Psychotherapy for Mothers and Infants: Interventions for Dyads at Risk

Psychotherapy for Mothers and Infants: Interventions for Dyads at Risk

Psychotherapy for Mothers and Infants: Interventions for Dyads at Risk

Psychotherapy for Mothers and Infants: Interventions for Dyads at Risk

Synopsis

As the structure of the family changes with the proliferation of single parent families, working mothers, infant and day care, and societal complexities and stresses, early therapy for the mother-child dyad becomes critical. Gochman's program, begun under the auspices of the National Institute of Mental Health, has made an impact on the Washington, D.C. area and has ignited a carryover into development training and research in primary prevention programs. This is the first time that mother-infant psychotherapy has been presented outside the professional journal literature. Through case studies, observations, and procedural explanations, Gochman lays out her practice in clear and urgent detail.

Excerpt

It has been generally acknowledged, within recent years, that the early experiences of the child impact his/her later development. That is, the child's (e.g., Greenspan, 1987; Werner, 1989) and then the adult's level of emotional and total functioning has its foundations in the earliest years. Perhaps equally important, the quality and vector of the relationship between parent(s) and child develop their grounding and direction during the earliest years of interaction and attachment formation. The importance of the parent(s)' specific interactions and emotional harmony with the child has become increasingly highlighted.

However, together with this heightened understanding, societal changes have been taking place that go counter to the needs of the developing child. The "family" has changed profoundly. Single parent families proliferate, contracting out of child care increases, and societal complexities and stresses increase.

Infants are the most needy of continuous, consistent, emotionally attuned caretaking, and are at the same time the most helpless to demand this and to effect fulfillment of their needs. Infants are also the future children, adolescents, and adults of society -- in fact, our very future.

We have already seen effects of the breakdown of the family in the increase in counter-societal trends. We need emotionally and psychologically well-developed people if we want society to develop in a positive direction, which will serve the needs of its constituents.

I write this book in the hope that it will promote the well-being of individuals directly benefiting from psychotherapeutic interventions, as . . .

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