The book begins by describing, within a psychodynamic approach, some traits an infant may bring to an intervention, followed by descriptions of interventions in several specialised perinatal settings. Several chapters focus on parent-infant families who have experienced considerable anxiety and depression, and those who have experienced trauma and lived borderline experiences or of mental illness. An innovative intervention which successfully engaged young parents and their infants so that most of them felt they could understand and relate to their newborn infant is next outlined. Turning to most parents of an infant in a neonatal intensive care unit who feel traumatised which may impact on the emotional relationship with their infants, there is often a need for psychodynamic exploration before these difficulties can be modulated. With such interventions the staff become more containing and may more likely seek an intervention for a premature infant in their own right, attuned to the meaning of his or her mood and behaviour. Infant-parent therapy in paediatric contexts, infants in groups, and relating to infant and parents in the context of family violence are briefly described.
Part 1: Engaging the Infant in Infant-Parent Therapy 1. Recognising the infant as subject 2. What an infant brings Part 2: Engaging Infants in perinatal settings 3. Infants and their parents in the perinatal period 4. Infants with young parents 5. Infants and their parents in neonatal intensive care units Part 3: Engaging Infants in Paediatric Units 6. Infants and their parents in paediatric settings 7. Infants and their parents in therapy groups 8. Relating to infant and parent in the context of family violence Part 4: Towards Understanding Successful Outcomes 9. Countertransference in infant-parent therapy 10. The therapeutic alliance, the presence of the therapist, and transformational moments 11. Responding to infants and interpreting transference 12. Revisiting mechanisms of change in infant-parent therapy