When a mother or other caregiver is concerned about a problem with an infant, what can the clinician do? Crying, sleep, or feeding difficulties are par for the course with many babies, but some infants are harder to take care of than others. Some parents, moreover, are less able than others to cope with and respond to a very young child's needs. This book presents a range of therapies that address the connections between infant/n-/caregiver relationships and infant mental health. Within a cutting-edge conceptual framework, leading experts describe ways to intervene in early interactional difficulties, promote more sensitive and responsive parenting, and support the healthy development of children and families. The volume first establishes an overarching model for understanding and dealing with different types of problems in infant mental health. Clinicians are guided to choose the therapeutic target and "port of entry" most effective for a given family, whether this entails addressing health concerns that are affecting infant behavior, modifying parental beliefs or expectations, or building key parenting skills.
Specific therapeutic models are presented that reflect the diverse research traditions and backgrounds of contributors, but that share an emphasis on collaborating with families to keep parent/n-/child relationships on track. Written in a clinician-friendly format replete with illustrative case material, chapters offer intervention guidelines and discussions of which clients will be best served by each treatment. Among the special topics covered are issues in working with families of infants with special needs and those at risk for child maltreatment, including applications in community and legal contexts. The first practical resource of its kind, this book provides invaluable knowledge and tools for clinicians who work with parents and infants, as well as students and researchers in clinical and developmental psychology, psychiatry, social work, pediatrics, nursing, and occupational therapy. It will serve as a text in courses and clinical training programs related to infant mental health. Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, Clinique des Grangettes, Geneva, Switzerland Antoinette Corboz-Warnery, University of Lausanne, Prilly, Switzerland Winnie Dunn, University of Ka
"This is the first integration of therapeutic approaches to problematic parent-infant relationships, and I am sure it will be the best for many years to come. The book is a definitive guide to techniques of prevention and intervention, and it is exemplary in its combination of readability and clinical sophistication... Essential reading not only for those psychotherapists working with parents and infants, but also for the many others whose technique is influenced by contemporary understandings of early relationships. - Peter Fonagy, University College London; This is an important and thought-provoking book that carries the field of infant mental health to a new level of synthesis and discovery. The research and practice described in this volume will help students, practitioners, and researchers recognize the challenges inherent in relationship-based activities, integrate the various strands that form the theoretical framework of infant-parent mental health practice, and explore novel methodologies and approaches that will enhance the lives of caregivers and their infants. - Samuel J. Meisels, President, Erikson Institute; Provides state-of-the-science knowledge for working with parents and infants... The authors are all experts in dealing with relationship issues, and bring their evolving theoretical and clinical thinking to the chapters... An ideal text for infancy-related graduate courses in psychology, social work, nursing, psychiatry, education, and occupational and physical therapy. - Kathryn E. Barnard, University of Washington School of Nursing; The gap between what we know about early relationship problems and what we do to help parents and their young children is unacceptably wide. This book offers a wealth of"