Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Foundations of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Certificate

Explore Neuroscience + Psychology + Relationship Studies
Earn a non-credit Certificate in Interpersonal Neurobiology!
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PCC IHP’s Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) certificate program explores the theory and practical working models that inform human development, attachment and trauma, and functions as a product of the relationship between the body, mind and relationships. Also called relational neuroscience, Interpersonal Neurobiology describes how the brain, body and mind are developed throughout life, and how they function and change based on the interplay of neurophysiology, in the context of relationships. Discover the scientific framework and multi-disciplinary tools to develop a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and compassionate, connected relationships!

The Program

IPNB combines neuroscience, psychology, complexity theory, environmental influences, and relationship studies. Developed by Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. Allan Schore and Dr. Lou Cozolino in the late 1990s, Interpersonal Neurobiology seeks similar neurological patterns that exist in separate science fields.

Students in this program will discover what neuroscience and relating reveal about how we learn, resolve trauma and conflict, and improve relationships. IPNB illuminates how the mind and brain develop across the lifespan. It has profound applications for professionals working in healthcare, education, leadership, parenting, organizational development, and more. 

The Investment


  • In total, the IPNB program is a total of 125 hours over 2 terms, including live online class-time, discussion boards, and in-person intensives.
  • The online IPNB classes will be held on Tuesday nights, starting at 5:30pm Pacific. The end time will vary by class, with classes lasting between 2-3 hours (ending between 7:30-8:30). A detailed schedule will be sent to participants.


  • $2,950
  • Or a special 6-month payment plan through PCC. To set up the plan, contact Lynne Baxter.


Note: books may change from term to term, so check with your instructor

Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (2012) by Dan Siegel

The Neuroscience of Human Relationships, 2nd edition, by Louis

The Human Brain Book, 2nd edition, by Rita Carter

Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal
Neurobiology (2008) by Bonnie Badenoch

Neuroscience of Inclusion: New Skills for New Times (2017), by Mary
E. Casey & Shannon Murphy Robinson

The Instructors
  1. Introduction to IPNB – Casey Sims
  2. Ethics from an IPNB Perspective – Debra Pearce-McCall
  3. Science of IPNB – Mary Meador, Robyn Gobbel
  4. IPNB of Attachment & Trauma – Alissa Bagan
  5. Difference & Diversity – Mari Alexander
  6. Embodied Relational Mindfulness – Ryan Hofer
  7. IPNB of Connection & Community – Maureen Lowell
Who should apply to this program?

IPNB offers insight valuable to multiple professions working closely with people whose work may be informed by Attachment Theory, or other interpersonal theory and practice. Healthcare professionals will find IPNB particularly interesting, as will:

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychotherapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Addiction Counselors (CADCs, QMHPs, LEPs, etc.)
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Nutritional Therapists
  • Allopathic Professionals
  • Chiropractors
  • Acupuncturists
  • Naturopaths
  • Teachers/educators/coaches
  • Lawyers
  • Clergy
  • Occupational Therapists
Is this program transferable or a credit program?

The Interpersonal Neurobiology Program curriculum is a continuing education unit (CEU) program. It is a noncredit, does not offer a degree, and is not transferable to another school. It does, however, provide high quality knowledge and skills that can be applied towards many professions and health careers.

What will students learn in this program?

PCC’s IPNB program draws from a diverse field of experts, theorists, researchers and practitioners and equips participants to apply an interdisciplinary framework by:

  • Providing an inclusive “map” that help us define what impediments are keeping clients from living their most flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized and stable lives;
  • Improving relationships and interpersonal communication by teaching neural integration, the foundation for increased well-being and great connection;
  • Creating enhanced learning environments by helping trainers and educators learn new techniques for reaching students despite past traumas;
  • Building strong, coherent teams in business.

After the program, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate and apply the core tenets and different constructs of IPNB;
  • Identify, discuss, and find resolution in the ethical issues of the IPNB field;
  • Connect and convey to others an understanding of multiple branches of science (Anthropology, Biology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Mathematics, Mental Health, Physics, Sociology, Systems Theory, to name a few), weaving commonality within the IPNB experience;
  • Demonstrate the structure and key functions of the brain, and show the relationship of the interpersonal world and the brain;
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of brain imaging technologies (fMRI, PET, etc), and discuss how they inform diagnosis and treatment;
  • Articulate how our survival instincts, self-regulatory techniques, and the effects of daily stress can impact the function of the brain and the clinical implications of such;
  • Assimilate the major strands that underpin the therapeutic process of IPNB (e.g., Attachment theory; Trauma, whether impacting the individual, family or society, overwhelming one’s ability to adapt; Changing aspects of the structure of the brain and ultimately altering the mind; Regulation of emotion, attention, memory and behavior);
  • Build attentional skills and self-regulatory techniques through practical experiential practices for stress management and the reduction of anxiety, pain and depression;
  • Describe psychological processes of othering; recognize and reflect on their own behaviors and thoughts which contribute to dehumanizing the other, and cultivate strategies for transformation;
  • Apply foundational principles of IPNB to community-building practices, including education, organizational development, team cultivation, parenting and relationships, mental health/addiction, and individual or small group relationships.

The mission of this program is to:

  • Communicate the value of IPNB and implications for health and wellness, education, mental health/addiction, parenting and relationships, early childhood education and other fields.
  • Promote integration of research findings on the brain/body and relationships to create healthier minds and a healthier world.
  • Prepare professionals with foundational knowledge and practice of IPNB to continuously critique, extend and amplify the knowledge base of the field.
  • Provide high quality education in IPNB to people who work at the intersection of brain/body, relationships, and mind.
Can I qualify for financial aid? Do you offer payment plans?

This program is not qualified under Federal Financial Aid. PCC offers special, interest-free payment plans for this program. For the 6-month certificate program, students can take advantage of a special 6-month payment plan through PCC. The plan is typically $25 to set up, 20% the first month, and equal payments for the remaining 5 months.
To set up the plan, please contact Lynne Baxter. Note: due to FERPA, Lynne can only respond to PCC email addresses.

What is “live-streamed, online”?

The live-streamed classes for this program are delivered through Zoom. This allows students to participate in real-time virtual lectures every Tuesday. While students are encouraged to attend all live lectures, recordings of each session are available for students who cannot attend the live lecture or want to review what was presented.

What does a Certificate in IPNB mean?

Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a non-credit Certificate in Foundations of Interpersonal Neurobiology from Portland Community College.

The Certificate reflects the total hours earned in continuing education units (CEUs).

Why does this matter? Oregon non-credit certificates are approved on a case-by-case basis. A non-credit certificate’s rigor is determined by the college, following national education and industry training benchmarks. The state’s approval criteria are designed to maintain the integrity of the certificates. As a graduate of Foundations of Interpersonal Neurobiology, you can be confident that appropriate oversight and review has assured our program’s quality and applicability.

Do I have to be online during the live Tuesday class?

You want to be present during live lectures. Class is dynamic and your interaction with the instructor and your classmates will make the learning far more meaningful. We expect participants from many time zones and know that life will preclude live participation for some sessions. Therefore, we record each live session for participants to view later. This also allows participants access to review topics/discussions at any time.

Also, in between the live-streamed classes, participants will be required to engage in discussion boards with each other and the instructor.

Are there any prerequisites to the Interpersonal Neurobiology program?

There are no formal prerequisites for participating in this program; it is open to participants of all backgrounds. The only two program requirements are an ability and desire to engage in college-level courses and access/use of a computer and the internet.

Will I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)? How many?

Yes, all participants will be awarded CEUs for program completion. The Foundations of IPNB program awards a total of 125 CEU hours.

Can you tell me more about your IPNB faculty?

Our Interpersonal Neurobiology faculty come from a variety of fields, ranging from medicine to counseling to education and consulting. All of our faculty either taught in or graduated from the Interpersonal Neurobiology program formerly offered at Portland State University.

Each faculty member is passionate about IPNB, and about helping participants understand the impact of incorporating the IPNB framework into their work.

You can learn more about the IPNB program and its faculty here.

How is the program structured? Is there any compulsory on campus requirement?

Most of the program is delivered online, with classes on Tuesday evenings at 5:30 Pacific time. All courses are designed to be interactive and user friendly. The program will be taught using the “flipped classroom.” That means you will come prepared to each online class having read the basic concepts of the session. The class time will be used to ensure understanding and to apply what you’ve learned in real-life scenarios. In this model, the instructor serves as the facilitator of learning and takes you beyond the advance reading or other assignment. Classes are live-streamed and students engage these live, interactive discussions each Tuesday at 5:30 PST. Each live session is recorded for those who are not able to attend live and/or for participants to review topics taught. Better learning occurs in the live instructional time, so you are encouraged to make every effort to attend each class session. In between the live streamed classes, participants will engage in discussion boards with each other and the instructor. We have one “In person, onsite, intensive” during the six-month program. This is scheduled as a four-day weekend held in Portland, Oregon (Thursday-Sunday). Because IPNB involves embodiment work, some instructors are incorporating special teachings and skill development during this in-person time. There will also be an opportunity to dissect a brain, allowing participants to see some of the areas and connections they have been studying.

I don’t have any qualifications specifically referencing Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). Is the program suitable for me?

No former IPNB background is required. The Foundations of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) program is designed to give healthcare professionals, counselors, teachers, clergy, business leaders, and other professionals a high quality, skills-based IPNB education they can apply to supporting clients, students, peers and others. It is suitable for anyone interested in college-level education around the IPNB framework.

Once the Foundations program is launched, we anticipate developing more advanced courses for program graduates.

Do I need special software or equipment to participate in this program?

All participants will need a computer with high speed internet and a headset with microphone (there are call in options for using your phone if necessary) to participate in the live classes. The program is delivered through web-based software so it can be accessed from anywhere.

Prior to the first class, participants will receive detailed instructions and tutorials for using the software. In the meantime, you can learn more here. Students are highly encouraged to access both D2L and Collaborate several days prior to the first class.  If there are any questions about either program, you will have time to connect with PCC for answers and not take instructional time due to technical issues that could be managed in advance.

Can I earn college credit through this program?

College credit is not available at this time. We are investigating partnerships to award college credit for future IPNB participation.

Is this program eligible for FAFSA funds/financial aid/scholarships?

Because the program is a non-credit college program (not a for-credit degree or certificate), no scholarships or financial aid are available. Upon registration, a student can make arrangements for payments through the Student Accounts Office, or view other payment options here.

Upcoming Courses


Register Now

Find the CRN of your course from the class schedule. Then, register:

  • Online: If this is your first time taking a class at PCC, create an account. If you are a returning student, log on to MyPCC and click “Register for classes,” found in your Term-to-Term Checklist, under “Register”.
  • Phone: Call 971-722-8888, option 2.

Need help? Get detailed information on how to register.

Questions? Contact Amy Evans.