Learning Intensive days (most typically in months 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9), and 12 RC group experiences (monthly; 5 of which are incorporated in to the full day sessions) at SPCC’s Mary Ellen Institute (Rochester, NY).

Virtual Option
The Virtual RSLC occurs over Zoom, and the schedule is as follows:

  • Month 1 includes:
    • Three, 2-hour “kick off sessions”, on consecutive days
  • Months 2-11 each include:
    • One, 90-minute Reflective Learning Session
    • One, 90-minute Reflective Consultation Group
  • Month 12 includes:
    • One, 90-minute Reflective Learning Session
    • One, 2-hour Reflective Consultation Goodbye Group

Schedule Outline for the Year
(Exact dates to be determined based on participant schedules):

SPCC has a deep commitment to building the RSC capacity in the Rochester community. This year-long learning collaborative cost is valued at $2000 per participant. Some spots are available at no cost to local participants through generous grant funding. Please e-mail us at to discuss scholarships, group rates, or other fee structures.

Books & Materials
Articles and other reading materials used for the RSLC will be provided through a Sharepoint cloud-based folder. The following books are recommended for participants, but not required:

Hardy, K. V., Bobes, T. (2017). Promoting Cultural Sensitivity in Supervision: A Manual Practitioners. Routledge.

Heffron, M.C. & Murch, T. (2010). Reflective Supervision and Leadership in Infant and Early Childhood Programs. Washington, DC: ZERO TO THREE Press.

Scott Heller, S., Gilkerson, L. (2009) A Practical Guide to Reflective Supervision. Washington,DC: ZERO TO THREE Press.

Watson, C.L., Harris, M., Hennes, J., Harrison, M., & Meuwissen, A. (2023). RIOS Guide for Reflective Supervision and Consultation in the Infant and Early Childhood Field.
Washington DC: ZERO TO THREE Press.


Samantha Colson, MSW, MS, IMH-E® designed her career within the framework of Servant Leadership. As a Servant-Leader first, she naturally ensures that other people’s highest priority needs are being served especially with vulnerable populations. Samantha holds both a Master’s in Social Work and Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College. During her professional journey, she has focused on her passion for promoting positive mental health and well-being across the lifespan. She believes that having an understanding of Infant Mental Health early in life is a key component to preventing and treating mental health problems as they emerge. She is an advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health problems with an emphasis on suicide prevention. Samantha is a Region Leader for the Suicide Prevention Center of NY and a Master Trainer for Suicide Safety in Schools. She is a Master Trainer in the Mental Health Literacy Curriculum and contributed to the New York State Version of the Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide. In 2019, she started her own business, Colson Training & Consulting. Additionally, Samantha has extensive experience in crisis response, trauma-informed care, project management and planning.

Sarah Fitzgibbons, LMHC, MT-BC, IMH-E® has spent more than 20 years practicing, researching, supervising, teaching and developing programs in the field of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, with specific expertise in infants and young children impacted by trauma, loss, attachment disruptions, child welfare, and parent-child relationship assessments. Sarah currently works as the Vice President of Programs and Practices at The Society for the Protection and Care of Children (SPCC) in Rochester, NY where she oversees multiple IECMH-embedded, multidisciplinary programs. With Sarah’s leadership, SPCC has been strategically working to advance IECMH competencies and increase cross-sector policies and practices locally and state-wide since 2012. SPCC has been a leading trainer in Western New York in the field of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Reflective Supervision and Consultation. Sarah is an instructor of Infant Mental Health and Reflective Practice/Supervision coursework at The Warner School of Education (University of Rochester). In 2015, Sarah participated in the inaugural cohort of IECMH experts across New York State to become Endorsed®. She is Co-Chair for the NYS-AIMH board and serves as the Endorsement Committee Chairperson. Sarah actively works with local, state and national IECMH leaders to advance the field, ensure fidelity, change policy, and increase capacity through initiatives and collaborative efforts. Sarah is deeply committed to cultivating and nurturing IECMH expertise across our community and state through relationship-based, culturally sensitive practice, teaching, reflective supervision, and consultation. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Naropa University and completed post-master’s training in IECMH through the University of Colorado (The Kempe Center). She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation on the associations between reflective supervision quality and practitioner reflective capacity at the University of Rochester. Above all other training, education, experience and license, Sarah has been most deeply challenged, enriched and inspired in her work through her role as a mother and daughter.

Kenya Malcolm, PhD, IECMH-E®, earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from The University of Arkansas. Over the last 15 years, Kenya has worked across a wide range of settings that provide developmental and mental health services to children including inpatient, day treatment, preschools, private practice, and primary care clinics. In addition to being a trainer/ consultant with the MEI, Kenya currently works as a clinician, supervisor, and Director of Infant and Early Childhood Initiatives at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry. The two related limbs of her work are: (1) Integrated Care, ensuring that children and families have access to behavioral and mental health services in their pediatric office; and (2) Workforce Support, ensuring that adults from all disciplines that work with young children and their families have appropriate training and supervision. She enjoys working with professional leaders to advance the field, ensure fidelity, and increase capacity. In 2020, Kenya was invited to become one of four IECMH experts across New York State to become a member of the Early Childhood Endorsement Leadership cohort. An additional passion of Kenya’s is community engagement, literacy, and creative expression. She uses her free time to promote reading and volunteer with non-profit agencies in various ways.

Jenny Mural, LCSW-R, IMH-E® holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Rochester (2002) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (2006). She has over 13 years of experience working with children and families in the Rochester community impacted by trauma, grief and loss, interpersonal violence, family dynamics and issues around attachment. She is committed to offering family treatment through the lens of supporting healthy, nurturing interpersonal relationships. Additionally, she has advanced training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and values relationship-based work that offers the opportunity to connect with and support caregivers as they transition into new parent-child relationships, establishing balance and emotional wellness within their multiple roles. In her professional and personal roles and relationships, Jenny holds a deep appreciation for creating space for reflection to foster understanding of oneself and others within the context of relationships.

Melissa M. Parrish, MSed was born and raised in Queens, NY where she completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science, from Queens College, City University of NY. Ms. Parrish has had a professional career spanning almost 30 years in non-profit human services, education and community development in urban environments. She has worked as a program manager, job developer and drop-out prevention counselor for youth, facilitated training in conflict resolution, racial equity and structural racism, diversity, disabilities awareness and advocacy, career mentorship and parent and youth leadership. Ms. Parrish has worked professionally in public education, non-profit and corporate settings. She has completed a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Masters coursework in Non-Profit Management at the New School for Social Research. Her practical experience has included serving as a program manager for several programs in Rochester including, The Urban League of Rochester, INROADS/NYC, St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, Catholic Charities and the Advocacy Center. Presently Melissa works as a Family Specialist for Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities and as an Infant Mental Health Trainer Consultant for Mary Ellen Institute, a program of SPCC of Rochester. Through her consulting practice, Parrish Consulting Services, Melissa is an instructor in Adult Literacy for the Monroe County Library System, where she teaches GED and ESL classes for adult populations. Additionally, she has designed and conducted training programs and provided technical assistance to several organizations including, INROADS, Inc., Global Kids, Inc., The Afterschool Corporation, (TASC), FUND for the City of NY, TIAA, Catholic Family Center, Refugees Helping Refugees, Spiritus Christi Church, First Universalist Unitarian Church, and Rochester City School District.

Alana Russotti, LCSW, IECMH-E® has been working with children and families impacted by trauma in our community for over 10 years, and currently works for SPCC as the Director of Reflective Practices. Alana holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Women & Gender Studies, and a Master’s Degree from Fordham University in Clinical Social Work. Fueled by a core belief that the most meaningful way to support children is through their relationships with their caregivers, she began her career at SPCC in the Supervised Visitation Program. In 2014, after identifying a need for more intensive treatment options for children in foster care and high-conflict custody situations, Alana co-created Rochester’s first Therapeutic Visitation Program and worked as the Clinical Supervisor of this program for 5 years. In addition to work through her psychotherapy private practice, Kaleidoscope Wellness, Alana is an active member of NYSAIMH’s endorsement committee and holds particular expertise in providing and consulting in areas of Reflective Supervision/Consultation, parent-child Emotional Availability®, child welfare, child-centered high-conflict custody, child-centered play therapy, the impact of trauma on children, and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. Relationships are at the core of who Alana is and she deeply values the impact of healthy relationships between multidisciplinary systems, in the supervisory relationship, and with clients alike; Alana is grateful for the personal and professional relationships that give her the fuel and grounding to do this work, especially her greatest teacher, her daughter.