Monthly Magic Moments Memos

Magic Moment Memo November 2016

As I complete my three-year term as a member of the NJ Association for Infant Mental Health Board of Trustees, I want to say thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this talented and committed group.  It is wonderful to be part of a community of caring and dedicated professionals who are thinking very broadly about how to best support and serve our early childhood colleagues, infants, toddlers, young children and their families.

My hope is that  NJAIMH will continue to be the leader as the “go to place” for professionals and families looking to advance their knowledge & understanding about what really matters in  raising healthy, emotionally secure & resilient children.

I am reminded of two quotes that I try to keep present in my thinking:

If you want to go fast, go alone If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African Proverb

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement & mystery of the world we live in.” ~ Rachel Carson


Cynthia Newman MSW, LCSW

Regional Director

Mid-Jersey CARES

Regional Early Intervention Collaborative

REIC Central Jersey Family Health Consortium


Magic Moment Memo September 2016

What Endorsement Means to MEendorsement-thumbs-up-girl

Clinical counseling is my second career.  I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to transform my passion for empowering women in the workforce, inspired during my Human Resource Director days, to empowering Early Head Start and Head Start children and families.  Completion of my Master’s degree and the hours required to receive my license as a Professional Counselor (LPC), were no easy feats as I juggled the responsibilities of a demanding family, parent care and meaningful friendships.  My reward has been being present with children and families as they triumph over the challenges of emotions, behaviors, trauma, relationships and parenting.

In the beginning, I was uncertain that I was properly applying my graduate education.  Many times I rely on my instinct.  As each year passes, and many families trust me with their most vulnerable obstacles, allowing me to observe, play, support and recommend change for their children, I realize that what I do is holistic, taking all from my experiences, education, training, exposure to theory and colleagues, all that is me, to offer a family a chance to look at their pattern of living differently.  Often, I validate what is occurring is a “normal” developmental expectation when asked, “What is wrong with my child?”

In April 2013, I attended the launch meeting for an endorsement for infant mental health professionals in New Jersey.  I professionally identified with the description of Mental Health Mentor Clinical.  AND who doesn’t want additional letters after their name!  What I found in completing the EASy application was unexpected and a complete surprise.   I analyzed the courses I had taken, realizing how much they provided in my foundation of knowing INFANT MENTAL HEALTH.  I gathered all syllabuses of the trainings I was so fortunate to participate in and matched them to the Endorsement Competencies.  This exercise gave me a view of all the theory and practice knowledge that fuels my work.  The greatest professional reward was the understanding that my professional supervisor had been providing Reflective Supervision in our meetings for a decade.  My surprise came when I realized not all infant mental health professionals have this opportunity!

In being endorsed IMH E®IV-Clinical Mentor, I see a mural of faces that give pride and meaning to the work that I do.  I see the children (many of their names will always be with me), parents, early childhood educators, fellow counselors, my supervisor and, now, many KBCM training participants who rely on the endorsement for my ability to integrate the Infant Mental Health Competencies in every day of my professional life.  That’s what IMH Endorsement means to ME.

Jean Budd LPC, NCC, IMH E®IV-Clinical Mentor

President, NJ-AIMH


Magic Moment Memo June 2016

stuffed horse

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend the entire day in one of our inclusive preschool classrooms.  With staying relevant—and reasonable—at the forefront of my agenda, I am fortunate that my role affords me many occasions for close, personal interactions with very young children and their families.  I haven’t, however, spent an entire day—from drop off to pick up—as the lead teacher in the classroom in quite some time.  Having facilitated a successful morning of fun and learning, I was feeling quite exhausted myself when, alas, it was rest time.  I’ve always thought of that a silent, collective sigh of relief is shared between early childhood educators and caregivers once the children begin to settle down onto their mats.  Continue reading

Magic Moment Memo April 2016

The “Early Intervention State of Mind”lightbulb

One of the reasons I love my job is what I call the “lightbulb” moments that I see with new staff. You know, the moment when I see the imaginary lightbulb suddenly turn on over someone’s head! As someone who does professional development, I go for these “Aha!” moments – that spark of sudden insight or inspiration or realization. My favorite “Aha!” moments occur when a practitioner realizes they are not just there to “work the baby.”  Continue reading

Monthly Magic Moment – December 2015

Did You Know?

New Jersey’s Early Intervention System continues to work very closely with New Jersey’s Department of Children & Families/Division of Child Protection & Permanency to ensure high quality early intervention services for infants/toddlers (ages 0-3 yr) with special needs and their families. My ongoing belief is that children involved with protective services and eligible for early intervention are New Jersey’s most vulnerable infants & toddlers.  We owe them every opportunity to  live in a safe, stable environment, to grow and learn.   Joining together, all New Jersey’s child/family serving agencies must continue to focus on helping every child fulfill his or her potential.

Read the rest Dec 2015 Monthly Magic Moment – C Newman

Magic Moment Memo October 2015

As someone new to the field of infant mental health, I am continually finding myself surrounded by “magic moments” – mostly as I learn something new or see something in practice with my own children that I’ve learned in a classroom. As a central intake hub, we at Essex Pregnancy and Parenting Connection (EPPC) link families to many others who provide direct services, and we hope and trust that the families are having “magic moments” of their own as they work with their home visitors, or perhaps after attending a session of “Incredible Years.” Thus, the experience of seeing a magic moment unfold during the work day is particularly special.

Rest the rest here.   Sara Lewis Oct 2015 Monthly Magic Moment Memo

NEW FEATURE: Monthly Magic Moment Memo

Happy end days of summer NJ-AIMH members and friends!  We are adding a new feature to our website, known as a “Monthly Magic Moment Memo” where a NJ-AIMH Board member will share their thoughts about the “magic moments” in their work in infant mental health.  Basically, it’s a chance for us to share why we love what we do, and hope that it inspires you to continually be restored and rejuvenated by reflecting about what brings you joy (or ‘magic’) in this work as well.

Click here to see our first edition!   Monthly Magic Moment Memo – August 2015

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