Joanna Hawthorne

  • NBAS and NBO Trainer
  • Profession – Psychologist
  • Current Role – NBO & NBAS Master Trainer
  • Trainer since – Since 1995
  • Why do you love being a trainer – I love to see the faces of practitioners and parents light up when they observe the amazing capabilities of babies.

Throughout my career, my work has focused on early intervention and supporting parent-infant relationships. I became a Montessori teacher in 1968 and taught for 4 years before completing my B.A. in Psychology at Boston University. My Ph.D. research at the University of Cambridge, was an intervention study enhancing support of parents and babies in neonatal units, using the NBAS as a measure in 1977. I worked in infant mental health in both the UK and USA, and received an Infant Specialist certificate from the Erikson Institute, Chicago in 1994.

In 1995, I became an International Trainer in the Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale (NBAS) and then in the Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) in 2009. I became a Master Trainer in 2015. I enrolled in the Brazelton Touchpoints Model (Individual course) in 1998 and 2014, I was a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge from 1995-2004 working on three different studies: ‘Antenatal scanning and maternal anxiety’, ‘Effects of divorce and separation on children’ and ‘Foretelling Futures: Dilemmas in Neonatal Neurology’, researching staff, parents’ and babies’ experiences in four neonatal units. I was the Director of the Brazelton Centre UK from 1997-2017 and I continue to teach the NBO and the NBAS worldwide, as well as provide consultation to the worldwide Brazelton network.

I am a Board Member of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital, a Council member of the Maternity and Newborn Forum, Royal Society of Medicine, a member of the Association for Infant Mental Health (UK) and the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), an alumni of Women of the Year, 2016, a peer reviewer and invited speaker and author. I am the mother of two married children, and grandmother to a boy born in April, 2018.